Super Mario Run was an ambitious experiment for Nintendo. Following the general success of Mittomo, which garnered lukewarm reactions from players at best, Nintendo decided to put its best foot forward with a fully-featured mobile gaming starring its most famous and recognizable mascot Mario. That experiment as paid off as, according to The Wall Street Journal, market research firm Newzoo estimates that Super Mario Run has generated more than $30 million in gross revenue.
To me, that's the headline. What has been strange is the number of outlets, including the WSJ, that have chosen to spin this in a negative light. The WSJ report points out that this $30 million estimate indicates that only something like 3% of the people who downloaded Super Mario Run decided to actually pay for the game. To me, this is a rather impressive number.
Super Mario Run was going up against free-to-play giants like Pokemon Go, Clash Royale, and Game of War. It still shot to the top of the highest grossing chart on the iTunes store, though by now it has dropped off considerably. When compared to conversion rates of top free-to-play games, 3% seems rather anemic. Of course, you have to consider that those who do decide to pay money in popular free-to-play games are generally spending 99 cents or a few dollars. Everyone who decided to spend money on Super Mario Run decided that it was worth $10, and $30 million in a few weeks is nothing to sneeze at.
It's also important to bear in mind the fact that Super Mario Run, unlike its free-to-play competitors, is only available on iOS at the moment. The game will be launching for Android devices soon, and we expect gross revenue to skyrocket accordingly.
In the meantime, what's been made abundantly clear is the fact that mobile is a viable source of revenue for Nintendo. We expect the red giant to lean into this space heavily in the future, and that's great news for us all. Stay tuned to WWG for all of the latest on Nintendo and Super Mario Run.