Super Mario Run has reached a whopping 200 million downloads worldwide since its debut last December. It’s gained an additional 50 million since its previous milestone at 150 million. That's an impressive number to be sure, but Nintendo still isn’t satisfied with its performance.
Interestingly, only 10 percent of the 200 million downloads, or 20 million, were actually from Japan, Nintendo’s home country.
Despite all that, the mobile runner, Nintendo’s first attempt at smartphone gaming (aside from the app Miitomo), has actually managed to disappoint Nintendo with its financial success. The company’s latest earnings report corroborates this, stating that despite the game’s impressive number of downloads, it just hasn’t made the kind of money the company had been hoping for.
Still, Nintendo said the the game ended up helping it learn several lessons about the development of mobile games going forward. You can already see improvements upon its mobile development approach with its latest effort, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which is available for download as a soft-launch title in Australia.
Nintendo hopes that Super Mario Run will eventually become the “definitive Mario application for smart devices,” pointing out its push with the 3.0 update that added a new character, stages, and other additional content in a bid to bring players back to the game. There was even a brief sale that offered the game at a discounted rate to invite new players to the fold. It didn’t prove as successful as it could have been, but Nintendo is hopeful about the future.
"Although we have not yet reached an acceptable profit point, we have learned a lot in terms of game development and deployment that we want to take advantage of moving forward."
Super Mario Run is a free-to-start game that’s currently available for both iOS and Android. You can play through the first world and complete it, but beyond that you must pay $10 to unlock the other worlds. It’s an addictive and well-made runner, if a little expensive, but if you’re hankering for some one-button Mario on the go, it’s a great choice.