Though the Switch garnered a lot of attention in Nintendo’s receny year-end financial report, there was still some big news about Super Mario Run hiding within. Though we haven’t heard much from the mobile game in a while, it appears to be chugging along quite nicely. In a briefing to investors, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima announced that Super Mario Run is about to hit an important download milestone.
According to Kimishima, Nintendo expects Super Mario Run to hit 150 million downloads soon. The last time we heard anything about download numbers was back in January, when the game was sitting at 78 million installs. So, how have those download numbers nearly doubled in just three short months?
The biggest driver of downloads is almost certainly the game’s launch on Android. Though Super Mario Run launched on iOS way back in December, it wasn’t until March that it finally made its way to Android. To be sure, the iOS version netted a ton of downloads on its own, but the Android release most likely caused downloads to spike.
However, pulling in a ton of downloads is only half the battle for Super Mario Run. The game isn’t free-to-play like other Nintendo mobile games, instead offering a small amount of content for free at the start and then asking for $10 to unlock the rest of the game. Nintendo didn’t say how many users have paid for the game, but Kimishima did say that “the number of users who purchase the full game has been growing gradually.”
That $10 paywall has caused quite a bit of controversy among mobile players. Around the time the game launched, there were complaints that Nintendo was charging too much, and in a survey sent out to shortly after release, Nintendo even asked players what they thought was a fair price. That reaction makes you wonder if future mobile games will be priced at less than $10.
We’ll just have to see if Nintendo continues with a free-to-start approach for its major IP, or if it transitions to free-to-play titles entirely, as it did with Fire Emblem Heroes. Did you pay to unlock Super Mario Run, or did you leave it at the free content? Head down to the comments section and let us know.