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People are paying for Super Mario Run in surprising numbers

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Nintendo says more than 5 percent of players have paid to unlock the full game

Amelia Holowaty Krales

Nintendo has finally shone some light on the performance of its first real mobile game, Super Mario Run, and the news is surprisingly good.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the company says the game has been downloaded more than 78 million times worldwide, with more than 5 percent of players paying to unlock its full content. (That’s $10 in the US.) It’s an impressive conversion rate in for mobile industry, especially considering the game’s high price. Titles that charge a dollar or two usually only achieve a conversion rate of less than 5 percent, a Tokyo-based games analyst told the WSJ.

So far, Nintendo says Super Mario Run has bought in revenue of ¥6 billion or around $53 million. It’s a decent achievement, but still doesn’t deliver the impact the company was looking for. Nintendo chief executive Tatsumi Kimishima said he’d hoped the conversation rate would be in the double digits.

This news was shared alongside Nintendo’s third quarter earnings, which reported net profit of 64.7 billion yen (around $569 million) from revenue of 174.3 billion yen ($1.5 billion). Pokémon Sun and Moon were the biggest drivers of profits with 15 million units sold, while the Wii U had a terrible holiday season (760,000 units shifted), which was expected as Nintendo prepares to launch the Switch.

More mobile games are on the way, too: Fire Emblem: Heroes comes out on Thursday, while a mobile version of Animal Crossing has been delayed until April at the earliest.