Update: Nintendo has confirmed that Super Mario Run has been downloaded 40m times in four days - breaking Apple records.
Original story: Super Mario Run earned around $14 million in revenue in its first three days, according to App Annie's data, with players in the US contributing 55% of global consumer spend.
App Annie said yesterday that Nintendo's first Mario game for mobile devices was downloaded 37 million times between December 15 and 17, but only around 1 million of those downloads was by a paying customer. In a blog post published last night, App Annie pegged Super Mario Run's worldwide conversion rate at 4% - a figure it acknowledged "may sound unimpressive."
App Annie added, "it is important to keep in mind that the game's pre-launch publicity was unprecedented, casting an unusually wide net. This means that all types of users, including those who were extremely unlikely to pay, were targeted."
The US was by far the best market for Super Mario Run. More than 7% of users converted, smashing the global average and contributing $8 million of that estimated $14 million total spend - that's 55% of the total when, from January to November this year, the US accounted for less than 25% of money spent worldwide on iOS games. Americans love Mario, it seems, and by the end of December 17 App Annie's data put the game's DAUs in the territory at "roughly" 3 million.
The UK also punched above its normal weight for Mario, contributing 4% of the game's worldwide spend when its share of iOS games revenue is 2% overall. Around 20% of that three day revenue came from Japan, and both Japanese and the British users converted at the global 4% rate.
"While we now have an idea of the game's initial success, the story isn't quite over," App Annie said, observing that "more mainstream users" will be downloading the game in the coming weeks. Given their lack of urgency to download Super Mario Run, App Annie suggested that "these users might be expected to convert at lower rates" than the initial 37 million.
The story of Super Mario Run is certainly far from over. Indeed, there is a great deal more to it even now, with Nintendo's stock price tumbling by more than 16% in the five days around the game's launch - per The Wall Street Journal. It is a sour note on which to end an otherwise strong year for Nintendo, with the success of Pokémon Go pushing the company's market cap to its highest levels in five years. Immediately prior to this most recent slump, Nintendo's stock price was around double its level at the end of 2015.
A contributing factor might well be the relatively cool response the game's players have shown through user ratings. At the time of writing, Super Mario Run had an average of two-and-a-half stars after more than 15,000 App Store reviews, including 3,000 five star reviews and more than 8,000 one star reviews. Among its harshest critics, the amount of free content available before needing to meet the $10 asking price is a common concern, as is the size of that $10 asking price. Another bugbear is the necessity of an internet connection.