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"Nintendo still has an opportunity to win over Super Mario Run users" - App Annie

$19m generated in four days

Mobile data firm App Annie says Nintendo is more than capable of fixing the criticism leveled at Super Mario Run.

The firm had estimated that the game was downloaded 43m times in four days, which is close to Nintendo's own internal figure of 40m. It says the game has generated $19 million in that time frame and on December 19th it had 8m daily-active users.

12m of those downloads came from the US, which is down compared with Pokémon Go (which managed 16m in the same time frame on iOS), but significantly higher than Clash Royale (which managed 3m in its first four days). Pokémon Go did have a different roll-out to those other games, however, as it was only available in the US to begin with - prompting many European gamers to download the game from the US App Store, which may have skewed the numbers.

Pokemon Go was downloaded faster in the US, but it was only initially available in the US

App Annie does criticise Super Mario Run for not fully communicating clearly the scope and value of the product "especially during the crucial first-use and onboarding process. This left many players who quickly reached the paywall after completing the three free levels to wonder whether it was worth it to spend $9.99 for the full version."

Indeed, App Annie conducted some research into the 135,000 reviews for the game - where the average score is just 2.1. The firm looked at the one and two star reviews and saw that '3 levels' was used in many of them, which could indicate that reviewers did not see the full value of the game after finishing the free levels.

However, the firm feels there is ample time and opportunity for Nintendo to turn this around. Analyst Matt Miller said: "Nintendo still has an opportunity to course correct and win over existing and future users. For example, it could strategically use notifications to make players more aware of key aspects of Super Mario Run that they may have missed, as well as improve the game's first-use and onboarding experience. Nintendo has already introduced limited-time items - like Christmas trees, snow globes and poinsettias - and a new game mode called 'Friendly Run' that provides another way for players to compete with their friends.

"However, there is potentially more that it can do to make future updates even more impactful. For example, Pokémon GO's Halloween event provided users with enhanced gameplay that boosted its revenue and engagement.

"Nintendo has a lot riding on the fortunes of Super Mario Run and we are interested to see the steps it takes to better communicate its value and engage users."

Gamers are questioning the value for money of Super Mario Run

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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