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Super Mario Run slower to top charts than Pokémon Go

UPDATE: But smashes Day One performance with 2.85m installs, dominates top grossing chart in five countries

UPDATE 2: Data from Apptopia shows that Super Mario Run has trumped Pokémon Go in terms of day one downloads. The platformer is now installed on 2.85m devices, while Pokémon Go only managed 900,000 in its first 24 hours.

However, some important caveats. Pokémon Go had a considerably more staggered launch, released in a limited number of countries before more were added in the following days. Super Mario Run, meanwhile, has enjoyed a worldwide launch.

Mario's outing also benefitted from a much more powerful marketing campaign prior to release. In addition to its appearance at the Apple conference in September, it also aired on the Jimmy Fallon show last week and has been an almost permanent fixture on the App Store since its reveal, urging people to sign up for launch notifications.

Apptopia also notes that Super Mario already has 33,000 ratings on the App Store, with half of them being just one star. This appears to be a backlash against the $10/£8 fee to purchase the whole game under what Nintendo is calling a free-to-start model.

UPDATE: It appears Nintendo's investors aren't as pleased about Super Mario Run's as critics and consumers, with Nintendo's shares tumbling after the game's launch.

Sky News reports the platform holder saw shares dip by 5% in Tokyo after the mobile title went live, equating to a $2bn or £1.6bn drop in value. By the time the markets closed, this had recovered slightly to just a 4% fall.

Suggested causes for the decrease were concerns round the high $10/£8 purchase for the full game, and the fact that the Android version will not be available until some point in 2017.

ORIGINAL STORY: Nintendo's biggest push onto smart devices to date is now been downloaded around the world, with everyone eager to see whether Super Mario Run can surpass the success of Pokémon Go.

So far, the platform game has reached the No.1 spot of the free games chart in as many as 62 countries, with GamesBeat reporting that it took just seven hours to secure the top spot in the US. By comparison, Niantic's location-based monster-catching sensation only took five hours to reach the same position.

Meanwhile, Super Mario Run is already high in the Top Grossing charts in the United States, and is the No.1 Top Grossing app in Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia. This suggests Nintendo's free-to-start model - a one-off purchase of $10/£8 to unlock the full game - has not deterred gamers with its seemingly hefty price tag.

Pokémon Go smashed records in this regard, taking just 90 days to become the fastest game ever to top $600m in revenue. However, while that game had an abundance of microtranscations to fuel this success, Super Mario Run's reliance on that single purchase makes it questionable whether it can match or surpass the numbers achieved by Niantic's title.

Numerous analysts told they have high hopes for the game, with predictions that it will generate between $60m and $100m for Nintendo in its opening weeks - and that's before the Android version is released at some point next year.

Super Mario Run is an important title for Nintendo. Analysts, journalists and almost anyone with a strong opinion about the platform holder's future have been suggesting that releasing Mario games on mobile could be a quick solution to the company's struggles in the wake of the underperforming Wii U. While Nintendo finally backed down from its determined stance not to bring its properties to mobile platforms, the initial strategy for smartphone games was limited to social oddity Miitomo and forthcoming free-to-play versions of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem.

While it was perhaps inevitable that a Mario game would feature at some point, it was still a shock to see Shigeru Miyamoto announcing Super Mario Run at Apple's September conference - spurred on, no doubt, by the success of Pokémon Go and the nostalgic fever that gripped the world. Within a month of the game's announcement, more than 20m people had registered for notifications about Super Mario Run's launch. To put that into context, the highest-selling Mario games on Wii U have sold just 5m copies, while the biggest 3DS outings for the plumber have achieved just under 30m.

The opportunity to reach an even wider audience with its flagship franchise is one Nintendo perhaps should have leapt on earlier, but the success of Super Mario Run should help keep the plumber prominent in the run-up to the launch of Nintendo Switch in March, a device that some will argue is make or break for Nintendo.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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