Shares fall at Nintendo on cost of Mario

Nintendo’s first Mario smartphone title has set a download record but gamers baulked at the one-time cost of unlocking content, prompting investors to push the Japanese game makers’ stock to a one-month low.

Super Mario Run hit 25m downloads just four days after its release last week in 151 countries on Apple’s App Store, earning gross sales of about $21m (€20.2m), data from app analyst Sensor Tower showed.

But Nintendo shares have lost 11% since the launch as the latest game to feature Nintendo’s princess-rescuing Italian plumber received negative reviews from users mainly complaining about its $9.99 one-time cost, rather than the usual model of paying small amounts for special features.

“Mario is arguably the most popular gaming franchise in the world, yet we see only about 8% of those who try the game actually purchasing it,” said Sensor Tower analyst Spencer Gabriel.

“I don’t think this is a statement on the game’s quality ... but rather the perceived value when compared to free-to-play games that offer much more content with optional microtransactions that enable players to experience it sooner.”

Super Mario Run is free to download on the App Store where, in Japan, it is rated 2.5 stars out of 5 based on 1,095 reviews.


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