The impending Android release date for Super Mario Run appears to be one of the only things keeping the mobile game relevant. While it has now dropped from the 50 top earning iOS games, Nintendo announced that the Android version Super Mario Run will be available in March. This launch will be pivotal for the overall longevity of the game.
Though Super Mario Run gave many gamer kids — and grown-ups — a nice dose of nostalgia, others were not excited about the $10 charge for a game with only 24 levels. Especially when other games offer 100s of hours for free. Nintendo has indicated it does not have major updates planned for Super Mario Run, which leaves fans and pundits alike unsure of whether the game will be a long-term success. However, some are certain the Android version of Super Mario Run will include some differentiating factors to increase fervor behind the game.
“It doesn’t seem like Super Mario Run has a long-term [plan] where they’re going to add a new world or a new set of levels every week,” Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData Research told iDigitalTimes. “[But It is likely] they will have ready some additional levels and additional content to drive monetization.”
Nintendo will likely have to depart from its no-update strategy for Super Mario Run in order bolster revenue, according to Van Dreunen. While the game has been downloaded over 40 million times on iOS, the installations have not translated into sales. Without aspects of the standard mobile gaming model in place, this walk down memory lane has not been sufficient to keep users engaged.
Mobile gamers are used to the free-to-play model, which allows them to download and play a game for free, but charges for various boosters and special items. Super Mario Run is free to download and users can play the first three levels, but must pay the $10 fee to unlock the rest of the game at once. The defining aspect of this new model is its price, which has been heavily criticized for being much more expensive than the average pay-to-play mobile game that typically sells for between $2 and $7. However, users’ biggest grievance have been that despite the $10 price tag, they still have to compete in certain levels to unlock prizes.
This may be where Nintendo can find some wiggle room. After experimenting with the Super Mario Run iOS release, it is possible the gaming company could tweak the contents of the Android release to include new aspects to appease fans, Van Dreunen noted.
Pundits have suggested including paid items such as rally tickets, coins, new unlockable characters or new level packs. While the Android version of Super Mario Run will likely also have a pay-to-unlock model, Nintendo may have to drop the game’s price to attract Android users, who are traditionally less inclined to spend a considerable amount of money for a game up front.
The fate of Super Mario Run may not come to light until March, but Nintendo has already shown that it may actually be inclined to address users’ complaints. Since its December 2016 release, the game has received minor updates, which include new items and a new gaming mode. The game’s design was also altered with snow globes during the holiday season.
“It all suggests they’re going to do this to drive sales and keep people playing, which then opens them to to say lets add stuff for people to buy,” Van Dreunen said. “ These games are fun for a while but users need to have some interesting and new content to come out.”