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Mario’s big smartphone debut wasn’t really worth it for Nintendo

For years, Nintendo held off on bringing its most successful franchises to Android and iOS devices, choosing to save them for first-party consoles.

Last year, in its first smartphone push, Nintendo finally relented and announced Super Mario Run for iPhone, and then Android a few months later.

While the game has been a huge success in terms of downloads, it hasn’t yielded much in the way of profit for the iconic Japanese gaming firm.

The company says Super Mario Run has been downloaded a whopping 200 million times (90% of those outside of Japan).

However, Nintendo says it has “not yet reached an acceptable profit point.”

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the disparity. The game is free to download, but it is $9.99/£9.99 to fully unlock.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, a September update fostered more interest in Mario’s first smartphone outing.

Review: Super Mario Odyssey review

In its quarterly earnings report, Nintendo said: “The major update to version 3.0 in September added, among other things, the new “Remix10” mode to allow for shorter bursts of thrilling play.

“Thankfully, it appears that “Remix10” and other updates have excited both consumers who have already purchased Super Mario Run as well as consumers who are downloading it for the first time.”

Despite the shortfall in profitability Nintendo says its aim is still to ensure Super Mario Run is “the definitive Mario application for smart devices.”

Nintendo says it will continue to release 2-3 smartphone experiences per year.

Watered down?

Despite the possibility of watering down Nintendo’s IP with smartphone releases, the company can probably afford to run the smartphone experiences with limited profit.

The Nintendo Switch console is forecast to drive the company to a billion dollar profit in its first year on sale.

Elsewhere, Super Mario Odyssey for the Switch has sold two million copies in its first three days on sale. Largely speaking, all is good in the Nintendo hood.

Do you enjoy Super Mario Run? Or was it a bit of a letdown? Share your thoughts with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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