It looks like Nintendo is doing with Super Mario Run what Niantic did with Pokemon Go, only faster. While the former is surely a commercial success, its negative aspects are receiving overwhelming criticism, resulting in a sharp ratings drop. Super Mario Run currently sits at 2.12 on the Apple App Store. That’s a sharp drop from where it was at the end of day one, at 2.5. As a result, Nintendo’s stock price has dropped by 7%. After the gains made by Nintendo after the release of the game, this is quite the setback.
The game has been downloaded anywhere from 11 million to 30 million times since its release with a gross of $9 million and that number will continue to increase. However, the 70,000+ reviews on the App store are piling on the one-stars, resulting in the less than stellar 2.12/5. I don’t recall Pokemon Go’s rating sinking quite that low.
Criticism is aimed at the game not giving players enough for its $10 value. Super Mario Run is a simple runner with one handed gameplay that could’ve easily been free or available for $1-$2. But for a $10 price tag, there are just not enough bells and whistles. There are no special power-ups other than what players have come to expect from the game and no great boss battles. The multiplayer mode allows you to compete against the ghosts of other players, but true multiplayer mode is absent. There is even a mode that allows you to build your own Mushroom Kingdom…but who the hell wants to do that?
For all its faults, Pokemon Go was free, entertained you, literally, for hours and offered up multiple chances to catch Pokemon in all new locations. It was an instant hit due to its simplicity and addictiveness. Super Mario Run’s novelty wears off after a few runs (pun intended).
Nintendo’s first big foray into mobile gaming isn’t exactly going as planned. It seems they’ve relied too much on nostalgia to get players hooked like on Pokemon Go. However, they should take this as a learning opportunity to better their game in this territory. Releasing a mobile game and a console game are two very different things. People expect to pay more for a game with realistic graphics than for a game they can play on their smartphone. For now, Nintendo has tried to do something in between but has ended up doing little of neither. Hopefully for their future releases, which I hope contain some sort of mobile version of Ocarina Of Time, they should up their game and lower their price.