Nintendo was once staunchly opposed to entering the mobile market, but they eventually had a change of heart, and in December of 2016, even Mario made his way to phones and tablets. Super Mario Run took the famous plumber on an auto-running adventure that has been downloaded over 200 million times. A year and a half later, the mobile game has earned an estimated $60 million in revenue.
While that number is certainly nothing to scoff at (you can bet Nintendo easily turned a profit), it’s not the kind of big bucks investors likely expected when the game was first announced. Unlike Miitomo or Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Super Mario Run isn’t a free game that earns money off microtransactions. There’s a free demo, but the game itself requires a one time only purchase of $10.
This suggests that around 6 million people paid for the game, although that number is likely a little higher due to the fact that the game has been put on sale for $5 on several occasions. Even at a generous 10 million, that would mean only around one out of every 20 people who played the demo bought the full game.
That said, Nintendo sees their mobile games as just one piece of a bigger puzzle. Over 200 million people played Super Mario Run. Even if the majority didn’t buy it, the game greatly increased brand awareness. That’s important to Nintendo as they’re planning to launch theme parks, movies, and more non-gaming ventures going forward.
Source: Sensor Tower