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Super Mario Breaks Download Record on the App Store but Reviewers Complain over the One-Time Hidden Fee

1af X88 cover super mario on iOS


Last week Apple announced the arrival of Super Mario for iOS on the App Store. To celebrate the launch on iPhone and iPad, creator Shigeru Miyamoto used an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to quickly sketch an exclusive illustration of Mario as noted in our cover graphic. Today it's being reported that 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.


Reuters reports today that "Super Mario Run hit 25 million downloads just four days after its Dec. 15 release in 151 countries on Apple's App Store, earning gross sales of about $21 million." Others are reporting the number is 40 million


Reuters further notes that "Nintendo shares have lost 11 percent 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 percent 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 micro-transactions 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.


'This is a fee app disguised as a free app,' wrote reviewer Racing Game Guy. 'You need to pay after playing for 10 minutes. I don't mind paying but the fee is a bit big. It's a disappointment after waiting with so much expectation.'"


There's more to the Reuters story here. It's really hard to understand the uproar over this. My wife bought a game called Pearl's Peril based on in-app purchases. I think there's been 10-15 points of paying $3.00 so that the game could continue. My wife gave up playing it as it was as much as an Xbox game for goodness sake for a tiny iPhone app. That's a practice that's terrible and so complaining over an honest one-time $10 fee and making a negative story about it is disingenuous and downright ignorant.


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