Nintendo’s foray into the mobile gaming sphere has been a less than spectacular journey considering the companies immense pedigree. Starting in 2016 with the release of their first app, the social network Miitomo (Remember Miitomo? Neither did anyone else), Nintendo has steadily grown their smartphone development skills and have delivered more experiences that fall in line with what consumers want. The download number in subsequent releases have shown this growth and with their latest title, Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo has hit it big.
Within the first week of its life, Mario Kart Tour has hit over 90 million unique downloads. To give more context, Nintendo’s other apps have performed far under that mark. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, Nintendo’s previous fastest growing app, had set the week one download record at 14 million before Mario Kart Tour demolished those numbers easily. Super Mario Runand Fire Emblem Heroes trailed close behind with 13 million and 8 million downloads, respectively. The aforementioned Miitomo had 1.5 million downloads in the same time frame.
Mario Kart Tour has been making a splash and delivering a gameplay experience more comparable to its console counterparts than the previous app entries from Nintendo franchises. This directly translates to the revenue the game has been raking in with its free-to-start payment model; pulling in a solid $12.7 million in revenue in its first week. This would equal out to an average of roughly $0.14 spent per unique user.
Nintendo has a strong foothold in the mobile market, and their games reach massive downloads quickly with the benefit of the brand recognition provided. However, Nintendo still seems to find faults with their pricing models and can never seem to get the turnaround on buyers that they project. Super Mario Run, which offered a different pricing model with a free level and the rest locked behind a paywall, never even got close to the expected 10% conversion rate Nintendo projected. This isn’t to say Nintendo’s mobile efforts are in vain; as they seem to get a large user base without breaking a sweat, it’s only a matter of time before they find the formula to turn these downloads into purchases.
Garett is a full time English student at Wright State University with a deep passion for gaming. He has been playing video games for as long as he can remember and that’s not even hyperbole. Read more...