After months of waiting and aggressive marketing, it was normal to expect huge downloads and billing success with the game Super Mario Run, from Nintendo. In fact, in the first 24 hours the game was downloaded almost 3 million times, becoming the biggest launch in the history of the App Store. To give you an idea, the Pokémon GO had «only”900 thousand downloads on the first day (although in the beginning it was only available in a few countries).
But this huge download success does not mean that Nintendo has more advantages than the old formula freemium used by so many other applications.
Deep down, many of us had hoped that Nintendo would show that it was possible to make money on the App Store without adopting the formula of freemium, hated by so many. From the beginning, it allowed you to download the app for free and play the first worlds without paying anything, and if the user wanted to have the entire game, then make a one-time payment of $ 9.99.
It is true that this gave a very good initial result, with the game being at the top of the most profitable in several countries on the first day (including in Brazil). But after the initial euphoria, he is increasingly falling in the ranking.
According to analysts, this is normal. After all, at launch many people bought the complete package, to be able to play and get to know the game. However, those who have already made the purchase will no longer pay anything, and the number of new purchases tends to decrease. While this is good for the user (not needing to pay anything else), as a business model it is something that tends to stagnate with time, if the game does not present constant news.
The Pokémon GO, for example, has internal micro-purchases that are not essential to progress in the game, but that end up attracting hundreds of purchases every day. With the addition of more and more news (such as the recent update), the business model is able to function for a long time. That is, this further reinforces the freemium as a way to profit more, as so many other games have proven.
In addition, many people are complaining about charging $ 10 for the full game. But this is nothing new for anyone, because nowadays everyone complains about everything: if the game is free, with internal purchases, they complain; if the complete game is available for a fixed price, they complain; and if the game is completely free, but it is too simple just because you haven’t invested in enough development, they complain too. Impossible to please the current consumer of mobile apps, who think everything has to be free or at most cost $ 0.99.
Let’s see what Nintendo will do when Super Mario Run yields drop for good. Will she create other worlds, charging more to unlock them? Or it will switch to the formula freemium, making you pay to gain advantages in the game? They have already stated that their goal in bringing their famous characters to mobile is to promote them to new generations, and therefore, the game needs to remain popular for this to really work.
Let’s wait and see what will be the scenes of the next chapters of this story …