Super Mario Run hit Android a day early. Originally expected today, March 23, per Nintendo’s earlier announcement, the game arrived on the Google Play Store yesterday instead, along with an update on iOS. The iOS exclusive ran for three months, and brought the app over 78 million downloads, the gaming company said during its earnings in January.
Of those players, more than five percent purchased the game, bringing in $53 million in revenue for the title. That dollar amount is fairly high, given the $10 purchase price in order to unlock the full version. And it performed better than analysts had expected given its top dollar price point – many games that only charge a dollar or two for in-game items convert less than 5 percent of their users.
Now on Android, it’s interesting to note that Nintendo didn’t try to tweak the game’s revenue model. It’s still a free download which requires a one time in-app purchase of $10 to unlock the levels beyond worlds 1-4.
However, the most notable part of the update to version 2.0 on iOS is that Nintendo has made more of the game free to play, the App Store description says. Now, if users complete one of Bowser’s challenges, they can unlock the previously locked course 1-4. Plus, if you clear the courses 1-4, you’ll get more courses to play in Toad Rally.
Version 2.0 was simultaneously released to the Apple App Store when it hit Android. The update also brings new playable characters, including different colors of Yoshi. Plus, you can play Toad Rally with a Yoshi of a particular color to get more Toads of that color. And the game is adding new buildings, making it easier to get Rally Tickets in the Bonus Game House, and adjusted the ease of play in some areas, among other tweaks.
But it will be interesting to see how Super Mario Run’s Android release affects Nintendo’s revenues – especially given that iOS users tend to spend more money on games and in-app purchases than those on Android.
At the time of its launch, there was pent-up demand for Super Mario on mobile, which is what allowed the app to surge to the top of the App Store after its release, earning 5 million downloads on its first day live. That demand in the market has been at least partially satiated now, and many regular gamers found they completed Mario in a matter of days.
But with the update, Mario has again gotten a little pop on iOS. The app is now the #9 free overall app on the App Store as of this morning, up from #49 over the weekend.