A poster for the release of the mobile game: Super Mario Run.

Nintendo forgets that they are selling on mobile.

I woke up this morning to the news of Super Mario Run’s imminent arrival. As Nintendo posted the image you see above on Facebook, touting a December 15th release date and a price of $9.99, I noticed the angry face icon on the post. Quickly, I click on the comments section to find a flurry of gamers somewhat enraged about the price. It just goes to show that even Nintendo can’t escape the mobile woes.

Mobile Gaming Is a Completely Different Ecosystem

When we talk mobile gaming, this does not include handheld consoles. They are two completely different platforms, with mobile offering more possibilities. Mobile is on our phones, games are easy to download and they’re cheap. This creates a certain level of expectation when comes to download games on your mobile device.

You expect games to either be free or worth less than a dollar. That’s just the way it goes. Mobile gamers will be damned if they pay any more than this amount for a game on their phone. If they do, it better come fully featured with hours worth of gameplay. It’s this level of expectation that creates terrible games that are “free-to-play” or filled with microtransaction.

Super Mario Run gameplay.

The Reaction to Super Mario Run

So here is what Nintendo is offering with Super Mario Run:

  • World Tour: The main campaign featuring 6 worlds (24 courses).
  • Toad Rally: An online challenge mode that lets you compete for the highest score online.
  • Kingdom Builder: Create and decorate your own kingdom using the coins you’ve earned.

Nintendo is trying to use quality to justify their price. However, with what they are offering, and the platform they are offering it on, it is just not going to work out. The funniest part about this game is that if it were on the 3DS, no one would bat an eye.

We’ll see if diehard Nintendo fans will prevail and usher in Super Mario Run’s success. I’m not as jaded as most mobile gamers, but even I have found myself questioning the price. Maybe if it were $4.99 I’d buy it. However, when someone opens the app store and see the $9.99 price tag, it will make them think twice about whether they want it or not.

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