Pokémon GO has been an incredible success since its launch in July, topping the download charts for weeks on end in dozens of countries around the world and smashing mobile revenue records, while also re-igniting interest in the brand as a whole and boosting 3DS hardware and software sales. Just a few months after Pokémon made its splash in the mobile market, another big name is poised to do the same when Super Mario Run launches in December.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that his company has high expectations for the auto-running Mario mobile game. Having seen the success of Pokémon GO, Nintendo is working hard to make Super Mario Run just as popular just as quickly.
"In terms of expectations, we all saw what happened when we delivered Pokemon Go. And honestly I was quite surprised by it myself. There's no doubt that more people are using smartphones to play games. And as this time we're using Mario, that's a very important intellectual property for us. And that's what Miyamoto's team is working on now: making sure it spreads out just as quickly as Pokemon Go." — Tatsumi Kimishima
Kimishima continued by pointing to the 20 million people signed up to be notified when Super Mario Run launches as a positive sign.
So our expectations are big. And as Tim Cook mentioned, more than 20 million people have already registered to receive notifications when the game is available. In terms of the game itself, you can download it and play a certain part of it, and then pay a fixed price and then play it over and over as many times as you want without having to pay anything extra. And that should give peace of mind that kids can play it. And we're hoping that will help it become more popular." — Tatsumi Kimishima
Because Super Mario Run can be downloaded for free (giving users a trial version that can be upgraded to the full game with a one time payment), analysts believe it can easily reach 1 billion downloads. If a high percentage of those players enjoy the demo enough to pay for the full game, Nintendo stands to earn quite a bit of cash.