A Mario game for mobile... About time, right? I would have thought the recent success of Pokemon Go established the recipe for bringing old and beloved IPs to mobile; faithful reproduction of IP in game, proven game mechanics with a twist, and the latest Free to Play (F2P) monetisation techniques.
It's surprising, then, that Nintendo has decided to release Super Mario Run as a paid download, rather than F2P. These days, F2P is the dominant business model for mobile games. As of today there is not a single 'paid' app in the top 50 highest grossing games for iPhone. Unlike Pokemon Go, which was published by experienced mobile studio Niantic, Super Mario Run is being published by Nintendo. Could Nintendo's decision to release Mario Run as a paid app be because Nintendo lack F2P monetisation expertise? When Nintendo first announced it was developing mobile games in 2015, it said all its forthcoming games would be F2P, (and was partnering with mobile studio DeNA for their mobile expertise), so I wonder what has driven the change in direction.
Worth noting: Super Mario Run will be a paid download with no in-app purchases, which runs counter to the business model of most games on the App Store. It's also a key difference from Niantic's lucrative Pokémon Go game, which is free to download with the ability to spend real money for in-game currency. (Apple announced Pokémon Go for the Apple Watch on Wednesday, too.) Super Mario Run will be available in Apple’s App Store “in time for holidays” later this year, but we still don’t know how much it will cost.