To date Super Mario Run money made comes to an estimated $2.5 million, with projections of $400 million in the first month and $4 billion in the first year. Following a typical burst-and-falloff app sales curve however, the game will probably earn a more realistic $160 million in the first month and $1 billion in the first year.
Super Mario Run is a popular iPhone and iPad game that hit the market on 1/15/16. In its first day the game has an estimated 322,000 downloads. The app itself is free, but after a few levels players will have to decide whether to shell out $9.99 for worlds 1-6. The game differs vastly from the popular Pokemon GO in that it has no “real world” element, offers no menu of in-app purchases and doesn’t allow for a local advertising revenue model.
All Super Mario Run Money Made So Far
Super Mario Run Money Made
|Super Mario Run release date||12/15/16|
|Days since release date||1|
|Estimated downloads so far||322,210|
|Money per download||$9.99|
|Total Super Mario Run money earned so far||$2,575,102|
As of 12/15/16, Super Mario Run money made exceeds $2.57 million. The game has been on the market for one day. In that short amount of time it has already racked up an estimated 322,210 downloads. Actual download data for the game aren’t released to the media. The figure shown here is based on a crude calculation using the number of reviews as a base. So far 32,221 users have rated the app. Assuming about one in ten app users take the time to rate it gives us our 322,210 number. The actual figure could be as low as 50,000 or as high as one million.
The game is free to download, but after a few levels users must either stop playing or pay $9.99 for worlds 1-6. Assuming 80% of players shell out for the game, Super Mario Run has made $2.57 million so far.
Also see: Pokemon GO Money Made
What is Super Mario Run?
The Super Mario Run money story must of course include an explanation of why it’s making so much. The app features the extremely popular Mario character in a familiar coin-grabbing, high-jumping, monster-stomping gameplay. Players move through a series of worlds using battle tricks to defeat enemies and boss monsters. An avid gamer can finish the entire game in one day. Once the $9.99 feature is out of the way, there isn’t an endless parade of paid upgrades and purchases. Nintendo has said it intends to keep the game finite, which is a plus for parents weary from the nickel-and-dime app model.
Super Mario Run Projections
Super Mario Run Projections
|Projected downloads in first month (per Sensor Tower app analytics)||50,000,000|
|Super Mario Run unit cost||$9.99|
|Super Mario Run money IF it gets 50 million downloads in first month||$399,600,000|
|Projected downloads in first year (per one online analyst)||500,000,000|
|Super Mario Run money IF it gets 500 million downloads in first year||$3,996,000,000|
|MoneyNation projection for Super Mario Run downloads in first month||20,000,000|
|MoneyNation projection for Super Mario Run downloads in first year||134,864,218|
|MoneyNation money forecast for Super Mario Run first month||$159,840,000|
|MoneyNation money forecast for Super Mario Run first year||$1,077,834,827|
There are some pretty optimistic estimates and projections for Super Mario Run money out there on the web. According to Statista.com, App analytics firm Sensor Tower projects the game will see 50 million downloads the first month. One analyst forecasts the app will get 500 million downloads the first year. Those estimates are almost certainly too high. It’s true Super Mario Run already has over 32,000 reviews and possibly ten times as many downloads. That said, plenty of apps start out with this kind of gold rush at the outset, build for a month or two and then slowly decline.
Pie in the Sky
If Sensor Tower’s estimate of 50 million downloads the first month were true, we’d expect to see Super Mario Run make $399.6 million in revenue by mid-January. That’s based on the game’s $9.99 purchase price for worlds 1-6 and the assumption that 80% of players who download the app will pay up for those worlds. If the projection of 500 million downloads the first year holds true, the same math forecasts $3.99 billion in earnings.
A more realistic MoneyNation estimate forecasts 20 million downloads the first month and 134 million the first year. That suggests earnings for the game of $159 million in 30 days and just over $1 billion by the end of year one. While that’s not as pie-in-the-sky as other estimates, it’s still a big win for Nintendo, the game’s publisher.
What Do Investors Think About Super Mario Run?
So what do investors think about the Super Mario Run money potential? They’re not impressed.
One way to tell whether a product will be a success is to see what the stock market thinks. It’s not that “50 million monkeys can’t be wrong,” but the market is a great way to see how millions of people are placing their bets. A look at the graph below shows those investors as largely nonplussed by Super Mario Run.
The slight rise near the right side of the graph shows a small bump in Nintendo’s stock price in the days before the game’s release to the public. Since then the company’s stock has fallen again, showing investors don’t expect Super Mario Run’s earnings to be worldshaking.
As an example of how the market can flub, the big spike back in July happened as Pokemon GO was released. Investors saw the early success of that game and mistakenly assumed Nintendo owned it. While the stock price slipped when they realized their mistake, it didn’t fall all the way back to its previous level, possibly because Nintendo does own a share of the rights to the game.
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How Does Super Mario Run Make Money?
Super Mario Run makes its money from a single in-app purchase, though that’s a bit misleading. The game is technically free to buy, but contains only a few levels. Once those levels are played, app users must pay $9.99 for an in-app purchase that unlocks worlds 1-6.
Essentially, the game costs $9.99, but players can give it a test drive for free.
Nintendo has said the game won’t feature an endless string of in-app purchases. The company has no plans to use the game to milk players for more and more money. Instead, it really does seem to be a single-time purchase for a short-lived game. That’s most likely a refreshing offer to parents, especially in the few days before Christmas when gift-buying gets frantic.
Super Mario Run Money vs Pokemon GO
The Super Mario Run money model differs vastly from the Pokemon GO revenue setup. Pokemon GO is a new kind of mobile game that really takes advantage of the mobile component both as entertainment and earnings source.
Pokemon GO is free to buy, then players can pay money to upgrade their powers and resources. That’s one way the game makes money, but by far the biggest potential is the app’s ability to turn web traffic into foot traffic. Namely, Pokemon GO requires its players to venture out into the real world and do battle in Pokemon Go Gyms. Those gyms can be set to any location in the real world, and the game’s makers sell that feature for a price. Starbucks famously entered into a deal with the game recently to make thousands of its locations into Pokemon Gyms.
By contrast, Super Mario Run is a traditional mobile game. It has no foot-traffic component and no potential to woo marketing dollars from chain stores, restaurants and mom-and-pop businesses. It doesn’t make money from lots of in-app purchases. The game costs a finite $9.99 and once users pay that, they’re done giving money to the game’s makers.
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Is Super Mario Run Worth the Money?
Super Mario Run appears to be worth the money. CNET gives the game a high rating and calls it a fantastic mobile game, if not revolutionary.
The game has six worlds with plenty of action, though the avid gamer can finish it in one day. That doesn’t mean the $9.99 price is too high, since most books cost that and an avid reader can burn through one of those in a day too.
The app doesn’t work unless it’s connected to the internet, so that may be a downside for some shoppers. There’s no evidence yet that Super Mario Run will drive up a user’s phone bill, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
The game also doesn’t have a huge amount of levels for the money. That said, it gets high marks from reviewers as definitely worth the $9.99 asking price.
Super Mario Run Download Projections
The table below shows our Super Mario Run money and download projections for the next 12 months. Based on a spike-and-fade model seen by a lot of other hugely popular apps, we expect the game to make $1.077 billion in the first year. That’s based on about 10 million downloads in the first two weeks, 20 million in January, 30 million in February and then gradually less each month after that. The chart and table below show our first-year projections for the game.
Super Mario Run Projected Downloads
|Total Super Mario Run Downloads First Year||134,864,218||$1,077,834,827|