Super Mario has started running and jumping on iPhones. But Nintendo needs to do more to sprint ahead.
The long-awaited “Super Mario Run” arrived on iOS devices Thursday, and the game jumped to the top of Apple’s
charts within hours. Yet investors sent shares of Nintendo
, the creator of the Italian plumber, down the drain Friday, hitting an intraday low of ¥26,030 before closing at ¥26,405, down some 4%.
Expectations for the game, the first mobile game featuring the iconic character, have been high following the “Pokémon Go” frenzy over the summer. The pocket-monster catching game was a smash hit and had sent Nintendo’s share price to its highest level since 2010. Nintendo didn’t develop the game, but owns minority stakes in the companies that did. “Super Mario Run” is developed by Nintendo in-house, with the help of another Japanese company called DeNA.
Disappointing for investors is the game’s payment model. The first few levels of the game are free and the rest is available for a one-time fee of $9.99. The pricing plan was known ahead of the launch, but some may have held out that there would have also been some in-app purchases, the kind that power revenue for most mobile games.
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