1. Thunderrise
  2. Blog
  3. Super Mario Runs into Trouble
Super Mario Runs into Trouble

Super Mario Runs into Trouble


No more champagne and the fireworks are through. How are you doing, Mario? Feeling lost or feeling blue? Does a pinch of nostalgia nibble on your now 3D soul?
New Year is a new beginning, a point to recite your story and make substantial conclusions. Thunderrise Dev Team made some. And because of that a new Mario game came to life. Hope you will enjoy it. And we continue about Mario's adventure...

how to develop game like super mario run

The journey run so far

The history of our Italian plumber has started in the early 1980’s. Super Mario was created by a Japanese artist Shigeru Miyamoto on demand of Nintendo's President Hiroshi Yamauchi, who was looking for new ideas and technologies. That’s how the first version Donkey Kong was created, a story about a man, his girlfriend and his pet gorilla. The main character is a “Jump Man”, he can move left and right, overleap obstacles or jump from one platform to other. The game turned out to be different from major video games of that time and that is why it became a hit.

Two years later in 1983 Miyamoto created Mario Bros. It was about new hero - Luigi, a blood brother of Mario. What’s more, it is the first game in which Mario couldn’t die by falling.

The third variant was Super Mario Brothers, that was released in 1985. But of course, you surely know this game and maybe even better than I do! You can recognize its music from opening notes and start smiling while feel nostalgic warm emotion bubbling inside of you. No surprise Super Mario Bros. is the best selling video game franchise of all time with over 222 million units sold across all genres and platforms.

Incredible, isn’t it? And really nostalgic. This nostalgic feeling is what made millions of people foretasted new 3D Mario debut on iPhone. They patiently waited for three months and finally got their long awaited game on December, 15 along with tons of questions. And now let’s try to ask and answer them right.

Love of millions of fans from all over the world with assistance of Apple presentation and promotion campaign has done an essential part in attaining seemingly amazing stats of Super Mario Run. That’s how moustachioed plumber has beaten App Store download score record that previously was set by another child of Nintendo - Pokemon Go. Mario reached 2.85 million point of downloads on release date that’s three times greater than 900k downloads of Pokemon Go. More than that, the number increased fifteenfold up to 40 millions downloads in just four days. It seemed that inevitable success is guaranteed. But at the lapse of a week Mario obviously fell by the wayside and gave away the ground. Once most downloaded app in 138 countries and most profitable in 49 countries now barely reaches top of free apps list in 88 countries.

Android version of Super Mario Run is announced to be released soon in 2017. But because of impression Super Mario Run made on iPhone users, rumors about cancellation of Android version release began to ooze out. Partly it might be the cause why Nintendo made available registration for release notification on Google Play on December, 29.

how to create runner game super mario run

By 4th of January current data on Super Mario Run release:

  • 1,5 star rating on App Store;
  • 90 million downloads in the first month;
  • 3% conversion;
  • 30 million revenue;


  • Nintendo shares slump per 20% and still hang on that level
  • market value decreased by 5.7 billion $.

Now that’s a real trouble that should be fixed by our heroic plumber.

On the contrast here is some data on Pokemon GO:

  • 900.000 downloads on the release day;
  • 50 million downloads in two weeks;
  • daily time spent in Pokemon Go by average iOS User amounts 33 minutes per day, it’s more than Facebook shows - 23, Instagram - 16;
  • 1,6 million dollars money spent in-game daily;
  • Nintendo's market value was increased by 9 billion $ within five days of release;
  • 2 million $ net profit per day.

Statistics of these two games - Super Mario Run and Pokemon Go - gives full idea on how successful Pokemon Go was and currently is and how messy Super Mario Run debuted.

Mario K.O. Pikachu wins! Clear victory!

pokemon go rules

They say, the higher you fly the harder you fall. And it seems Mario ran a bit too fast to notice his fans disappointment. What were the reasons behind such a dramatic fall? Is there something that could have GOne in a more Pokemon-ish way?

Running Italian plumber lacks:

  • runner instead of platformer play
  • without internet connection - no way
  • too easy to play
  • too much to pay

Average user simply considers runner a low-class genre to play on a smartphone and with a high chance will choose other game over a runner. Therefore engagement in ranner game apps are rather low and quick to pass.

Super Mario Run doesn’t work without internet connection. More to that, it seems to consume over 60 MB per hour. Now, that’s irritating and hard to come to terms with. Also no Super Mario Run in the subway. Nintendo developers insisted that it’s the way to prevent fraud issues and to provide updates as fast. Still, it turned out to be too uncomfortable for majority of players.

Another disliked by so many factor is game’s simplicity. It’s a child’s play, really. All the 24 levels within 6 worlds can be passed within hour. Mario jumps over little obstacles by himself, jumping into pit doesn’t mean death anymore, instead Mario flies over in bubble and continues his run. Jeez, it’s no fun.

But the main reason behind the app’s decreasing stats is considered to be the $9.99 price tag. Though the game marked as free in App Store, only first three levels are available to play for free. App researching group Apptopia argues that Nintendo would have made additional 20 million $ in December alone, if the price for the game was 2$. So the drop-off wasn’t a complete surprise for Nintendo since they have chosen a business model that generates most of the money up front.

I guess we are missing the point of Nintendo way of thinking. The real aim in releasing Super Mario Run is not so much as making money, but to engage new public, acquaint it with Mario - Nintendo’s mascot. Though game conversion rate equaled only 3%, Mario introduction to 90 million people can be viewed as sufficient mobile game success for Nintendo.

What could be improved:

  • encourage mutual gameplay by gifting option for friends and potential to visit a friend’s Kingdom would;
  • reduce the game price;
  • change main character’s style and make new bestseller game app that breaks all possible records tenfold
pikachu and mario emerge into best nintendo characted

If you want to try to develop an app similar to Super Mario Run or Pokemon Go, for example Super Pikario Go, the Thunderrise Dev Team is at your service! Have a nice day!