Super Mario Run to Get ‘Biggest Update Ever’ and 50% Price Drop on Friday

Super Mario Run will receive its "biggest update ever" later this week, according to a sneak peek shared on the App Store this weekend.


A new gameplay mode called Remix 10 will include a set of 10 super-short sections from Super Mario Run's existing levels in quick succession. The stages are remixed with each attempt, with rainbow-colored bonus medals throughout.
Remix 10 has no Game Over screen, and even if you fail to complete a level, you'll just proceed to the next one without any penalty. This means new players can familiarize themselves with a variety of different levels easily and experts can attempt to collect every bonus medal for a perfect rating.
Finishing stages and collecting medals in Remix 10 mode gives players the chance to collect new items to decorate their Mushroom Kingdom, and eventually rescue the newly added character Princess Daisy.

Once rescued, Princess Daisy can be used as a playable character in all of Super Mario Run's other gameplay modes.
Daisy's special ability is to perform a double jump, opening up a brand new way to beat the stages you find trickiest, collect the coveted black coins, or race against other players in Toad Rally.
Super Mario Run will gain a brand new world called World Star, which has nine new levels that are unlocked once players have finished all of the existing stages in the six worlds of the World Tour.
These new levels are filled with new enemies, gameplay mechanics, and of course include pink, purple, and black coin-collecting challenges. Nintendo is promising surprises for even the most seasoned Super Mario Run players in this one.
The update will also allow Super Mario Run to be played while listening to any music in the background, rather than the game soundtrack only.

The update will be available on the App Store [Direct Link] on Friday, September 29, and on the same day, the $9.99 in-app purchase that unlocks the full game will be offered at "around 50% off" for a limited time.

About the Game


Super Mario Run is a runner designed for one-handed gameplay. Mario runs forward automatically as players tap to jump, collect coins, pounce on Goombas, avoid obstacles, and reach the flagpole at the end of each course before the timer runs out. In the end, Mario must rescue Princess Peach from the infamous Bowser.

(Thanks, Jesse L.!)


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‘Super Mario Run’ 2.1 Update Adds New Buildings and Game Center Achievements

Super Mario Run received a point one update late on Monday, bringing some additional enticements for newcomers and offering long-time fans new reasons to continue playing the game.

Probably the biggest upgrade to the runner is the addition of several new buildings up for collection. These include the 8-bit Bowser Statue, Bullet Bill Statue, Bob-omb, and many more.


Elsewhere, players can now use their Miitomo character as their player icon, Game Center achievements have been implemented, and it's now possible to find friends from a linked Nintendo account.

In addition, the maximum number of Toads that can live in a player's kingdom has been increased to 99,999, providing plenty of reasons for gamers to keeping on running.

Super Mario Run is a free download, with a $9.99 in-app purchas to unlock the full content, available for iPhone and iPad on the App Store. [Direct Link]


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Nintendo Prefers Super Mario Run Pay-Once Model, Calls Freemium Structure of Fire Emblem Heroes an ‘Outlier’

As Nintendo keeps launching new properties onto smartphones, the company has taken different strategies in regards to each app's payment model, including free-to-play (Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes) and pay-once-and-play (Super Mario Run). According to a senior official at the company, Nintendo actually "prefers" the Super Mario Run model over Fire Emblem Heroes, despite the more lucrative future that Fire Emblem Heroes' in-app purchases have in store for Nintendo (via Nikkei).

According to Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, Super Mario Run's revenue "did not meet" the company's expectations. Ahead of the game's release, it was reported that Nintendo was eyeing a pay-once model so that parents could download Super Mario Run for their kids without the added anxiety of in-app purchases appearing later in their iTunes purchase history.


It appears that the gaming company still intends for most of its future apps to follow in Super Mario Run's footsteps and not those of Fire Emblem Heroes, with a senior company official referring to Heroes as "an outlier" in the grand scheme of Nintendo's mobile strategy.
Yet [Super Mario Run] was less of a moneymaker for Nintendo than might have been expected, due to the pay-once-and-play model. Revenue from the game "did not meet our expectations," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said.

Even so, Nintendo has no intention of switching focus to freemium games. "'Heroes' is an outlier," a senior company official said. "We honestly prefer the 'Super Mario Run' model."
The company is believed to care more about expanding the reach of its intellectual properties to a wider audience and "aims to do more with its smartphone games than make money." Another goal for Nintendo is to mine the potential synergy future apps could have with the new Switch console, where players pick up the app to get hooked, and are convinced to further explore -- and spend more money -- on a larger version of the game.

According to Nikkei, the long-term success of Super Mario Run will be measured in how well it turns new Nintendo fans into console players and buyers: "The game's true value will be measured by how much it expands the ranks of Nintendo fans and helps sales of the Switch."

Last year, Isao Moriyasu -- Chief Executive of DeNA, Nintendo's mobile app developer partner -- said that the next two Nintendo apps would be "free-to-start apps," referring to Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing, which was recently delayed. Super Mario Run is technically free-to-start as well, allowing players to mess around with a few story levels and modes before asking for the monetary investment to unlock the full game. This week, that free section was expanded slightly in the game's version 2.0 update.

Players can purchase game-boosting "Orbs" in Fire Emblem Heroes

In terms of payment models, the distinction between Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run is clear, and it appears that Nintendo intends to keep focused on higher-priced gaming apps instead of the more popular freemium model. Looking towards the future, we still only know that Animal Crossing is set to appear next on mobile devices, likely sometime later this year. Unfortunately, today's news muddies the waters regarding that game's payment strategy, since it's now unclear whether it will lean towards Fire Emblem Heroes' freemium model, as Moriyasu said, or be part of Nintendo's preference for a pay-once option.

Super Mario Run launched in December and saw massive launch day download numbers, but the app has since dwindled down the Top Grossing charts for the Games section of the iOS App Store, amid users raising uncertainties over its $9.99 price tag and always-online requirements. At the time of writing, Super Mario Run is the 117th game on the Top Grossing Games list, while Fire Emblem Heroes sits at the 48th spot.


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Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario Run’ for iOS Updated With New Characters, Easy Mode and More Free Content

Nintendo today released version 2.0 of Super Mario Run, its popular Mario-themed platform game for iOS devices. Today's update adds a host of new features, including new playable characters, an easy mode, additional free content, and more.

Starting today, players can get different colored Yoshis in Super Mario Run. Using a Yoshi of a particular color to play Toad Rally will result in more Toads of that color when a rally is won.


For customers who have not purchased the full Super Mario Run game, Nintendo is adding more free content, in the form of Bowser's Challenges. Completing one of Bowser's challenges will unlock the previous locked 1-4 course. Clearing 1-4 will then unlock new courses to play in Toad Rally, new Toad colors, and new Shop buildings.

For tough challenges and for players who aren't as skilled, an Easy Mode has been added to the game that can be selected when using World Tour mode. This will make the basic Mario levels easier to complete.

Nintendo has also made adjustments to the tutorial to make it easier to understand special actions, pink coins, and more, and there have also been tweaks to the number of Rally Tickets received from the ? Block and it's now easier to get some of the buildings in the shop.

For Toad Rally, the appearance rates of various Toads have been adjusted, making it easier to get Toads to purchase buildings.

In the future, Nintendo also plans to add additional buildings that will be unlocked by an event.

Super Mario Run can be downloaded from the App Store for free, but it will cost $9.99 to unlock the full game. [Direct Link]


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Super Mario Run Updated With ‘Easy Mode’, Has Made $53M Over 78M Downloads So Far

Nintendo today rolled out an update to Super Mario Run that includes a collection of feature additions and bug fixes, along with a new "Easy Mode." The relaxed mode turns off time limits for each course and provides players with unlimited bubbles, so they can take as long as they want to complete a course and die as many times as needed to get past tricky sections.

The update comes the same day as Nintendo's third-quarter earnings call, where the company announced that Super Mario Run has been downloaded 78 million times globally since its release in December (via The Wall Street Journal). Although unspecified, Nintendo said that "more than 5 percent" of those users have gone on to pay the full $10 price tag required to unlock all of the content in the game, resulting in more than $53 million in revenue so far.

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“For a game that charges this much, the performance is pretty amazing,” said Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based mobile game consultant. He said even games that charge only a dollar or two for in-game items usually convert fewer than 5% of downloaders into paying customers.
Today's update to Super Mario Run also includes compatibility with Korean, new events, an adjustment to how many toads are lost and gained in Toad Rally, and more. A few days after the game launched last month, Nintendo began surveying some customers and asking their opinions on how much the game should cost, what modes they liked, and if they would play a sequel, suggesting that the company is willing to take constructive criticism regarding the largely negative feedback to the game's pay structure and tweak it for a potential Super Mario Run 2.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, some gamers remain satisfied with Nintendo's decision to lock most of the game's content behind a $10 pay wall.
However, some users said they liked the idea of paying $10 to unlock all the game functions, rather than paying $1 or $2 for some functions and constantly being pestered to spend more.

“It made me feel safe to download,” said Taku Ojima, a 24-year-old game fan who lives in Miyagi prefecture north of Tokyo, who said he hasn’t paid for extra functions on other free-to-download games.
Also taking place during its earnings call today, Nintendo confirmed that Animal Crossing for iOS would in fact not be launching before March 2017 as originally planned, and would be delayed until the following fiscal year. This means that players could see the game launch as early as April 2017, or as late as March 2018. On the bright side, Fire Emblem Heroes launches this Thursday, February 2.

Super Mario Run can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free before requiring the $9.99 price if players are interested in unlocking every level in the game. [Direct Link]


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‘Super Mario Run’ Survey Asks Players How Much Game Should Cost, If They Would Play Sequel

super-mario-run-icon-1Nintendo recently began sending email surveys to a few Super Mario Run players who linked the iOS game with their My Nintendo account, MacRumors has learned.

The 10-minute long survey asks basic questions pertaining to how users found out about the game, what modes they liked, and how much they are willing to pay for a game like Super Mario Run. The survey fluctuates between multiple choice and written answers.

The survey's construction and questions are similar to the ones Nintendo used to give out to Club Nintendo users so they could receive points to spend on exclusive merchandise from the company. Now, it appears Nintendo is aiming to discover for itself what players think of Super Mario Run, following a week of press that mostly centered around the opinion that $9.99 is too high a price for the amount of content presented within the game.

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With the new survey, players can now give Nintendo their own thoughts on the matter. One of the questions even asks if users would play a sequel to Super Mario Run "if one was released in the future." As of now, Nintendo is supposed to be gearing up to announce more information on the launch of Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem for iOS, both said to debut before March 2017 if the company's original plan from 2015 remains intact.

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The negative reactions to the pricing structure and online requirements of Super Mario Run have gone so far as to cause Nintendo's stock to lower earlier this week, with players rating the game a 2.5/5 on average on the App Store. Although news has been scarce, in May it was reported that Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem would adopt the free-to-play model, with users able to purchase in-game items and boosts of some kind after downloading at no cost.

Miitomo -- Nintendo's first true iOS game -- was free-to-play, but the user base slacked off precipitously after launch, with data suggesting "users didn't really get" the game and its basic, social network inspired gameplay loop.

Super Mario Run [Direct Link] got its first update this week, introducing a new "Friendly Run" mode where players can compete against ghosts of friends and family members, with the caveat that no coins or Toads can be collected during each run. There's also a few new holiday-themed items in the Kingdom Builder shop.

(Thanks, Dan!)


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Super Mario Run Reaches 25 Million Downloads as Nintendo Pushes Out New Game Mode

Popular iOS game Super Mario Run set a new download record yesterday, following its release last week on Thursday, December 15. According to app analyst Sensor Tower, the game hit 25 million downloads in just four days, which is faster than Pokémon Go, which took 11 days to reach the same number, although that game's initial launch was limited in terms of available territories.

SensorTower's current estimate puts paid users at approximately 2.1 million worldwide. By comparison, the paid game Lara Croft Go, launched in August 2015, has been downloaded approximately 280,000 times worldwide on the App Store since release.

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Image via SensorTower

"It can't be understated, however, that the vast majority of early Super Mario Run downloaders clearly find the full game pricing prohibitive, and we can only image how much better the conversion rate could be at $2.99 or even $4.99," said SensorTower in a blog post.

Nintendo investors have so far expressed disappointment with Super Mario Run, causing share prices in the company to lose 11 percent since its release. The declines stem from negative user reviews of the game on the iOS App Store, where it is currently rated 2.5 stars out of 5 based on 4,919 reviews. This has led to concerns over the game's one-time payment model, which eschews the typical model of paying various small amounts for select in-game features.
"Mario is arguably the most popular gaming franchise in the world, yet we see only about 8 percent of those who try the game actually purchasing it," Sensor Tower analyst Spencer Gabriel told Reuters.

"I don't think this is a statement on the game's quality ... but rather the perceived value when compared to free-to-play games that offer much more content with optional microtransactions that enable players to experience it sooner."
In spite of reports that Nintendo won't be adding extra features to Super Mario Run, the company today rolled out an update to its first iOS title that adds a new gameplay mode allowing users to compete with friends without paying any Rally Tickets.

Dubbed "Friendly Run", the new mode can be played up to three times daily for gamers who paid $10 for the full content and have cleared World 1, while those who have cleared World 2 get five Friendly Runs per day. Players of the trial version can also get in on the action as long as they have some friends added in the game, but the mode can only be played once a day until the in-app purchase is made.

As noted by MacRumors sister site TouchArcade, with no coins being earned and no Toads or enemy level-ups up for grabs, the new mode is essentially just a practice mode, but it does offer a new way to compete with friends, which should add longevity to the game.

Super Mario Run is available to download for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. [Direct Link]


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Nintendo Share Prices Decline in Reaction to ‘Super Mario Run’ Pricing and Internet Connection Criticisms

Nintendo and developer DeNA's shares have declined over the weekend in reaction to negative user reviews facing the new mobile game Super Mario Run, which currently averages a 2.5/5 star rating on the iOS App Store, based on around 54,000 user reviews. Shares in DeNA have gone down 14 percent since Super Mario Run launched on December 15, while Nintendo's stock has fallen about 13 percent in the same time frame.

Although many of the top reviews for the game remark on Super Mario Run's better qualities, the harshest criticism remains to be Nintendo's decision to make the game free-to-download, but $10 to unlock all of its content. Users can play nearly all of World 1 for free, but gaining deeper access to the remaining five Worlds, along with Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder modes, requires the $10 fee.

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Nintendo's argument has always been that the cost will help assuage parents' worries about their kids overspending on in-app purchases, but many users have now taken to the App Store to give the game a low score because of its cost. The always-on internet requirement has also been a sticking point for some players hoping to engage with the game during a commute.

A day after its launch, App Annie reported on the initial download numbers for Super Mario Run, and estimated that 10 million people downloaded the game, and that it made $4 million total in its first day of worldwide availability. Some have taken to comparing the game to Pokémon Go and its initial success, but as App Annie mentioned, the payment models of each game -- along with Pokémon Go's GPS-based gameplay -- means they "aren't truly comparable."
That said, it is important to bear in mind that Super Mario Run and Pokémon GO aren’t truly comparable. Pokémon GO follows a freemium model with optional in-app purchases to generate revenue. Its iOS revenue continued to grow in the following weeks as user engagement increased. Super Mario Run, on the other hand, offers a single $9.99 in-app purchase to unlock the full game. As a result, payments precede extended gameplay and, therefore, revenue is more likely to be concentrated early on in the game’s lifecycle.
According to App Annie, the real measure of the success of Super Mario Run will be in the weeks ahead as initial bulk downloads of the game at launch trail off, and shift towards mainstream users. "The ability to convert a meaningful percentage of these mainstream users into paying customers will be critical to Nintendo’s mobile ambitions."


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Apple’s ‘Notify’ Feature for the Release of Super Mario Run Was Far Too Late for Users

Shortly after Apple first revealed that Nintendo was bringing Super Mario Run to the iPhone and iPad, many users discovered that Cupertino was also using the game's highly anticipated release as a test run for a new "Notify" system in the App Store.

Upon searching for the title on their devices before it was available, users were given the option of tapping an orange "Notify" button where the Get button or price usually appears.

super mario run app store
Undoubtedly many users tapped or clicked the button thinking they would be first to play Nintendo's debut title on iOS. But the delay between the game's appearance in the App Store and the actual delivery of notification prompts has left many users skeptical of the feature.


For many, the notification came the day after the game had been officially released. Large numbers of people received it long after they had downloaded and purchased the full game. Others are apparently yet to receive the prompt they signed up to receive.

It's possible that the sheer volume of users visiting the App Store in excitement for Super Mario Run caused a system-wide lag that prevented the notifications from being pushed to end-users' devices. If so, some may wonder why Apple chose to test the Notify service on such a hugely anticipated title in the first place.

Conversely, Apple may have intentionally staggered the notifications to ease the load on its systems as gamers raced to download the app. In that case, the feature could prove a smart move on Apple's part for when big-name game publishers stoke up excitement for upcoming titles in the future.


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Hands-On With Nintendo’s New Super Mario Run Game

Nintendo today released its highly anticipated Mario-themed game, Super Mario Run. Super Mario Run offers simple one-handed gameplay in the form of a traditional runner crossed with platform game, but it adds complexity through coin-based score goals, competitions with friends, and a world building component.

While Super Mario Run is free to download, it costs $9.99 to unlock the complete game, which is pricy for an iOS title. We went hands-on with Super Mario Run so you can find out just what you get for that $10 investment before you shell out the cash.


The free component of Super Mario Run lets you try three levels of the standard Tour mode, which is a collection of Super Mario levels where the goal is to collect as many coins as possible. New and more difficult content goals are unlocked by collecting pink, purple, and black coins.

For $9.99, you unlock all six worlds, each of which features three standard levels and then a boss level, for a total of 24 levels. That price tag also gives you 3,000 coins and 20 Rally tickets.

Rally tickets are used for the Rally gameplay mode that lets you compete with other players to win Toad villagers. Rally mode is similar to Tour mode, but the goal is to get more coins and more applause than your opponents by doing tricks, defeating enemies, and grabbing bonuses.

Toad villagers and coins are both used to build out your Kingdom, adding decorations and little mini games to play. Mini games are small add-on games that give you coins and Rally tickets to put towards expanding your kingdom.

Super Mario Run is not a freemium game and does require the $9.99 investment to play the full game, but for Mario fans, the purchase is a no-brainer. It's a fun little iOS title that has a surprising amount of depth. [Direct Link]


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