Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima seemed more open to the idea of releasing mobile games that follow the same ‘freemium’ model of Fire Emblem Heroes, during a Q&A with investors made public this week. The preference for that model comes after admiting the disappointing numbers of Super Mario Run, which has been revealed to have failed to transform its initial hype into a profitable venture.
Released on December 2016, Super Mario Run had a very promising launch, topping download charts all over the world. The game offered its first levels for free, while players were required to pay $9.99 to unlock the full game. However, Kimishima now admits that less than 10% of the 150 million downloads have turned into actual sales.
On the other hand, Fire Emblem Heroes launched last February as a free to play game which contained in-app purchases. Despite receiving only a tenth of the downloads of Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes has ended up with the higher earnings, teaching Nintendo a valuable lesson for future releases: “While there are consumers all over the world who want to play a Mario game, there are varying economic situations across the world, and some consumers are not able to pay for the game.”
Kimishima says that future Nintendo releases on mobile will explore more flexible ways of purchases aside of the single-payment: “In the future we will consider not only a single set price, but other methods that incorporate a wider variety of elements that allow as many consumers as possible to play.”
Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes are available for iOS and Android devices.