10 thoughts on “Why Super Mario Run was destined to fail: Lifetime Value Part 24”

  1. I generally agree but EA has built a $250+ million annual F2P mobile games business off the back of The Simpsons: Tapped out and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. And Sony (Music) is now finding some success in the lucrative Japanese market. And perhaps as interesting as the failure of console game companies to find success in mobile, is the failure of F2P mobile game companies such as Glu, Gameloft and Kabam to capitalize on their initial success in the sector.


  2. Definitely right on EA, I was focused more on their missteps with Playfish and Popcap but they have a respectable mobile business (though barely significant compared with their overall business). I think your second point is more interesting, the bottom line is it is a very difficult business for everyone, but core game companies have even more headwinds.


  3. One thing I didn’t hear you mention was the game mechanic itself. While I agree with you on all the points you made, my experience was that I stopped playing before the first conversion moment in the game. The game was simply not fun. My guess is that their funnel shows players stopping before they reach the 3rd level. (I almost did just getting through their country, age gate, and login dialogs – horrible!)


  4. Nice article. But I think that Jim got the point. The game mechanic is what is missing here. Most of the successful F2P games include a F2P game mechanism which most likely will trigger IAP. Anyway I’m sure that NINTENDO will learn from that experience.


    1. I think the stock price says it all, for Nintendo this is a failure. They need mobile rev to move the needle and the rev from SMR is insignificant to them. Downloads don’t really matter in the free to play space. They are missing significantly their revenue numbers (hence why the stock price has dropped so much), retention is bad and reviews (which impact brand) are even worse. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-16/super-mario-run-debuts-at-no-1-as-nintendo-embraces-smartphones


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