‘Super Mario Run’ Launches On iPhone And iPad Amid Massive App Store Purge

Super Mario Run’s release date is set for December 15, 2016, for iPhone and iPad users. As the iconic mascot of Nintendo, Mario has seen over 100 unique titles over the last several decades, and as a property is the longest running franchise in video game history. In fact, 2016 marks Mario’s 35th birthday. Mario first appeared in the Nintendo arcade classic Donkey Kong in 1981, but it was 1983’s Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System that made Mario a household name.

Aside from the Atari 5200/7800, PC, and a few other obscure consoles like the Phillips CD-i, Mario has been exclusive to Nintendo manufactured hardware. However, Wired reports, Super Mario Run is exclusive to the iPhone and iPad for now, but will be going to Android devices next year. The title will mark the first time that Nintendo has exclusively released a Mario game on a platform it did not own. In 1994, Nintendo licensed the property to Phillips for use on its CD-i gaming system, but the singular release, Hotel Mario, was so terrible even Mario would rather forget about it.

Super Mario Run’s launch will come in the middle of Apple’s massive App Store purge, which began in October.

According to Digital Trends, “The company announced in September that it would be removing apps that no longer worked as intended or didn’t follow guidelines from the App Store.”

As of October 31, almost 50,000 apps had been deleted from the store since the purge began. Games were hardest hit, accounting for 28 percent of the removals. That is a huge chunk considering that the Entertainment category had the second most deletions at around nine percent and Books came in third at 8.96 percent.

The removal of apps is not anything new or alarming, and should not effect new apps like Super Mario Run. Apple deletes old neglected apps all the time. However, the frequency of removals in the last month has increased 200-300 percent over the averages set between January and September. The purge was not a surprise either. Digital Trends reported that Apple announced that it would be purging abandoned apps and sent notice to app developers that they would have 30 days to update their programs.

While the first month of removals did see a significant number of deletions, the purge is predicted to go on for at least a few months. Despite the massive housekeeping effort, the App Store is expected to continue growing. If growth remains consistent, analysts predict by the year 2020 the store could be host to over 5 million applications, even with regular removals. That is double the size that it is today.

The purge is not expected to cause any delays or problems in purchasing Super Mario Run or any other app. The store is functioning properly at this time and will continue to operate correctly throughout the process of removals. So Nintendo can rest assured that Mario will be at the fingertips of everyone without delays or hiccups.

Super Mario Run features minimalistic controls. Mario runs automatically, and the player taps the screen to make him jump to avoid obstacles. It is a control scheme mimicked from other similar games and is well-suited for mobile devices where often only one hand is available. The app is free to download, and players can play the first few levels, but the full game costs $9.99.

Interestingly, the price point seems to be a bone of contention among gamers. According to a survey conducted by IGN, over half those polled said they are unwilling to pay that much for the simplified game and would rather wait for a price reduction. Out of 12,582 respondents, only 5,986 said they were willing to pay $10 for Super Mario Run.

However, having 47.58 percent of the demographic willing to make the $10 purchase on day one is not too bad. Even if the potential purchaser pool were only one million users (a very conservative estimate), that would equate to sales of about $4.8 million on launch day, and Nintendo is certainly going to milk it for all it is worth. The company may choose to hold out on those waiting for a price drop. Delaying reductions in price is a sound strategy that often leads procrastinators to a purchase, but only as long as reviews support the game’s value.

Super Mario Run launches on iPhone and iPad in less than a month on December 15. Android users will have to wait until next year to get the game.

[Featured Image by Bob Riha, Jr./Nintendo via Getty Images]