Much to the disappointment of Android users, Nintendo released their first fully-fledged mobile game Super Mario Run exclusively on Apple’s iOS devices in December 2016. Since then, the Japanese company has continued to promise that the game will make its way to Android, despite providing no concrete release date.
According to the Verge, the wait is over for Android users, with Nintendo America revealing that the first mobile iteration of their Super Mario franchise is heading to non-iOS devices this week, on March 23. The release of Super Mario Run on Android will mark the end of Nintendo’s timed exclusivity deal with Apple, which saw the game release first on iOS devices after Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage at Apple’s September 2016 keynote address to announce the new partnership.
With the release of Super Mario Run on Android, Nintendo also appears to be providing iOS users with an incentive to return to the game. According to Engadget, the Android edition of the touchscreen runner will launch alongside version 2.0 of the game. Super Mario Run’s first major update will introduce additional character choices beyond the current six and Nintendo has also teased additional content, including possible new levels, however, players will have to wait until the update’s release on March 23 to find out more.
There’s also some good news for those who want to try Super Mario Run without dropping any cash. Version 2.0 will now let free players tackle World 1-4 if they complete a challenge, which will give them a taste of the game’s first boss battle, a move that Nintendo hopes will entice more players to pay that one-time fee to unlock the full game.
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That aforementioned timed exclusive certainly appears to have paid off for both Nintendo and Apple. Despite only being available for the smaller of the two dominant mobile platforms, between its release on December 15, 2016, and the end of January 2017, the game managed to rake in over $53 million in revenue between Nintendo and Apple. That’s also despite Nintendo initially receiving criticism for the vastly different approach it took to monetising Super Mario Run on iOS, charging a hefty $9.99 for players to unlock the full game’s content after the trial content.
Nintendo is yet to confirm exactly why it chose to bring Super Mario Run to iOS devices first, however, it’s thought to be because of the easier development process for Apple’s platform. Whilst there’s a vast number of Android devices for Nintendo to optimize Super Mario Run for, that’s not the case with iOS.
iOS users are also widely seen as more willing to pay for a mobile application, which given Super Mario Run’s hefty $9.99 price tag, is something Nintendo would want to take advantage of. Out of 78 million total downloads, more than five percent of Super Mario Run users were happy to fork out for the full game. Games consultant Serkan Toto told the Wall Street Journal that this is “amazing” for a game with one in-app purchase at just under $10, with most developers struggling to hit five percent, even with $1 and $2 purchases.
Super Mario Run does, of course, have the advantage of an extremely recognizable brand name. Nintendo is also set for a further boost in profits when it releases the touchscreen runner on Android devices next week, with Google’s mobile platform having a much larger user base, even if those users are more reluctant to fork out for the full game.
Super Mario Run hits Android devices on March 23, with version of 2.0 of the game, which will release on iOS on the same day.
[Featured Image by Nintendo]