The 5 percent figure is about half as many paying users as Nintendo had estimated. Nintendo made 6 billion yen (that's about $53, £42 or AU$70 million) from Super Mario Run, but that number could have doubled if it hit its target. Last summer's hit, Pokemon Go -- which Nintendo didn't make, but gets a small slice of -- generated over $143 million and was downloaded 32 million times in its first month on the iOS App Store.
A version of Super Mario Run for Android will be out in March, which could help boost numbers.
Two different payment approaches might explain why Pokemon Go did better. While Super Mario Run charged upfront to unlock every level after the first five, Pokemon Go offered several in-app purchases that cost less, but could be bought multiple times.
That higher initial price tag may have been what drove people away from paying. App analysts have noted that it's hard to convince mobile gamers to pay "large" sums of money upfront ($10 versus $2 or $3), even if it's a fraction of what console games cost.
But that doesn't mean the world's favorite mustachioed plumber has failed his mission. Pokemon Go's real victory was in invigorating interest in the Pokemon franchise and leading to record sales of the games Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon (14.69 million units), Nintendo said in its earnings report. Super Mario Run could similarly boost sales of the (coming out March 3) and Super Mario Odyssey (slated for a holiday 2017 release) even if it doesn't generate millions on its own.
Nintendo's just getting started with mobile. It plans to release Fire Emblem Heroes February 2 (don't forget, there's a Fire Emblem game coming to the Switch), while the Animal Crossing mobile game has been pushed back as far as next fiscal year.
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