Super Mario Run was a cross-platform excitement machine prior to release, leaving mobile gamers and Nintendo console fans alike waiting with bated breath since its announcement at the Apple event earlier this year. And its actual launch has been unsurprisingly polarizing, earning glowing reviews from some and disappointment from others. It’s earned love, hate, and everything in between after barely 24 hours on the App Store.
But if there’s one constant we can agree on, it’s that people want to see what the hype is about for themselves. According to App Annie as reported by Polygon, Super Mario Run was downloaded 10 million times worldwide yesterday, with 4.7 million downloads in the U.S. alone. That’s in addition to the 20 million “notify” requests it had already received prior to the game’s actual launch, despite the fact that Super Mario Run was the first game to offer that unexpected feature on the App Store.
Being a free download certainly didn’t hurt these numbers, as putting its full unlock $9.99 price tag upfront would have surely reduced the number of willing installs by a significant amount. But App Annie claims Nintendo has already made at least $4 million off the game, indicating a lot of those free trials turned into full purchases less than 24 hours later. And despite not having a true way to play with or against your social circle, the social media hooks of adding friends and comparing high scores is expanding that total constantly, alerting the few people who hadn’t heard of Super Mario Run before today via their friends’ feeds.
Will Super Mario Run and Nintendo be able to maintain this momentum? It’s hard to say. Miitomo had 3 million global downloads in its first 24 hours but the active user base dropped off quickly in the following weeks. But its place as a social app without much socialization puts it in a different category than the replayable platformer pull of Super Mario Run. We’ll be keeping an eye on where Nintendo and the App Store go from here, but despite the mixed reactions, this is a very strong start for the mustachioed one on mobile.