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Investor Briefing (Jan. 2017): Kimishima on Super Mario Run, Miitomo

During the usual meeting with investors, which always follows the presentation of the latest financial results, Nintendo talked about their smart device business, and more precisely Super Mario Run and Miitomo.

First, Tatsumi Kimishima began by reminding investors about the three goals of Nintendo’s efforts in the mobile space:

  • use smart devices to increase the number of people who have access to Nintendo’s IPs;
  • make money;
  • generating synergy with the dedicated video game systems to “maximize the potential of Nintendo’s overall business strategies”.

Naturally, their plans involve providing a high-quality game experience, optimized for smart devices. And it looks like it’s working so far… at least, for Super Mario Run. A few weeks ago, Nintendo announced that the game had been downloaded over 40 million times in only 4 days: an all-time record for the App Store.

And it’s not over: as of today, Super Mario Run has already been downloaded over 78 million times, almost twice as many times as during the first 4 days. What’s more, it’s only for the iOS version, since the game will not be available on Android before March. It may actually top 100 million downloads by then.

Unfortunately, download numbers may be rather impressive, it’s a different story for purchases. According to Tatsumi Kimishima, the number of people who have purchased the game “has grown relatively slowly compared to the overall growth in downloads.” And yes, they’re aware of the kind of reviews they received from customers who found out they had to pay to keep playing.

Nintendo’s goal is to turn Super Mario Run into an evergreen app, that can be enjoyed by everyone. To do so, Nintendo is going to take several steps to make sure it can be enjoyed for a long time, and not just for players who do end up buying it (though obviously, they’re also going to find ways to convince players to buy the full thing).

Here’s some of the initiatives they have planned:

  • they added an Easy Mode with the latest update, released the other day (removes the timer, and gives unlimited bubbles, allowing players to play at their own pace). This one is for people who haven’t played a Mario game in a long while. After all, what may seem easy for long-time players may feel like obstacles to players who haven’t played a Mario game in years;
  • there will be periodic events like the Gold Goombas one (which started today);
  • they lowered the amount of Toads you lose when defeated in Toad Rally.

To convince more people to buy the full game, Nintendo is also planning the following (which will also benefit paying customers):

  • introduce the diverse gameplay and new player characters you get after purchasing the full game;
  • improve the tutorial, so that players can better understand how to play, what they can do with the playable characters, etc.;
  • add mode introduction and hint display;
  • release How to Play videos.

Using feedback and play records, Nintendo is also collecting information on the places players have issues with.

In the future, Nintendo will increase the number of countries Super Mario Run is available (for example, it was released today in South Korea), and launch the game on Android (in March).

About Miitomo, Tatsumi Kimishima didn’t say much, just that the major update released in November led to “an increase in active user volume”. In other words: more players were playing the game on a regular basis. As such, they plan to keep releasing new updates regularly, such as Ver. 2.2, which will be available “soon”. Unfortunately, we don’t know what this update will add and/or change.

Source: Nintendo


Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat.

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