Nintendo Relies on Nostalgia and Releases ‘Super Mario Run’ on the iPhone and iPad

The game that is familiar to every modern adult is seen as risky but still crucial for the Japanese gaming giant.

Nintendo is reported to release Super Mario Run on Apple’s iOS. The popular game that has been part of the childhoods of most of today’s adults features the beloved Italian plumber overcoming multiple obstacles. The nostalgia factor adds to the popularity of the game.

“Super Mario Run’s positive news already priced into the current stock price … I’m a bit cautious,” Eiji Maeda, analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities, told CNBC.

Nintendo shares dropped just as investors struck a note of caution ahead of the game release. Maeda has a price target of 22,000 yen ($186.92) on Nintendo’s stock, representing a 20 percent decline from Thursday’s close. Year-to-date, Nintendo’s share price is up over 64 percent. The gaming giant’s stock closed at 27,575 yen Thursday, down 1.43 percent for the session.

Super Mario Run is available for download but costs $9.99 to unlock the full game. According to forecasts, the game can earn more than $71 million only for the first month. Pokemon Go achieved twice as much for the same period.

Maeda estimated that 15-20% of users are expected to pay for the game. He predicts that Mario will get around 150 million to 200 million downloads for approximately three months, which means 30-40 billion yen of revenues.

“But if Super Mario Run fails to hit expectations of users paying, the stock will fall”, said the analyst. “If the pay rate is over our expectation, it’s a positive surprise. If it’s lower it will be a disappointment for our consensus and stock price”.

So far, the Nintendo’s presence on theу mobile game market has been rather profitable. Its earlier projects were successful – social media app Miitomo did well, while Pokemon Go was smash hit. Although Pokemon Go developed by Niantic, Nintendo has a stake in.

Super Mario Run was developed by Nintendo in the cooperation with DeNA.

Time will show if users will spend money to purchase the full version of the game. Analysts rely on the Nintendo’s strong brand saying that the company has all chances to make Super Mario Run a success.

“After a long period of having no clearly defined mobile strategy, Nintendo is entering the mobile games market at an opportune time. Right as the market is cluttered by an abundant offering, the Japanese giant enters with a highly-visible franchise. Beyond the success for Nintendo, other publishers will be watching to see if a $10 premium model will work on mobile from here on out,” said Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData Research. “The nostalgia factor plays a key role here, as an entire generation of gamers suddenly, and finally, finds itself able to play one of their childhood franchises on their phone, two weeks before the holidays.”

There is one more reason why the success of Super Mario Run is so important for Nintendo. In fact, it can have a positive impact on the console business. The gaming giant is going to sell its upcoming console called Nintendo Switch next year. The release of Switch is crucial for Nintendo as its previous handheld console the Wii U has been unsuccessful.

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