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Super Mario Run has Nintendo stock sinking

December 21, 2016 GMT

Nintendo Co Ltd’s first Mario smartphone title has set a download record but gamers balked at the one-time cost of unlocking content, prompting investors to push the Japanese game makers’ stock to a one-month low.

Super Mario Run hit 25 million downloads just four days after its Dec. 15 release in 151 countries on Apple Inc’s App Store, earning gross sales of about $21 million, showed data from app analyst Sensor Tower.

But Nintendo shares have lost 11 percent since the launch as the latest game to feature Nintendo’s princess-rescuing Italian plumber received negative reviews from users mainly complaining about its $9.99 one-time cost, rather than the usual model of paying small amounts for special features.

“Mario is arguably the most popular gaming franchise in the world, yet we see only about 8 percent of those who try the game actually purchasing it,” said Sensor Tower analyst Spencer Gabriel.

“I don’t think this is a statement on the game’s quality ... but rather the perceived value when compared to free-to-play games that offer much more content with optional microtransactions that enable players to experience it sooner.”

Super Mario Run is free to download on the App Store where, in Japan, it is rated 2.5 stars out of 5 based on 1,095 reviews.

“This is a fee app disguised as a free app,” wrote reviewer Racing Game Guy. “You need to pay after playing for 10 minutes. I don’t mind paying but the fee is a bit big. It’s a disappointment after waiting with so much expectation.”