'Super Mario Run' for iPhone reaps 40 million downloads amidst fears from investors

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Reviews of "Super Mario Run" are apparently causing turmoil with Nintendo stockholders, with the stock seeing about a 10 percent drop since release, despite the company releasing a statement praising the game's performance in less than a week of release.

Stock impact

On close of business on Dec. 14, Nintendo stock ended at 27,975 yen per share. At the end of the trading day on Dec. 20, the share price had fallen to 24,815 yen per share, with the Nintendo press release trumpeting the 40 million download figure not buoying the share price appreciably on Wednesday.

"Pricing was designed to reassure parents that they would be charged just once, not multiple times." - Nintendo, on "Super Mario Run" unlock.

The high for the company's stock on the year was on July 19 in the height of the "Pokémon Go" craze, with the stock hitting 31,770 yen per share. Days afterward, the stock lost half of its short-term gains after Nintendo reminded investors about the revenue sharing required for Pokémon Go.

The stock price drop has eradicated nearly all of the gains the stock has made since the low-key reveal of the company's forthcoming console, the Nintendo Switch.

App Store performance

As of Wednesday morning, "Super Mario Run" is sitting on top of Apple's Top Free Apps, and Top Grossing Apps leaderboards. "Pokémon Go" remains in the top 10 and is sitting in eighth place.

The two titles, "Super Mario Run" and "Pokémon Go," have different revenue models. "Super Mario Run" is entirely Nintendo's property and has a one-time $9.99 purchase which unlocks the game world, and gives the purchaser a minor boost in in-game currency. Revenue from "Pokémon Go" is shared by many parties, and reliant on in-game expendable purchases.

Nintendo hasn't made a statement on the percentage of players who are buying the upgrade to the full game. Analysts peg the number at between 5 and 9 percent, a bit higher than other games with a single in-app purchase instead of consumable buys.

"Pricing was designed to reassure parents that they would be charged just once, not multiple times," said Nintendo about the pricing model for "Super Mario Run." "We hope to maximize the number of people who interact with our characters on mobile, to bridge them to console gaming and to create synergies."

Nintendo claims to have no plans to expand the game at this time.

"Super Mario Run" was revealed during the iPhone 7 debut event in September. Nintendo also promises titles relating to the "Fire Emblem" adventure series, and the "Animal Crossing" town builder on mobile in March 2017.

"Super Mario Run" is free to download from the App Store, though unlocking the full game requires a $9.99 purchase. The title is a 204-megabyte download to start, that rapidly swells as progress is made through the game.