Nintendo Stock Craters As Super Mario Run Falls Flat

Video game giant Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTC:NTDOY) was hoping for a smash hit with its new Super Mario Run game for Apple devices, but the public reception of the game has been mixed at best.

Nintendo’s first-ever game for smartphones is free to download initially, but after completing the first three levels, users must pay $10 to unlock the full game. According to early channel checks, far fewer consumers than originally anticipated are willing to fork over those funds. From Bloomberg:

“A $10 upfront cost to unlock the game is a huge ask and one that flies in the face of current mobile games being free-to-play,” said Daniel Ahmad, an analyst for researcher Niko Partners. “The first three levels are not very long and the payment screen doesn’t seem to make it abundantly clear what the user is getting in return for that $10 purchase.”

The game currently has a mediocre rating of two-and-a-half stars out of five on Apple’s App Store. Most user complaints focus on both the price and the overly-simplistic game play that doesn’t hold up to the old school Mario games that hundreds of millions of gamers have enjoyed over the years.

The company has also fallen under criticism for releasing the game only on Apple’s iOS platform, eschewing the much larger Android user base until a later date. Back in September, when the game was announced, Nintendo shares surged over 21% on hopes it could be a huge sales driver.

Analysts expect the game to generate between $200 million and $360 million in revenue by the end of March, with the bulk of that money coming in soon after its release. Nintendo was hoping to have a $1 billion per year hit on its hands, but those hopes are quickly fading — as is its share price.

Nintendo shares have plunged precipitously since the game’s release late last week. Its U.S. listed shares fell over 10% on Friday alone, and were down another 4% in Monday morning trading.

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