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Super Mario Run has come to Android, and the Mario-loving, non-iPhone wielding community is very, very excited.
Despite Android having a much larger share of the mobile operating system market than iOS, Super Mario Run was originally released just for the latter.
The game was announced in September’s Apple Event by none other than Shigeru Miyamoto and caused a huge wave of excitement at the time, with a huge mention spike and more discussion than the Pokémon Go for Apple Watch announcement.
Now that iOS users have had a significant amount of time to enjoy the game, it’s the turn of Android users to get their hands (or hand) on the game.
A successful beginning
Super Mario Run is an addictive platform game that sends Mario (and other characters) sprinting through familiar environments in the pursuit of coins, mushrooms, and glory. A key plus-point is that you can play with just one hand, so it’s perfect for bus journeys and avoiding the attention of teachers in class.
While there are a few caveats as to why you can’t easily compare the early performances of Super Mario Run with games like Pokémon Go (which had a staggered release compared to SMR’s global one), the Super Mario Run figures, particularly when it comes to first-day revenue, are impressive.
The average time spent in the app is also telling – Super Mario Run levels are fairly quick and non-committal, while Pokémon Go requires a bigger investment of time as users find and catch Pokémon, battle at gyms and walk to hatch eggs.
Will Android users boost the game’s performance?
It certainly looks like it. We’ve seen large spikes in mentions as the game becomes available on Android, and they are overwhelmingly positive.
However, it’s worth noting that first impressions of the game aren’t popular with everyone.
On the day before the 15th December iOS release, the conversation had a much higher % of positively categorized mentions, as opposed to on the actual day it came out, when, whilst the overall reception was generally positive, there were a lot more negative mentions than before.
The same appears to be happening now, with a higher % of automatically categorized positive mentions yesterday (the day before release) compared to today, so far.
A scroll through the negative mentions reveals some people finding it difficult, and some people experiencing issues getting the game to work, but the biggest complaint appears to be around the price. Of course, some people just say “it sucks” without actually giving a reason.
The difference in sentiment levels certainly demonstrates the level of excitement around the game both before and after it is released, but also that not everyone is initially impressed.
Our analysis also shows that the game could be particularly popular with male gamers, with around 80% of the conversation surrounding Super Mario Run over the last two days coming from male-categorized authors.
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Hooked on Mario
Mario’s sprint into mobile gaming is certainly interesting when you look at the price structure. While complaints exist about having to pay for the game after three levels, there’s no shortage of people happy to hand over their cash in exchange for an entertaining trip down memory lane (or perhaps one of their first experiences of playing in the Mushroom Kingdom).
Instead of having to pay to win, like with games like Candy Crush, you pay to play. A one-off payment of $9.99 might seem like a fairly big investment in a mobile game, but this kind of payment is a gift to those who’re tempted to spend on games where you pay for extra lives or in-game privileges. The key to the success of Super Mario Run is getting people hooked in the first three levels before the payment barrier, and it does appear to be working.
We’re yet to see the figures surrounding how popular the Android release is but, given the excitement on social, we predict Mario will be making it rain coins.
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