Back in September Tim Cook kicked off the iPhone 7 keynote event with a surprise announcement that our beloved Mario was making his way to iOS devices. Understandably, the whole auditorium erupted in delight. It a such an amazing feeling! Mario on the iPhone!!
The game was finally released in December and, as expected, it created history by reaching 40 million downloads in record time. Nintendo offered a couple of stages for free and an in-app purchase of Rs. 600 to unlock the complete game. It was pricey, but then again, it’s Mario, after all!
But its cost isn’t what bugs us about this game. There’s another challenge, a bigger one actually. You need an active Internet connection to run the game. It’s a nuisance, to say the least, especially in a country like India where internet connection is always iffy.
Did the hefty price tag and online requirement dampen the spirit of the enthusiasts? Yes, in a big way.
Most of the 40 million downloads haven’t converted into paid users. All of us who couldn’t wait to get our hands on the game lost interest within days. Another common complaint, besides the above-mentioned roadblocks, is that the endless runner style game doesn’t feel ‘Mario enough’. It just doesn’t strike the nostalgia cord that it was meant to.
Super Mario 2.0
Despite the initial setbacks, Nintendo isn’t giving up just yet. They still believe that, with time, true blue loyalists will get accustomed to the new Mario. And to help with that, they have released a 2.0 update to the game that brings in a bunch of new freebies.
First of all, there are more free stages to play now. You explore more, like it more, and finally buy the full version – at least that’s what Nintendo is hoping. There’s also a new character, which is basically Yoshis in 4 different colors. Not much of an incentive, but it adds an option nonetheless.
I won’t go to the extend of calling this update a desperate measure but the urge to please is hard to miss. It’s sad for everyone to see the most iconic game of all times failing to make the desired impact on the new page platforms. But there is still hope.
Along with this iOS update, the game has also been launched on Android. Although the gameplay is identical, the response just might be different. You never know!
I personally think that Nintendo has already missed the bullseye with this one and they will find it tough to lure people back. However, the silver lining is the learning that Nintendo should take from this experience.
There is absolute no doubt that there are millions of Mario fans out there, the number of downloads is a testimony to that. But the key point is that they want to experience the ‘old’ Mario, they want ‘their Mario’. One can’t fault Nintendo for trying to give Mario a modern twist. In fact, they should be applauded for the effort. But we’ve had enough of the modern, bring us the old school please. Those were the times …