Nintendo has not been quick to embrace the smartphone movement, choosing instead to focus on developing games for its own hardware. That has been a key to Nintendo's success and is a big reason why the company's new Switch console is so popular—The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is garnering all kinds of positive reviews and is only available for the Wii U and Switch.
Despite some controversy over Nintendo's pricing model for Super Mario Run, the mobile title was a hit for the company. Users were peeved at Nintendo for charging $10 to unlock the full game after teasing gamers with a few free levels to start things off. It wasn't so much that Nintendo took an all-or-nothing approach for its mobile title, but that $10 felt like a high price tag.
"The problem is not that they expect you to pay past a demo. The problem is the price they're charging. For a game with little content, entirely recycled assets save for a few animations, and grind-heavy game play to see that little content, $10 is EXORBITANT. And people will pay it, because they like Mario or they like Nintendo," reads one of the negative user reviews.
Even so, Super Mario Run raced to more than 78 million downloads, including 40 million within the first four days. Nintendo has made tens of millions of dollars on the game so far. It also recently added more free content and buildings when releasing the game on Android.
It remains to be seen if Nintendo will take the same approach to The Legend of Zelda or if it utilizes in-app purchases instead. Either way, Nintendo would like to see more revenue from mobile—the company said it earned less than 20 billion yen (around $176 in U.S. currency) from smartphone games for its fiscal year that ended in March 2017.