by Jim Lynch

Super Mario Run: Cheapskate gamers upset by $10 price

Dec 21, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsGaming PlatformsiOS

Nintendo is charging a reasonable price for a premium brand mobile game, but the iOS gaming cheapskates are freaking out!

There’s a huge problem with mobile gaming on iOS, gaming content has been so devalued with “free to play” games that many people don’t want to pay much or anything at all. This has become apparent with the reactions by some gamers to the reasonable $10 that Nintendo is charging for the full version of its Super Mario Run game.

These gamers have been flooding the Super Mario Run page in the iOS App Store with one star “reviews” that complain endlessly about Nintendo charging $10 for its game. Yes, these precious gaming snowflakes feel entitled to a premium Mario experience while paying absolutely nothing for the game.

$10 for a Mario game? And people are upset about it? Give me a break! Talk about having the mentality of an entitled two year old. Ten bucks is about as reasonable as it gets for a premium game from Nintendo.

Here’s a screenshot of some of the whiners in the iOS App Store complaining about paying for Super Mario Run:

super mario run cheapskates iOS App Store

Did Nintendo goof in its payment model for Super Mario Run?

One writer at Forbes thinks that Nintendo goofed by charging $10 outright for Super Mario Run, and that the company should have gone with a “free to play” model with in-app purchases:

I think it’s fairly hypocritical for “core gamers” to try and say that a $10 game in a mostly F2P mobile market is totally the right call, yet if say, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild unveiled its price and it was $120, double the standard cost for new games, those people would lose their minds.

A big game costing $10 is almost unheard of in the mobile market, and this is further compounded by the fact that no matter what you think, for many players this fact does feel like it’s hidden from players until they smack uncomfortably into the paywall before the first boss level.

Nintendo could have made this game work as F2P, and it would not have damaged their brand. Playing through the game it’s easy to imagine paying for more rally tickets, or coins to buy cosmetic items in the Mushroom Kingdom, or skins for Mario and the other unlockable heroes. None of that would have changed the core of the game. The levels would have still been fun and well-designed, the challenge coins and Toad Rally hard to master. It would simply have slid into a different monetization format while keeping pretty much all the content the same.

I do not understand why that would have been the wrong play, especially seeing the reaction to the $10 price point after launch. And you know what? For a game that promised “everything” was going to be unlocked for $10, I sure find myself being told to grind endlessly for Toads to unlock upgrades like it’s a F2P offering.

More at Forbes

While the writer raises some good points, I don’t think he understands Nintendo’s history and mentality. The company didn’t want to nickel and dime Super Mario Run players, unlike so many other developers who use in-app purchases to wheedle money out of gamers left and right.

Nintendo wanted to provide a superior, fun gaming experience for a set price. That is how the company has mostly operated over the years, it has never been big on the kind of games that require in-app purchases for premium franchises like Mario.

And even if the company had made Super Mario Run “free to play” it probably would still have been hammered for charging anything at all for in-app purchases. Sometimes there is just no pleasing people, particularly snowflake gamers with huge entitlement complexes who want everything for free.

Nintendo did it right with Super Mario Run

I think Nintendo did the right thing in how much it is charging for Super Mario Run. $10 for a Mario experience on iOS is a bargain. It costs more to go to the movies these days than it does to play such a fine game on iOS devices.

However, Nintendo certainly underestimated the mentality of so many snowflake gamers these days. They’ve been weened on “free” games that ultimately end up costing tons of money via in-app purchases or that subject the player to a bombardment of annoying advertising.

All of this comes from the awful race to the bottom that has been happening in games in the iOS App Store for so long. The whole “free to play” model has made it damn near impossible for developers to charge a reasonable price for an entire game.

This is a very different model than what Nintendo does with its 3DS system where most games can be bought for a set price and you get the entire game. You don’t have to worry about buying gems, coins or other crap when you play the game.

If Nintendo made any kind of a mistake here it was giving the first three levels away for free. The company might have done better by simply charging the $10 up front to access any part of the game. Then it could have avoided having whiners posting one star “reviews” in the iOS App Store after they played through the first three levels then realized they’d have to pay for the full game.

Super Mario Run shows why iOS gaming sucks

The big takeaway in all of this is that iOS gaming sucks because of “free to play” and the race to the bottom in general in the iOS App Store. I almost never play games on my iPad or iPhone now, the iOS App Store is filled with trash and I can’t be bothered spending any of my time trying to find decent gaming titles.

Instead I’ve moved to Nintendo’s excellent 3DS XL system for my mobile gaming. I get premium games that are far, far better than anything in the iOS App Store. I pay a set price and I get the entire game in one purchase. Plus, I also get buttons and the other usual controls on the 3DS to really enjoy the game instead of tapping on a glass screen.

My recommendation to gamers who love Mario is to buy a Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL, and forget about iOS gaming. You’ll have a much better time with Nintendo’s mobile system than you ever will with games on iOS, and you can play all of the great Super Mario games available on the 3DS. You also get the Zelda games and tons and tons of other superb titles.

As far as the cheapskate gamers on iOS go, they’re getting what they wanted: “free” games that end up costing an arm and a leg with in-app purchases or that force them to view ads. Let them savor that experience each time an ad pops up or they have to fork over more cash to buy their way through a game with in-app purchases.

Nothing worth having in life is ever free. You get what you pay for, cheapskates.

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