It’s the question that’s been keeping some of us up all week - is Super Mario Run too expensive? Well since it’s Friday I thought I’d put my brain in gear for a little bit longer and have a good old think about it.
And since I’ve had that think already, I thought I’d write a brief article going over the main arguments for and against the pricing structure that Nintendo has decided to use for its first outing into the mobile world.
You might agree. You might disagree. You might sit on the fence somewhere in the middle, kicking your shoes up and down and uhming and ahing about what to do. Wherever on the spectrum you sit though, feel free to shout at me in the comments below.
It’s just an endless runner
Er, okay. Is it? I’m pretty sure that it’s actually an auto-runner designed and built by one of the most illustrious development houses in gaming history. Saying it’s just another endless runner is like saying the Mona Lisa is just another painting.
Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but you get what I mean. This isn’t some half-arsed rip off or farmed-out port. It’s Mario. It’s Nintendo. And it’s on the App Store. Dismissing it in this way before you’ve even played it seems at best churlish and at worst reactionary.
And bear in mind you will get to play it before you pay anything. The majority of the game is behind an IAP wall. So even if you hate literally everything that Nintendo has decided to do with the game, then you’re not going to have to waste a single shiny penny to find out.
It needs you to stay connected to the internet
Okay, that’s slightly more annoying, I’ll grant you. But then you’re playing it on a smartphone. A smartphone that, by my reckoning, is pretty much always connected to the internet. Again, we’re not really going to know the details behind this until the game is actually out.
But at the same time, even if it’s eating up GB of data while you’re out and about, most of us play mobile games when we’re at home now anyway. They’re the distraction that we keep coming back to.
On top of that it’s not going to be eating GB of data. It’s likely going to send a little bit of info here and there. It’s likely to be a negligible amount. And there’ll probably be scope for keeping playing if you go through a tunnel on a train or something.
I don’t want to pay that much
This is sort of the crux of the argument really. I get it, I really do, but Super Mario Run is far from the most expensive game on the App Store. And this argument sort of runs counter to the free to play complaining I see every day of my life.
You can’t really have it both ways I’m afraid. If you want premium games on the App Store, then you’re going to have to pay premium prices for them. Especially when they’re coming from legends like Nintendo.
Think of it this way - if the choice comes down to a few niggles and a large price point or free to play and an energy system, which way are you really going to lean? Plus this is the first game Nintendo has released on mobile. These are its first steps - why not wait and see how good the game actually is before you start casting scorn?