There is some good news for Android users who are avid Mario fans. Nintendo Co., Ltd.’s (NTDOY - Free Report) Super Mario Run is available on Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Playstore for pre-registration. Though no official date has been confirmed but the opening of pre-registration indicates that the game is up for release soon, add media reports.
On Dec 15, Nintendo released Super Mario Run for Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) iOS platform for $9.99 across 151 countries. The game was announced at Apple’s keynote address on Sep 7 by Mario creator and Nintendo executive Shigeru Miyamoto.
Per media reports, Super Mario Run recorded over 50 million downloads in the first week of its release.The game is free to play for the first three levels, following which gamers will have to shell out $10 to download the full version. The hefty price tag has been a major deterrent apparently. Also, the app requires an Internet connection which hasn’t gone down well with many users. Reviews have also been somewhat mixed. Reportedly, the game has two and half star rating out of 72K reviews posted on the App Store.
Super Mario Run’s comparisons with Pokémon Go do not come as a surprise. Pokémon Go has been a monster hit. Though the success of the game didn’t directly benefit Nintendo’s financials, we believe that it has strengthened the Japanese video game publisher’s position in the lucrative mobile games space. It was created by Niantic in association with Nintendo. Consequently, most of the benefit was netted by Niantic.
Despite the lukewarm response, we believe SMR will strengthen Nintendo’s push into the mobile space. Nintendo has so far stayed away from mobile games. Analysts observe that Nintendo was trying to protect its console business by not letting its well known characters like Mario and Zelda appear on mobile platforms. However, mobile games started emerging as a lucrative business option as titles like Activision Blizzard Entertainment's (ATVI - Free Report) Candy Crush and Rovio's Angry Birds caught the imagination of the world.
Finally, Nintendo made changes in its strategy and started to explore the lucrative mobile space. It struck a deal with DeNA to bring five mobile games by Mar 2017. Mittomo, released earlier this year, was the first game stemming from the collaboration.
However, shares have tanked post SMR release. Following Dec 15 release, shares have lost 11.63% of their value. Overall, success of Pokémon Go has cushioned the share price which is up 50.33% compared with the Zacks Toys/Games/ Hobby/Products industry’s gain of 5.92%.
At present, Nintendo carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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