NEW YORK (CNN) – Pokemon Go became a global phenomenon this year. Now, Nintendo is releasing its first-ever mobile game, Super Mario Run, for the iPhone.
At the offices of Turbo Studios in lower Manhattan, developers are creating colorful new characters and pulse-quickening new features, for their flagship game, Super Senso.
They may be rivals but even these hardened gamers are excited by Nintendo’s first ever mobile game, Super Mario Run.
“This is the beginning of a massive shift in the gaming space and specifically in mobile. This is a real kind of indication that mobile is coming into its own,” said Yohei Ishii, CEO, Turbo Studios.
Experts say mobile gaming will end the year with 35 billion dollars’ worth of revenues, a 20% increase from 2015. And more people now play games on mobile than on PC’s and consoles. It’s clear Nintendo, the one-time king of retro consoles, couldn’t wait any longer to cash in. Especially with the phenomenal success this summer of mobile gaming sensation Pokémon Go.
“The question is where are you going to get the most bang for your buck? And financially, there are more people with smartphones than there are with either console games or game capable computers. The vast majority of people who are interested in gaming will be able to take advantage of it on anything distributed on mobile,” said Shelly Palmer, CEO, The Palmer Group.
Super Mario Run is a groundbreaking game for Nintendo in other ways. Like most mobile games, it will be free to download and free to play up to a point. To unlock its full potential, you’ve got to shell out ten dollars. Some believe Nintendo is making a mistake
“I just feel like they’re leaving a lot of money on the table by not picking the freemium option, because a bunch of free games are now making a billion dollars a year but when you put out a paid game like this you cap your earnings at ten dollars a consumer,” said Tero Kuittinen, Co-founder, Kuuhubb.
One company sure to profit, Apple. It has exclusive rights to Super Mario Run. Nintendo may be late to mobile but the gaming community says Super Mario Run will help the entire industry sprint ahead.