It's-A Me, Super Mario Run

by Elizabeth Strassner

Apple announced at its product launch event Wednesday that another beloved Nintendo franchise is coming to the iOS platform in a new iPhone game called Super Mario Run, expected to be out in time for the 2016 holiday season. So, the big question: How much will Super Mario Run cost?

Tech website Pocket Lint reports:

[Super Mario Run] will be sold for a one-off fee. Although the actual cost yet to be determined, there will be no in-app purchases whatsoever ... Nintendo wants it to be playable and suit all ages. Parents will certainly approve.

No in-app purchases is definitely good news for those of us who succumb to buying extra lives and extra coins with real-world money on addictive apps like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Candy Crush. As Rik Henderson at Pocket Lint notes, the lack of in-app purchases will certainly make it more family-friendly, given that children may not understand the real-world, real-money nature of the purchase: for example, one 7-year-old spent over $6,000 in a Jurassic World app in just an hour. Courts have previously ruled that parents cannot be charged for their children's purchases, but eliminating in-app purchases on Super Mario Run will eliminate the headache for Apple and parents alike.

However, the lack of in-app purchases will likely drive up the cost of the app. Super Mario Run already appears on the App Store, and though the price is not yet listed, Mario fans can opt in to be notified when the game (and, presumably, its price) are made available.

Some App Store game apps already cost hundreds of dollars, and utility, paperwork, or credit apps can cost into the thousands. That seems steep for the Mario app, though, given that many Nintendo DS and Wii Super Mario games currently retail for roughly $20 to $30. However, there are some higher-priced outliers, such as the $149.99 Mario Party 8, so when it comes to the price of Super Mario Run, anything is possible.

As a result, Twitter speculation about the price is all over the map:

Given the success of Pokémon Go - Nintendo's last major iOS game, which has been downloaded over 100 million times - it makes sense that Nintendo would feel confident that gamers would be willing to pay a steep price for a beloved game. Too expensive, though, and Nintendo risks alienating casual fans.