Good news: The one-thumb smartphone platformer has been downloaded an astonishing 78 million times since its release on the Apple Store last December. Bad news: only four million of those downloads turned into paid players. Though the game's initial world is free to play, the bulk of Super Mario Run costs £9.99 to unlock. By most mobile game standards that might as well be a billion pesos!
The price is clearly an insurmountable barrier in a market where so much of what's on offer - however moistened-by-sick it might be - is free. Super Mario Run? Yeah... Super Mario Gets The Runs more like!!!!!!!
Nintendo's other mobile efforts have been similarly mixed; Pokemon Go gushed out of the gate to become an insta-phenomenon, reaping more money in its first month than any mobile game before it. Remember how obsessed we all were last summer? Remember how we all drowned trying to catch a Magikarp, and ran into traffic trying to get the attention of a Beedrill? By September 2016, Pokemon Go had lost 79% of its players.
That said, the augmented reality catch 'em up has still earned over $1 billion in its first year, but Nintendo would've no doubt preferred a perennial hit, rather than a flash-in-the-Vileplume.
Nintendo's first smartphone product, Miitomo - a very Nintendo way of doing social media - got off to a phenomenal start. However, within two months just a quarter of those who'd downloaded it were opening the app regularly.
Fire Emblem Heroes - a free-to-play RPG - had a more modest level of hype surrounding its release last month, but with less resting on its shoulders, with less of a high-profile brand, it can be considered more of a success. Unfortunately, Nintendo has appeared to have accepted that success through gritted teeth.
What is it about Nintendo and smartphones? Is it this: that Nintendo smartphone games seem like a good idea in theory, but in practice feel weird because they're not on a Nintendo-branded machine? Or is it something else entirely? Is it to do with, y'know, stuff an ting?
Back in the dying days of Sega, when I was still writing the original Digi, I counted the days until Sega ditched hardware and became a software publisher. There was something inevitable about it, something which made sense. It was painful to watch the death throes; like standing idly by as a cygnet thrashed around inside an Aldi carrier bag.
In theory, Sega should've thrived, and built on the goodwill that still existed for its games. Instead, it chose to squander that opportunity by rolling it up and stuffing it inside a four week-old McFlurry.
Now... I know Nintendo isn't about to become a software publisher. Nintendo has no need to ditch hardware. I mean, Nintendo is so far from being where Sega was following the Dreamcast; the company remains in rude health. Clearly, though, during the wobbles experienced by the Wii U, Nintendo started to get a little jittery, and began laying eggs in the smartphone basket.
More than once, it stressed the importance of mobile games development to its strategy going forwards. Indeed; the Wii U's gamepad was developed specifically to appeal to the second-screen generation.
Clearly, that strategy hasn't paid off for the company in the way it hoped. Super Mario Run was not all-conquering, Pokemon Go was essentially a fad, and Miitomo simply didn't catch alight. Fire Emblem Heroes may have done well, but the company told Asia-focused business publication Nikkei that its freemium model was an "outlier", and that it preferred the premium Mario Run approach.
Nintendo now insists that its smartphone business is about more than profits; it's an attempt to expand the reach of its characters, hopefully driving some of them towards the Switch. It's all about that synergy, yeah? Well, fine, Nintendo. If that's the case then don't price your mobile games at ten pounds, when most of them cost 99p, and are bought by the most casual of gamers.
However, the recent Android release of Super Mario Run coincided with an expansion of the free-to-play elements of the original game, suggesting that Nintendo is now moving the goalposts.
So is Nintendo's smartphone dream over, given that existing Nintendo fans would rather see Nintendo games on the new Switch, and non-fans don't care enough to spend £9.99?
When it first announced its "serious commitment" to smartphone games, Nintendo said it would release five titles by 2017. However, an iOS version of Animal Crossing was delayed in January until "the next financial year". At the very least, that game is likely to still be released, but beyond that is anybody's guess.
Nintendo had said of its smartphone games: "We aim to make each title a hit, because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases."
Whether a long shelf-life for its games is even possible now, given the dwindling audiences for Miitomo, Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run, is doubtful. As is whether Nintendo would risk another expensive smartphone launch, for a game that might not meet "expectations". Also, given the generally positive reception to the Switch, Nintendo might begin soft-pedalling on its smartphone games development, at least until the Switch's fortunes become more apparent.
Frankly, Nintendo - for all its experience - is as in the dark as anyone when it comes to creating a mobile game hit. Clash of Clans, Game of War, Candy Crush Saga, and Angry Birds are among the biggest smartphone games of all time, and none of them came with a brand already attached. They weren't surefire hits, and yet all four became enormous.
Given the disappointment of the Wii U, I don't blame Nintendo for exploring other avenues, but I'd much rather they just focused on one area. The novelty of having Nintendo on your phone might just have proved to be exactly that: a novelty.