Super Mario Run is coming up on its first birthday, and Nintendo admits the mobile game hasn't met "an acceptable profit point" yet.
The news, which Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima delivered in the company's most recent earnings report, probably doesn't come as a big surprise. Super Mario Run's method of monetization—making the game free to download, then charging $9.99 to unlock the full game after four levels—didn't have a lot of fans.
According to the report, the weekly user base for Super Mario Run declined significantly and steadily since the app's debut, though the 3.0 update released in September has helped those numbers recover.
Overall, Nintendo regards Super Mario Run as an important learning experience. "We have learned a lot in terms of game development and deployment that we want to take advantage of moving forward," says Kimishima.
By contrast, Nintendo's other noteworthy mobile game, the free-to-play Fire Emblem Heroes, is enjoying steady success and is expected to meet Nintendo's "overall business objectives." The report also points out that the audience for the game is growing outside Japan. Nintendo has plans to bring Fire Emblem Heroes to five more regions by the end of the year: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, Thailand, and Singapore.
The upcoming Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is likewise free-to-play and supports in-app purchases. Given widespread love for the franchise in Japan and beyond, it's likely to be another mobile success for Nintendo.
As for Super Mario Run, Nintendo says it plans to keep supporting the game. "Our aim is for this application to be the definitive Mario application for smart devices."
The rest of the financial report was filled with good news for Nintendo, including strong sales for the Nintendo Switch, its games, and the New Nintendo 2DS XL. Moreover, Super Mario Odyssey, and the SNES Classic sold 2 million units each within a matter of days. It's going to be a green Christmas for Nintendo.