Chart of the Week: User Engagement – Pokémon GO vs. Super Mario Run

It’s been a banner year for Nintendo. In 2016, the game company, known largely for its console games, released a series of wildly popular mobile games, including this month’s Super Mario Run and the summer’s smash hit, Pokémon GO. But despite all the hype and explosive user numbers surrounding both titles, how does each game rank in terms of user engagement? And can Super Mario Run learn anything from the rise and decline of Pokémon GO?

Verto Analytics compared user behavior and engagement data for Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run during each game’s first 5 days on the market (among U.S.adults, ages 18 and above). For Pokémon GO, this data encompasses July 6-10, while for Super Mario Go, the data encompasses December 15-20.

Has Super Mario Run Already Peaked?

While both games have a 20% stickiness rating (Verto’s method of comparing daily users to monthly users to quantify the most engaged users; both games’ stickiness ratings were calculated based on an initial 5-day average), Verto data shows that users developed a Pokémon GO habit far faster than Super Mario Run users – and this trend seems likely to increase even further. The number of daily sessions per user as well as the average amount of time that each user spent playing Pokémon GO was far higher than the equivalent metrics for Super Mario Run during each game’s first five days on the market. And while Pokémon GO users quickly increased the number of sessions and the amount of time they spent per day playing the game (rising quickly from eleven minutes per day spent across five sessions to an 78 minutes per day spent across a whopping 25 sessions), Super Mario Run experienced far more modest gains: Verto data shows that user engagement appears to have peaked on the third day after the game was released, with users spending just 27 minutes per day playing the game. By day 5 after release, user engagement with Super Mario Run already seems to be plateauing or even already in decline.

So is Super Marion Run a flop? The game is barely two weeks old and its release has been confined to iOS devices only, so it’s still too early to call this one. But as Nintendo plans for its next batch of mobile games and the debut of its latest console, the pressure is on for the company to repeat the breakaway success of Pokémon GO. If Super Mario Run – spearheaded by one of the game industry’s most iconic characters – can’t continue to capture consumer attention after a mere five days on the market, Nintendo may need to shift gears.

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