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Super Mario Run downloaded 40M times in four days

That’s a lot of touchscreen tapping

Super Mario Run iPad screenshot - climbing gameplay Nintendo
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Super Mario Run, the first mobile game starring everyone’s favorite Italian plumber, was downloaded more than 40 million times worldwide in its first four days of release, Nintendo announced today.

That figure represents an App Store record for fastest-downloaded game, said Phil Schiller, senior vice president for worldwide marketing at Apple, in a press release from Nintendo. However, the companies did not clarify which app held the previous four-day record. Apple said in July that Pokémon Go racked up the most first-week downloads in App Store history, although neither Apple nor Nintendo gave a specific figure at the time for the number of downloads.

In the case of Super Mario Run, the figure seems to exceed download numbers from various analytics firms. Launch-day estimates varied from 2.85 million (from Apptopia) to 5 million (from SuperData). App Annie initially told Polygon that it pegged the figure at 3.5 million downloads in 14 hours, and then updated with a total of 10 million for the game’s first 24 hours of release.

Super Mario Run launched last Thursday, Dec. 15, and quickly shot to the top of the App Store charts in countries around the world. Nintendo said the game currently sits at the top spot in the Free Apps rankings in 140 countries and regions, and in the top 10 highest-grossing apps in 100 markets.

But Super Mario Run’s availability means it’s difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons with titles like Pokémon Go. Niantic Labs’ augmented reality app debuted in early July on both Android and iOS, but the company staggered the regional rollout because of server issues. Super Mario Run launched on Dec. 15 in 150 countries and regions exclusively on iOS; an Android version is coming sometime in 2017. Apple gave the game an unprecedented level of pre-release promotion — CEO Tim Cook said in October that 20 million App Store customers had signed up to be notified when Super Mario Run went live.

While Super Mario Run is free to download, customers can only play the first three levels; they must pay $9.99 to unlock the rest of the game. App Annie estimated that 4 percent of people who downloaded Super Mario Run within its first three days of release went on to pay for the full product. If that held up for the first four days, that would suggest sales of $16 million — revenue that Nintendo and Apple split 70-30.

For more on Super Mario Run, read our review.

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