Nintendo is tricking us with Super Mario Run and Family Sharing

So Super Mario Run is finally out on iOS. It surely took Nintendo long enough after showing it off during an Apple keynote. Putting that aside, the waiting was worth it because it’s a very fun and easy game to play and if you’re looking for a challenge try to collect all 5 special colored coins in every single level. You’ll find that it’s going to be very hard. But is it all ‘super’? Definitely no.

There are three major flaws. Two of them are the facts that the main mode is super short and that it requires a constant internet connection are serious bummers. Being so short I could get really bothered with the €9,99 that it costs to unlock all the levels, but hey… it’s Nintendo’s Mario… I had to buy it either way. Plus like I said, completing it entirely by collecting every single special colored coin will take you a long time if that’s your goal but it will get repetitive fast. The constant internet connection requirement shows that Nintendo is about maximizing their profits, understandable but there are other better ways to control piracy and not bother us players. But I can get past this as well.

The third flaw is a SUPER greedy and almost scammy move on Nintendo’s part. But who’s to blame? Apple has their rules on purchasing and Nintendo is simply making use of them. I’ll try to break it down for you.

We knew the app would be a free download from the iOS App Store. All good there. We also knew that there would be a way to buy the complete game to get all levels and modes. All good there as well. If the game is good, people will buy it. Here is where Nintendo is actually tricking us and what makes them mislead us in order to make more money. Click on the following picture and notice that (it’s a screenshot from the Dutch App Store) where it’s says “Delen met gezin” which translates to “Family Sharing” it says “Ja” and that is ofcourse “Yes”.

By being a free game to start with and reading that it supports Family Sharing this must mean that I could buy the in-app purchase, thus unlocking all levels, and share this purchase with my family members, right? Well… NO… it does not work like that. Nintendo does NOT support Family Sharing at all because there is NOTHING to share. The only thing that could be shared is the in-app purchase but as a matter of fact you CANNOT share this because Apple will not allow the sharing of in-app purchases. If another member in your Family Sharing plan tries to get this content from within Super Mario Run it does not notify you that it already has been bought by someone in your Family Sharing plan thus making you buy it again. Some people claimed to have taking the “Mario leap of faith” meaning that they complete the in-app purchase and not getting charged but in fact this does NOT work. You will get charged.

To me, this is practically a scam cleverly put in place by Nintendo. I am sure that many people have bought the same content simply because they don’t or did not know that you can’t share in-app purchases. Apple is not at fault here, Nintendo simply chose to make money this way. Now this wouldn’t be such a big deal if the in-app purchase would cost €2,99 or something around that price range but we’re talking basically €10. Buying it once  for my entire family would be fine as well, a little pricey but hey… it’s Mario. What effectively happened now is that I bought it a total of four times! Basically €40 for a mobile game with, in comparison to games that cost that much, very little content. Putting it like this it’s ridiculous.

Apple should set the Family Sharing support mention in the App Store for Super Mario Run to “No” and Nintendo, if they care about their players, should lower the price of the in-app purchase or get rid of the in-app purchase and make it a paid app with support for Family Sharing. Let’s see what they do. In my opinion Nintendo showed their true colors for now.

EDIT: I know that you can get the game, once bought, on every device you wish by simply logging into the app store on that device with your own Apple ID, but this is not a solution… this is a mere workaround and it goes against the whole idea of Family Sharing. Basically you should not share anything related to your own Apple ID.

EDIT2: Know that in-app purchases cannot be shared with Family Sharing. Also know that there are apparently lots of free apps that advertise with Family Sharing, offering in-app purchases and nothing else. I’m wondering if Apple believes that this is a good advertising practice of Family Sharing.

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