Title spotlight: Super Mario

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
November 25, 2021, 6:57 PM UTC

2021 marks 40 years since Nintendo’s Mario character first appeared in a video game. Before he was saving a princess and hunting for mushrooms, the mustachioed hero was known as “Jumpman”, a playable character in 1981’s Donkey Kong. 

In the past four decades, Mario has established himself as one of the most successful video game characters of all time and the dungaree-wearing Italian continues to be a standard bearer of the 2D and 3D platforming genres. 

To mark the anniversary, let’s take a look at which countries are most likely to have played a Mario title in the last month, according to YouGov GameIndex. 

Nearly one in five French consumers (18%) report playing one of a huge library of Mario titles in the past month, the highest of all the countries we looked at. 

This figure is significantly more than among consumers in Germany (9.5%) and the United States (9%) but that still means that Mario has been part of life for one in ten Germans and Americans this month. Mario players are rarer in the UK where 2.8% of those we asked had played the character in the last 30 days.  

Nintendo is heading into the holiday season with the updated Switch OLED. Yet in some markets, the gaming console-maker is offering a bundle that includes the four-year-old Mario Kart 8 - a testament to how beloved and durable the Mario titles can be.  

The latest Mario offering, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, came out in February 2021, while another new title is expected next year. 

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Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Super Mario Bros. Current Customer score is based on the question: “Have you played any of the following video games in the last 30 days?” and delivered as a percentage. Scores are based on an average daily sample size of 398 consumers in Germany, 179 consumers in France, 2,699 consumers in the United Kingdom and 1,206 consumers in the United States between Aug. 22, 2021 and Nov. 21, 2021. Figures are based on a four-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.