Last week we got the three pieces of news from Nintendo: Not only would the Switch’s paid online service be launching in September this year, but we also received confirmation that Illumination Entertainment, best known for the Despicable Me series as well as other animated offerings such as Hop, Sing and spinoff Minions, will be partnering Nintendo to make the film. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Illumination founder Chris Meledandri will serve as co-producers.
However, the third piece of news, the one that caught my eye was that Mario Kart would be joining Mario Run, Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem in the mobile arena sometime before March 2019 – with Mario Kart Tour. The Mario Kart series has always been one of Nintendo’s most profitable, enduring and, in my opinion, most fun games. Recent reports suggest that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (basically a port of the Wii U version with a few extra bells and whistles) has already sold over 7.3 million units. That’s more than Zelda BotW! That being said, Mario Kart has always relied heavily on its great control scheme (to perform that perfect speed-boosting slide) and deft accuracy (to throw that green shell at your best friend). So, you’d think those two features would be severely limited in a mobile game. However, I’m very excited to see what Nintendo will do to work this out.
Today, Takashi Mochizuki (Tech reporter for The Wall Street Journal) gave a little more information about the new mobile game, tweeting that:
DeNA CEO said “Mario Kart Tour,” a Nintendo-DeNA smartphone game planned for FY18, will be free-to-start.
A quick scroll down the responses to the tweet already indicates the wildly differing opinions that this announcement has created. Multiple people are already quoting the respective successes or failures of Nintendo’s differing approaches to pay structures for their previous games, namely Mario Run and Fire Emblem, as reasons for this being both a good and bad thing. Whatever the case, I will be very excited to see if this game is the one that finally gets me to see the light, and join the mobile game revolution.
DeNA CEO said "Mario Kart Tour," a Nintendo-DeNA smartphone game planned for FY18, will be free-to-start.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) February 8, 2018
The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near. A new mobile application is now in development: Mario Kart Tour! #MarioKartTour Releasing in the fiscal year ending in March 2019. pic.twitter.com/8GIyR7ZM4z
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 1, 2018