Nintendo just announced that a new mobile application named Mario Kart Tour will be making it’s way to smartphones. I must say that this is incredibly exciting! Since Mario Kart’s first appearance on the SNES in 1972, the franchise has been exclusive to Nintendo consoles. Mario Kart Tour will be the first ever Mario Kart game to be playable on a device not made by Nintendo.
That being said, this is assuming that Mario Kart Tour will, in fact, be a game. All Nintendo has said at this point is that it will be a new mobile application. It’s almost certainly going to be a game, but it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t strictly guaranteed at this point. Either way, the points and speculation discussed in this article are based on Mario Kart Tour being a game and not just an application.
Mario Kart Tour Release Date?
Although Nintendo hasn’t given an exact date yet, they have confirmed that it will be released in the next Fiscal year. This means that it will be released between April 2018 and March 2019. That’s quite a big window, but if we look at other Nintendo releases we can get a more accurate estimate as to it’s exact release.
Take Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, for example, two big mobile titles for Nintendo. They were released in December and November (worldwide release), respectively. Fire Emblem Heroes, another mobile Nintendo title, was released in February.
As you can tell, Nintendo has always released their mobile games in either Winter or Autumn. (Miitomo was released in March, however, this strictly speaking isn’t actually a game).
It’s hard accurately estimate when Nintendo will release a mobile title as they have only released a handful in the past. However, if we use the information that we have, then Mario Kart Tour will be released between October 2018 and February 2019.
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
Mario Kart Tour Price?
How much Mario Kart Tour will cost is actually much easier to estimate. Let’s take a look at a couple of previous Nintendo mobile games, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes. Super Mario Run was downloaded over 200 million times, whereas Fire Emblem Heroes was only downloaded around 10 million times (as of April 2017). Fire Emblem Heroe’s, however, made significantly more money for Nintendo than Super Mario Run did, despite it’s significantly fewer downloads.
This is due to Fire Emblem Heroes using the ‘Freemium’ business model. Unlike Super Mario run, which cost around $10 to buy the whole game at launch, Heroes was free. So how did Fire Emblem Heroes make its money? Simply put, it’s microtransactions. Players can pay small quantities of money to unlock certain items and progress through the game quicker. It’s important to remember that these microtransactions are completely optional and not a requirement to play the full game.
Due to Nintendo’s success using the freemium business model, it’s likely that Mario Kart Tour will be free to play. As mentioned, being free to play means that you should expect to see microtransactions in Mario Kart Tour.
Mario Kart Tour Gameplay and Modes
One of the best features of Mario Kart on the Nintendo 3DS and Switch is the local multiplayer. It’s fun and works exceptionally well. There are many games out there already that utilise your smartphones Bluetooth for local multiplayer, so there’s no reason as to why Nintendo couldn’t implement something similar. It works well and doesn’t depend on an internet connection, meaning you can play locally with others, no matter where you are.
Online multiplayer will also be great to see, however, it will be complex and expensive for Nintendo to implement. If Nintendo wants to include Online Multiplayer, they’ll need to ensure that they get substantial people downloading and playing Mario Kart Tour. This shouldn’t be a problem considering that Mario Kart is one of the best and most loved video game franchises of all time!
As for the type of game modes we’ll see in Mario Kart Tour? Well, it’s hard to guess at this point. Chances are there’ll be a new version of the Grand Prix mode, with a multitude of both new and old race tracks. Battle mode and time trails will be a nice bonus, but whether or not they’ll make an appearance is completely unknown.
It will be interesting to see how Nintendo justifies ‘Tour’ being included in the actual title of the game. It will certainly be cool to have player’s racing in different locations all over the world. In a similar fashion to Super Mario Odyssey, where you travel to many different locations as you progress through the game.
Mario Kart Tour will be Nintendo’s most successful mobile game yet
Currently, this is all just speculation. It’s important to remember that all we actually know is the name and a broad release date.
If everything speculated here does come to fruition, then Mario Kart Tour will be released in the next Autumn or Winter time, have race tracks from legacy Mario Kart games as well as brand new ones and also have players racing on different tracks from each continent of the world. Despite the possibility that none of this makes it to the final game, I’m certain that it will be a massive hit!
If Mario Kart Tour gets downloaded like Super Mario Run and makes profit margins like Fire Emblem Heroes, Tour will be a huge success.
Let me know your thought’s on Mario Kart Tour in the comments below and happy racing!