Nintendo recently opened up applications to a private beta for Mario Kart Tour. The game will be the latest in a line of mobile releases as Nintendo extends their reach into the emerging platform.
Mobile gaming is a huge business and enjoys a significant crossover with the casual gaming demographic that Nintendo already targets. According to marketing agency Mediakix, there are an estimated 2.2 billion active mobile gamers.
56% of that demographic access games on their phones more than 10 times per week. Nintendo already had huge success in the market with the release of Pokemon Go, which became the most downloaded app of all time.
The free-to-play game grossed over $3 billion. Nintendo will be hoping for a similar reaction to another of their best-selling franchises, Mario Kart.
Other Mobile Releases
Since Pokemon Go, Nintendo has built a respectable catalogue of mobile games with some other franchises. Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, Pokemon Quest and Fire Emblem Heroes to name few.
Nintendo has plans to release even more mobile versions of their popular franchises. Mario Kart Tour won’t be the only mobile release for Nintendo this year with Dr Mario World also slated for a 2019 launch.
Dr Mario World will bring the classic twist on the Tetris formula to IOS and Android this summer. They also recently released the latest in the Pokemon Rumble Series in the East. Pokemon Rumble Rush is already available on Android stores in Japan and Australia.
Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart Tour has been in development for some time and was slated for release in March this year. Nintendo pushed that date back to a more vague summer 2019, for ‘improved quality’ reasons.
Nintendo is now running a closed beta between May 22nd and June 4th. A select few across Japan and America will get to experience the game in this time period.
The end date of the beta is conveniently a week before E3, so we’d say a surprise launch at the Expo is likely. Barring any technical issues that arise in the beta, we should at least get a full reveal of Mario Kart Tour next month.
Other than that few details about the game are known. We expect a competent Mario Kart experience, motion controls and connectivity with players across the globe from wherever a signal is available. The roster of characters and potential returning tracks and power-ups are yet to be revealed though.
Mario Kart 9
That might not be the only Mario Kart news we get at E3 as rumblings begin to emerge of a Mario Kart 9 reveal. Nintendo typically releases one of each of it’s franchises to each console generation.
There are exceptions to the rule but typically there’s one mainline Mario, one Super Smash Bros., one Mario Kart, etc. The Mario Kart on the Switch is an updated port of the Wii U version after that console suffered commercially.
Nintendo has already ported several significant titles from the Wii U, leaving fans wondering about Switch exclusives. The Switch is currently keeping pace with the Wii’s sales figures which is Nintendo’s best-selling console to date.
To maintain its success, it’s going to need a steady stream of landmark exclusives such as Pokemon Sword and Shield coming this year. Little is known about Nintendo’s 2020 plans with a new Zelda title rumoured to be on the agenda.
Recent whispers suggest Nintendo could be about to add Mario Kart 9 to next year’s roster. It will have been six years since the previous new console entry in the series. Mario Kart producer Kosuke Yabuki also worked on ARMS in between, a game that launched in 2017.
Meaning Yabuki and the rest of the Mario Kart team have a potential three-year period unaccounted for. The launch of Mario Kart Tour could have been delayed to coincide with the reveal of Mario Kart 9. E3 could be an exciting Expo for Mario Kart fans.