News Article

Talking Point: Nintendo Should Beware the Slippery Slope of Sponsored DLC

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A harmless way to make money, or guaranteed alienation of fans?

This week Nintendo confirmed the inevitable, and that was Mercedes DLC coming to Mario Kart 8 in the West, after it had previously been announced for the Japanese market. It'll be free in Nintendo's homeland and, we expect, everywhere else in the world, though Nintendo's refusal to use the word 'free' in its social media announcements for the summer content leaves a sliver of doubt. Let's assume that sanity prevails and it will be free, however, and consider whether this is a harmless way for Nintendo to boost income or the beginning of the gaming apocalypse — it could fall somewhere in-between, of course.

Let's start with some context, and the fact that this isn't the first time that Nintendo has entered into a business partnership for branded content in its games. Sticking to modern times, a notable example is 3DS success story Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which has provided plenty of themed gifts for gamers to enjoy. Two examples tied directly into deals with retailers — in North America some content could only be received through accessing the game online within Best Buy stores, for example, though the DLC itself wasn't identifiably linked to the retailer. In Japan the story was a little different, with a similar idea of receiving content in 7-Eleven stores; in this case, however, the items were branded with the store's logo and openly promoted the retailer.

Another example on 3DS is with Mario Golf: World Tour, a title in which Nintendo runs regular tournaments. In this case there's has been branding linked to a Callaway tournament and related in-game gear, combining the well-known real-world golf equipment company with the fantasy of Mushroom Kingdom Links play. This is around the world rather than only in Japan, and again promotes a brand within the game world, albeit without asking for any additional money from the player.

Now we have Mercedes in Mario Kart 8, with the related Facebook post not messing around with subtlety in terms of doing its bit to reward the money put into the deal.

Take a new Mercedes Benz GLA-class SUV for a spin in the Mushroom Kingdom, with a special GLA-class kart planned to drift onto Mario Kart 8 as additional content this summer!

We've used the terms sponsored in the headline and made an assumption that Mercedes is paying to have its kart created and shared in Mario Kart 8; that's based on the logic that, from Nintendo's perspective, the only way this DLC is worth the effort of developing the kart is in exchange for a decent amount of cash. Mercedes clearly values the Mario Kart brand and wants to be associated with it, and will have paid for the opportunity to appear in the franchise — the first 'real' car company to do so.

We've certainly chewed over the relevance of Mercedes being in Mario Kart 8, and in truth we're not entirely sure the match-up makes sense. Nintendo's brand primarily targets families and enthusiastic supporters of the company and its IPs, and here we have a luxury car — albeit an SUV that could be plugged as a pricey 'family' car — getting promoted. It's an odd mix, and a more affordable typical family brand like Ford, or a fantastical aspect such as a race car, would seem more natural. Whatever the thinking of the Mercedes executives, we're not quite sure it works as a product placement 'fit'.

That aside, the presence of sponsored DLC like this in a franchise as significant as Mario Kart does raise a few alarm bells. Beyond the weirdness of it, there are legitimate concerns over where this trend is going for Nintendo; where it will end. Perhaps a new power-up in a future Mario entry will be a can of Red Bull that 'gives him wings', or Super Smash Bros. will have Nike trainers as an item that give greater speed and agility when dashing around in a battle. What we will say as a concession with the examples highlighted above is that they're all optional content that can easily be ignored. As these deals are struck with increasing regularity, though, will that remain the case?

The fact is that sponsored DLC isn't exactly rare in gaming, with plenty of franchises having branded content — Sim City had Nissan items, and there are shooters / action games with branded multiplayer maps. Some titles have blatant brand promotion in-game, too, such as real-life advertising hoardings in driving titles or banners in football games. Smartphones are home to tacky spin-offs such as the Coca Cola Zero-sponsored PlayStation All-Stars Island. The trend is that these are free offerings or incorporated into existing games, as they're ways for major companies to get eyeballs on their brand.

In terms of Nintendo gingerly going down that route, there are multiple perspectives. An outlook of concern is that Nintendo is demeaning brands it strives to protect, which seems particularly relevant with Mario Kart, and that in-game advertising may not fit with what Nintendo's userbase — and particularly parents looking to give their children safe, fun entertainment — expects of the company. Sometimes regarded as a White Knight in a cynical cash-grabbing game market, it's an image that Nintendo tries to promote. Let's consider Satoru Iwata's dismissal of in-game paid DLC in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, for example, saying that he would not allow "unwholesome" extra content along those grounds. Yet is plugging external brands wholesome? It can be argued that it isn't.

Let's not be naive and over-idealistic, though. We may love Nintendo's penchant to prioritise fun and goofy pleasures, and admire its devotion to innovation and unique gameplay experiences, but it's also a major corporation with shareholders and a desire to make a lot of money. In fact, the company's financial losses of recent years has seen it begin a relatively dramatic increase in licensed products and commercial deals. The company seems to be popping up in McDonald's Happy Meals around the world on a bi-monthly basis, and Satoru Iwata has said the company must leverage its iconic IPs in more licensed products. It's only doing what every company does. If anything Nintendo let some of these areas of its business slide too far in the Wii and DS era, raking in the cash from phenomenally successful hardware and, arguably, getting a little complacent in the process.

We don't need to look far to find examples of Nintendo exploiting brand power in the past, either, with the late '80s and '90s delivering products ranging from cereals to lunch boxes. Perhaps uneasiness in these recent deals, like with Mercedes, is that unlike in Happy Meals where a parent can refuse to take their child to the restaurant and the goods are promoting Mario, sponsored DLC has little to do with the game in question. From a gamer's perspective it's unsolicited, and as we've suggested above the question remains as to how easy Nintendo makes it in future deals for us to ignore the third-party product being branded. Is "Nintendo All-Stars Island' sponsored by Pepsi an inevitability? Are examples of Mercedes in MK8 actually worse, as it's unrelated real-world products being dropped into a game that we've already bought? Likewise with Callaway in Mario Golf: World Tour?

It's a tricky subject, especially as gamers and consumers increasingly demand more from Nintendo. Give us Metroid, give us F-Zero, we want more games, we want a big game for both Wii U and 3DS every month. We want, we want, we want. For Nintendo, it's trapped in delivering more content due to losing so much third-party support, for one example, so must spend more money creating games or paying to publish efforts from other studios. Without Wii and DS levels of sales, it needs to find ways to do that while turning a profit. As a result, this kind of sponsored DLC is perhaps inevitable.

As gamers, we probably can't always have our cake and eat it. We can't expect Nintendo's business practices with DLC, free-to-play and more to be squeaky clean while demanding that it spends as much money and produces as much content as rivals. Something has to give, and we get the GLA-class kart as a result.

Where do you stand on this? Are you entirely unworried by sponsored DLC in Nintendo games, or are you concerned that it could go too far and demean the company's brand? Perhaps it doesn't even matter if we get tacky sponsored content as long as the great games keep coming? Let us know what you think.

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User Comments (250)



Bender said:

I think it's innocent and fine, since there's no charge to the players.. Plus, Mario Kart 8 revealed to me the Mushroom Kingdom is on Earth, so Mercedes being able to give em a Kart makes sense I guess xD



Matts14 said:

If it helps pay for the next zelda or star fox game it's fine with me



MasterWario said:

Well so far with the Callaway tournament and the Mercedes cart in Mario Kart, at least it fits and makes some sense with the genre. (Actually the Callaway cup felt completely natural to me and I'm glad they included it)

Red Bull giving wings in a Mario platformer on the other hand, would make absolutely no sense whatsoever and that's when I have a problem.

I think Nintendo's doing it right so far, because they aren't including it right away in the main game. I'd be a little bitter if the Mercedes body took away from one of the included bodies like say, my favorite one Steel Diver, but that is not the case.



Spoony_Tech said:

I have no problem with this and I'm surprised it's taken this long to be honest. We see it with new and old ball stadiums and all over. It just needs to be done tastefully.



unrandomsam said:

There are many ways they could have done it. (Allowed them to make a free to play Mercedes Kart using most of the same technology for example). Or chosen something that fits into the game.

If the aesthetic requires advertising it should be fictional. (Or for Malboro - Pole Position gets away with it).



Inkling said:

I had no problem with NSMB2 and I have no problem with this, in fact I would like DLC for MK8!



Detective_TeeJay said:

I'm totally fine with free sponsored DLC. When I saw a friend with the Seven Eleven stuff in Animal Crossing I was soooo jealous.



Spoony_Tech said:

@EarthboundBenjy That's one if the reasons why I liked mostly the first Pikmin. It seem to me They went away from that a bit for the second game and have yet to play the 3rd.



Franklin said:

It takes a special kind of person to want to drive a mercedes in a Mario Kart game.



MasterWario said:

@EarthboundBenjy Collecting those Duracell batteries were so much fun! Especially that one in...ugh...Submerged Castle.

On a side note I wonder if I can use those tires on, say the sneaker. I wanna put those classy wheels on something else!



EarthboundBenjy said:

The first game is my favourite of the three for sure, but I felt that the real-world-branded items in Pikmin 2 actually gave the game a more realistic atmosphere. If you were excavating an old bottlecap, having a real soda logo on there makes it feel more real. At least that's how I felt.

I won't disagree that the second game is definitely the weakest of the series though. The randomly-assembled cave segments made the game waaaay too drawn out and it just destroyed the planning and strategy elements.



Samurai_Goroh said:

Doesn't anybody remember Wave Race on the N64? Kawasaki product placement back in 1996. So nothing new for Nintendo, I'm confident they know not to push it over the reasonable boundaries.



mjhopkins81 said:

After 3.5 years of living in L.A., I think it's entirely appropriate for Mercedes to have a car in this game - Mercedes owners were consistently the worst drivers on the road, and the first to run others off of it.



sinalefa said:

If Nintendo was being greedy or a sellout, they would not have Undead Motors, Bowser Oil, and all those fictitious products in MK8, when they could have the real thing instead.



Yosher said:

If this seriously drives fans away then I'm more worried about those fans than I am about Nintendo to be honest.



allav866 said:

@EarthboundBenjy I liked the product placement in Pikmin 2! By this point, we knew PNF-404 was Earth, so seeing a Duracell battery or a can of Kiwi shoe polish made sense, even if we never saw humans.



eltomo said:

Haha, I wouldn't waste my money on this anyway. New courses on the other hand, they can be sponsored all they want, I'd buy them!

Edit: now I've read the article and it's free, who cares



HollowGrapeJ said:

I don't care what nobody says!! Mario Kart 8 DLC should happen! Just think about it. What if they put out new cups for Grand Prix like say, an N64 retro cup, or an all new cup with new stages? We could get more characters like Kamek, Bowser Jr, Dry Bones, etc. And battle arena stages? This Mario Kart can be the most expansive ever if we just let Nintendo know. Come on now guys. Just because you don't like a certain car or whatever doesn't mean that everyone else doesn't! I'm more than willing to buy DLC and I don't want it to be ruined by some people who are too cheap to buy some additional content!!



siavm said:

Metal gear 4 had a load of sponsored elements in the game. It made the world that much cooler. This is nothing but cool to me. Nintendo said they were doing things like this in that meeting they had. This car is not that out of place here. They will probably only put things like this in places that make sense. So I am down for with this.



Bender said:

@siavm Well, MGS takes place in our world, so Kojima wanted it to be as "realistic" in that aspect.



Action51 said:

People who get "alienated" by this are being kinda silly.

I'll tell you what DOES anger me...when I pay $10-$12 for a movie ticket, then have to sit through a few minutes of regular TV commercials before the film in a captive theater seat I just paid to sit in.

Not trailers...just regular TV commercials!



SilentS said:

One thing about DLC is that it is totally optional. If you do not like it, then simply do not get it. No harm done, especially if it is free. But if you whine that it is even available in general and about those who do get it, then you got other issues you need to deal with first. This one for MK8 is harmless and wont affect anybody one way or another, so to the whiners, give it a rest. Even if it is a bit out of place, it still a very minor issue at best. If and when it actually starts affecting gameplay then you may have a case.



Phantom_R said:

Give it some time and I'm sure people will quit senselessly overreacting about this Mercedes DLC. It's getting to be very immature.



SilentHunter382 said:

To me I am not a fan of sponsored DLC even when they are free. In the case of Mario Kart it doesn't make sense to have mercs in the game. The only time sponsored dlc makes sense are the real sport and racing genre.

When they are in fantasy game it sucks that fantasy element out of the game. Now this is just what I think and when I get MK8 will I download the dlc. Ya I will because its free but I don't think I will use the dlc.



Samurairu said:

To me this entire story is fluff. I care about the game and if anything, having real stores in the background adds to the realism. In today's monopolistic capitalism, there are only a handful of companies that make everything anyways, so why should Nintendo not make more money to support their future by allowing the charade of competition to enter their games?



dinosauryoshi said:

I'm not too worried. The free Mercedes DLC is ok and I can't see Nintendo going overboard with this kind of thing.



Mario-Man-Child said:

Nintendo also teamed up with Kawasaki for Waverace 64.

I'm not a fan of DLC especially for Nintendo in-house games. This buying a game and then being asked to pay extra to basically get the full game is not on. That said if free it's ok, because Nintendo games are special and they should be head and shoulders above everyone else's. Nintendo games are designed to sell consoles so they need to set an example as well.

Leave DLC to the likes of EA and that other horrible company Activision.



Spoony_Tech said:

Who wouldn't want to actually drive around New York or London? Yeah, I know those aren't original but that would be a cool new dlc pack!



Gunit1099 said:

Calm down guys, it's only a free car, it doesn't mean that they will go all-out sponsorised dlc and stuff !!!



faint said:

If this deal helps pay for more exclusives and new ip's I'm all for it. Take their monney nintendo.



DiscoGentleman said:

@Yosher Well said.

Product placement in Nintendo games is nothing new, as someone pointed out Wave Race 64. And I'm sure there's more even earlier than that.

This is a non-issue and a lame article, sorry NL :



ghosto said:

1080 snowboarding and Wave Race 64 had this and it wasn't a big deal. When they go the Microsoft route and charge a premium to jam the Wii U full of adds then its time to grab the pitch fork and torch and head to the Nintendo HQ.



BoobooMama said:

I'm fine with it as long as it fits the game. A Mercedes kart works. If it were a Mountain Dew and Doritos kart, then we've got a problem.



JakeShapiro said:

I'm surprised how few of the commenters here seem to be bothered by the sponsored DLC. Pikmin 2 featured brilliant product placement because it fit the tone of the game, but that may be the exception, not the rule. Pikmin was in a way poking fun at our consumerism with its humorous name-brand items, but the Mercedes in Mario Kart doesn't fit the over-the-top tone of the game at all and just seems to be shameless sponsorship. I'm hugely disappointed in Nintendo.



gage_wolf said:

Welp, looks like Mercedes is already getting what they wanted. There are already two articles with a ton of comments on this rather pointless marketing stunt. The more we talk about it, the more successful it becomes. So how about we talk about games instead?



ghosto said:


They tend to put the product placement on their packaging not in the game. I wish I got some MK8 coins for eating Doritos.



SanderEvers said:

I'm saying this once.

Nintendo needs more people to buy a Wii U. And if they attract a new audience by cooperating with Mercedes (or any other company) that's a win-win for everyone.

Win for mercedes: It can advertise Mario driving in one of their cars.
Win for Nintendo: this advertisement at least gave them some cash. And might get more people to buy a Wii U /w MarioKart 8.
Win for everyone else: more people buying a Wii U means a bigger installed base, means more games for the Wii U.

I've said it before, it looks like NintendoLife wants the Wii U / Nintendo to fail.

I've also said this before: If you don't like it, don't download it. It's not like they're forcing you to get the DLC...... Sheez.



Peach64 said:

I really don't like it. In real world racing games like Wave Race, in sports games set in the real world, it's fine, but it looks so out of place here. I can't imagine they're being paid anywhere near enough to fund a new game either. It's only small, so it's easy to ignore this time, but where do they go from here?



ToniK said:

I don't like it but I can deal with it. If it gets further than this, then consider me one of those alienated fans.



MrGawain said:

How many kids are going to be nagging their Mum's in Tesco that they want a new S-class because Mario drives one?

Worry if Nintendo gets sponsored by Pizza Hut, Cadburys or Coke.



Sgt_Ludby said:


NL just listed some positive and negative aspects of the DLC and opened it up for discussion. Nowhere do I see their desire for Wii U to fail...



SanderEvers said:

It's the tone that implies it. And as I stated, it's 100% optional, so.. no harm done.

And because of all the haters/nay-sayers I'm going to get and love this DLC.



electrolite77 said:

This is a simpler issue than it first appears. If it interferes with game design and balance, it's bad and needs to stop. If it's just a money raiser, nothing to worry about.



Alucard83 said:

To me that car seems out of place. Doesn't really belong in Mario world lol. I was expecting something colorful



Morph said:

Theres been advertising in games since the 80's maybe even before, ir's nothing new and doesn't bother me in the slightest. The kart does look a bit wierd, but if i dont like it I just wont use it. Simples



electrolite77 said:


Nintendo Life wants Nintendo to fail? Go and sit in the corner and think about what you just said. That's it, over there. Now come back when you've worked out how silly it is and are ready to apologise.



Darkness3131 said:

I think it looks awkward. The product placement in Pikmin 2 worked because of the style of game play. I don't think that this specific kart is the right way to go for this type of thing; maybe it would be different if the company designed a Mario kart style car that at least looked like it fit into the universe. I don't really agree with product placement like this but I can deal with it; especially since this is optional DLC. Despite the fact that I usually get all free DLC I don't think i'll be picking this one up just for the fact that the kart doesn't seem to fit into Mario Kart.

On a side note, what will this placement do for the large number of children playing? With adults it is a little different as they can actually buy a car, but what about kids? Just brand recognition I guess....



King47 said:

I have no problem with this, but I'll have issues with it if everyone starts using it online.



Iggly said:

I don't really see the issue behind sponsored dlc especially considering the fact it's free. Even if it wasn't, just do what the others are saying. Don't get the dlc it's as simple as that. [Plus it would look good for Luigi Death Stare Videos]



SakuraHaruka said:

Yes, Sponsors can support enough to a company to get excellent earnings, well, in the 'company's point to view'; and well, Really, some as this, is very neccesary if they want to go on in this bussiness that in this moment is not very easy keep it.

But for us, the consumers, depends on as they apply the sponsorship, if that turns into something beneficial and fun or something annoying and pointless.

Meanwhile, everything seems to be something funny and really nothing to worry about, we hope that all goes well, both for us and for the company



unrandomsam said:

@Iggly Depends how it works. With Call of Duty it is designed so if you don't have all the DLC its hard to get a game. (People seem to prefer free stuff that they wouldn't pay for over saving real money. Buying the rest of the DLC could quite easily end up with you unable to get a game or seeing it from other people regardless).



SanderEvers said:

@electrolite77 I said that it looks that way. I know that it's not the case, but Nintendolife should have more of an open mind to things like this. They really put effort in making this look bad on Nintendo's behalf. And Nintendolife often gets quoted on other sites.



PlywoodStick said:

LMFAO! When I saw Mario driving that Mercedes, I burst out laughing!

Seriously, though, this is stupid. I think it would be cool if they partnered up with specialist kart and motorcycle manufacturers, and kart, motorcycle and motocross racing outfits for sponsored tournaments. That would make for some relevant DLC for custom designed vehicles and tracks that are... you know... relevant to kart and bike racing.

Mario Kart is not the place for real cars, SUV's or trucks, though. This is the kind of thing that belongs in Gran Turismo or Forza, not Mario Kart. It's silly, and it's an irrelevant money grab.

Also, I greatly dislike SUV's aesthetically... probably some of the ugliest, yet most popular, vehicles in existence. This is a blight upon Mario Kart. One of the reasons I would even play Mario Kart is because I don't have to see this trash...



Cooligan said:

I think Mario looks really strange in a Mercedes. Look at him! I don't want, say Bowser racing around in a real life car in my Mario Kart game!



ToastyYogurt said:

I don't mind much, as long as the Mercedes Kart's stats don't throw the game off-balance, and it's very unlikely Nintendo would do that.

In game advertising really depends on me, I guess. It can add realism to a game, like the realistic racing games that do utilize billboards advertising Burger King, or when used in a game like Pikmin 2 or Super Monkey Ball, it just adds a sense of surrealism and silliness.

I'd hate to see Mario Kart 8's billboards get replaced with real world advertisements, though. This is the first time the fake products, services, and organizations "advertised" in a Mario Kart game really caught me. Seemed like Nintendo really took inspiration from real life products and thought about what those kind of things would be like in the Mushroom Kingdom. I thought the "Women of Racing Organization" banner was very interesting when I first saw it. Billboards like that gave a little more depth to the Mushroom Kingdom imo, in a Mario Kart game of all things. Throwing real advertisements on those billboards would be alienating. It's surreal in the wrong way, the games I mentioned earlier actually had the products being advertised in them, not literal advertisements. It would just feel.... wrong.



ShadJV said:

Calm down. It's free and it's DLC. You can play the game without downloading if you choose (without losing out on anything), and if you do choose to get it, it doesn't cost you a penny. Meanwhile, it puts money in Nintendo's pocket, which the company needs and can use to bring us more games. This really shouldn't raise any alarms and in fact should be considered a boon, it proves MK8 is set up to be capable of receiving DLC!



PlywoodStick said:

Personally, I'm not concerned about me having this thing. I'm concerned I'll be forced to watch other people use this garbage... I don't care if it's free or optional.

The Calloway partnership is relevant to the subject matter of Mario Golf. Seeing branded products as trash remnants of Earth's lost civilizations is relevant to Pikmin 2's setting. Real life cars are not relevant to Mario Kart, and 7-11 is not relevant to Animal Crossing.

Add on DLC is OK, and appropriately placed real world advertisements are fun, too. Please, though, why must we have these irrelevant partnerships going on?



sinalefa said:

So we can go online and have Waluigi, the metal characters or the babies riding this car for ultimate trolling?



SanderEvers said:

@ShadJV Actually every Wii U game can have DLC, it depends on the publisher / developer to use it And I do feel like Nintendo is going all in on DLC upgrades for MarioKart. We'll see other characters and courses soon enough.



Iggly said:

@unrandomsam I agree with you in the whole Call of Duty situation since that's just a dumb move on Activision's part. Although here it's easier to handle the situation if players can't join players who have the dlc as they can download it since it's free. All they'd have to do is never use the free dlc.



1958Fury said:

I think it's awesome. Any optional, extra free DLC is appreciated, even if it has corporate logos on it. IMO, in-game logos would be a welcome way to make games cheaper. If it would lower the price of the game, I want Mario to wear Coca Cola overalls while driving a Prius decorated with the Axe Body Spray logo, with genuine Firestone tires, zooming past billboards for Comcast and Microsoft.



Sir_JBizzle said:

@Iggly just don't post any Luigi Death Stare videos and such here lol

Concerning the article. I always enjoy Nintendolife's style of writing, paticularly these talking point articles to foster discussion. The whole Sponsored DLC stuff is kinda 'meh' for me, as in I don't really care one way or the other as long as it's not overboard (think NASCAR and how logos are slapped all over the race cars)

I said in an earlier article when we first found out about the Mercedes DLC that it looks bit out of place and maybe they should have just stylized the car to fit it with the other aesthetics, but the more I think about it, the more it just looks like Mario in a Mercedes Power Wheel. Not a big deal if you ask me...



Gashole said:

“Let's not be naive and over-idealistic, though.” Yeah, like in the last Talking Point article on Nintendo at E3.
This article is much, much, MUCH better, and really gets to the matter of Nintendo's shaky future.
The sponsorships are inevitable. They really rub me the wrong way, but Nintendo needs this as badly as they need many new IP's, just to get rid of the stale nature of their games, in general (having Pikmin be the last major one doesn't help matters much at all, however).
Nintendo, until the last 10 approximate years, has always been about creativity and innovation, and they seriously need these two 'cardinal virtues' again.



Hit-Girl said:

To the people moaning about this please, put a sock in it.
As Reggie said, There's nothing wrong with having a little fun. If you get flustered over little things such as this then... (dragged off soapbox)




Nice more cars, they should do even more stuff like this and it makes nintendo cash all the better!



PlywoodStick said:

@1958Fury That kind of abomination... is not worth paying less money for a game... Or anything else, for that matter...

Unless... it's a game like PepsiMan! THEN it's good product placement!



0utburst said:

As long as the car have the same stats as one of the karts like the coupe, I'm okay with it. Also, this will be a non-issue IF those who don't download the DLC won't be able to see it on online and will be replaced by something similar to the car on their point of view.



faint said:

It's like you guys think seeing the car on the track will brain wash you into spending all you monney on buying one in real life. It's realy not a big deal. Why does everything have to be a crusade of gamer angst. Geeez



PlywoodStick said:

@Samurai_Goroh Kawasaki jet skis are relevant for a relatively realistic jet ski racing game. Mercedes cars/SUV's are not relevant for a fantasy kart/bike racing game.



0utburst said:

Yes we don't know it yet but what I read from those who are against the inclusion of the car is, as long as they don't see it when playing online then it's fine for them.



Hit-Girl said:

The hate for this is absolutely ridiculous. Hiding it online for those who don't want to see it being used by those who do? Get over yourselves...



Grumblevolcano said:

@outburst I'm not so sure as if there isn't a title update alongside this (e.g. there was an update with the Yoshi and Zelda DLC for Lost World) then wouldn't that confirm the Mercedes DLC is on disc DLC (which I think people hate more)?



millarrp said:

As long as it doesn't take away from the experience and it's not pushed as a requirement to progress & enjoy the game then I am fine with it.



Manaphy2007 said:

the ones who are worried are journalists and mobile "gamers", i thinks its fine, its free and its harmless.



Hit-Girl said:

Pushed as a requirement? It'll be as optional as any other vehicle. The sports Coupe looks very similar to the Bugatti Veyron so complaining about this seems a little pointless. We have karts shaped like boats and sneakers so adding an actual Mercedez Benz in there only adds to the craziness. Some won't get it, many others will. There's just no need to bang on with all the hate for something free and entirely optional.



DreamOn said:

We must not let the Mushroom Kingdom and our World collide!!! Toads are dying and Piranhas withering by the very intersection! Chuckola Cola must be protected from evil Pepsi! Won't somebody think of the star children!?



faint said:

This is why we don't get cross buy. If you complian about every little thing instead of what realy matters it just all sounds like white noise.



-KwB- said:

Are you kidding me ? You guys really made a whole article on this ?????
Come on -.-



theberrage said:

Outrage!!! Might as well call this game Gran Turismo! I'm disgusted by the product placement ! They even advertise Nintendo in this game!! Yuck!!!



theberrage said:

Will they let you use the Mercedes online? Funny if they will... You can't play as a Mii in smash bros because everyone is afraid of Hitler but you can drive one of his cars. OUTRAGE!!! ROAR!! ME MAD ME OFFENDED!!!!



Link506 said:

There's really nothing for me to say here because somebody already mentioned this: If you don't like the product placement in the DLC, DON'T BUY THE DLC!



Josaku said:

I think that DLC's for mario kart or SSB4 are the way to go and I think that a sponsored DLC for mario kart works fine to, but not for games like Zelda/Starfox or Dokey Kong, because these are games which play in a setting where nothing like Mercedes or Coca Cola could be unlike Mario Kart or SSB4 where it could be possible (if done right). Not every franchise owned by Nintendo should get sponsored DLC only those few where the setting is right so they don't look totoly out of place. Immagine a DLC for Zelda sponsored by Coca Cola or something like that . . . I wouldn't want that.



PlywoodStick said:

Just as an example, Miller Welders for go-karts or Harley-Davidson for motorbikes would be more appropriate product placement for Mario Kart.

Perhaps even some Excitebike style DLC would be cool!



Blackleg_sanji said:

Are you people really complaining about free dlc...FREE like come on its a freaking car one car dont like it dont use it my god...Nintendos fanbase does not welcome change at all! I embrace this it looks cool ill take some online ppl out with a green shell while crusing in my Mercedes



AJ_Lethal said:

I'm cool with sponsored DLC as long it's

a) free
b) non-gamebreaking
c) fitting within the game world



GreatPlayer said:

Just doesn't feel right. I am buying a game but not the ads included. If the game is free i don't mind the ads. If i pay for it i don't want extra ads.



PlywoodStick said:

If Nintendo decided to change Mario Kart into Nintendo All-Stars Racing, and discontinue Mario Kart as it exists now, changing the series to act in the vein of Diddy Kong Racing and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, then it would be fine to include a Mercedes, because then we would be using actual cars. It has nothing to do with embracing change or how much it costs or if it's optional. It's a matter of whether the product placement makes sense; and it doesn't make sense here.



Hit-Girl said:

Well it's happened sooo yeah... the hate is just a bit of a waste of time really aint it? Some Nintendo gamers are way too cut off and blinkered. Try some Cavalon on that lack of fun.



NintyMan said:

I feel like I'm just parroting what others have already stated, but if it's optional, free, and it doesn't break the game, then why make such a fuss? Sure, it looks odd and a bit out-of-place, but that's the point! I think it would be funny and fitting to see Wario drive a fancy, luxury car. Mario Kart is a ridiculous game in that there's all kinds of crazy stuff going on with a gorilla and dinosaurs driving karts and bikes that range from a submarine to little scooters. This Mercedes car will blend right in with the silliness.

Besides, I highly doubt Nintendo will just allow ads to flood their games all of a sudden just because they allowed a couple of promotions of two companies in two of their games. The slippery slope argument is a fallacy.



JaxonH said:

Ya, I really couldn't care less about this kind of stuff one way or the other. It's free, it's optional, it's non-intrusive... what's the problem.

There were sponsored ads way back in WaveRace on the N64, and nothing has "spiraled out of control" in the time since. It's not like this DLC is breaking new ground or anything. It's whatever as far as I'm concerned.



TwilightOniAngel said:

I really don't care except if i see a coca cola item in smash bros that heals all your damage then i will be worried.



Sceptic said:

I very much agree with this article. The Merc ruins the vibe of MK8. Just look at that pic. It's like a montage. The whole playful charm of the game is gone.

Moreover, while I have no issues with prostitution per se, I'd rather not have it going on in my living room.



Haywired said:

So that's why there hadn't been an F-Zero or Starfox game in ages, they're being rebranded as Coke-Zero and Starbux...

Seriously though, while I am a purist and I think this does look out of place and a bit tacky, I'm not really bothered. Nintendo is a business and this sort of thing is perfectly normal.

However I would say to all the people who are referencing games like Wave Race, 1080 Snowboarding, sports games, etc. that this isn't quite the same as those games are set in the real world, so it makes sense to use advertising/product placement because that fits in with the realism. Mario is not set in the real world and while it would be silly to take the Mario universe/canon too seriously, we do take it somewhat seriously, or at least, it's somewhat precious to us, which is why for some, this jars. But as I say, I personally don't particularly mind.



Sean_Aaron said:

This looks a bit strange, but it's a branded-cart in a game with other carts that resemble American cars from the 50s, formula one and Japanese sports bikes along with a host of in-game fictional ads for products like Bowser motor oil. I'd say let Ford sponsor a Focus cart or whatever - it'll still be more fun than driving a real car!



Sceptic said:

I would assume that in an online multiplayer match, if one wise guy brings his stupid merc to the game, everybody else would see it, right?

It's not optional then.



ikki5 said:

lol, who cares. Give it one month and 99% people will have forgotten about this or stopped caring. Personally, it's a car in Mario Kart, who cares. Get over it. You see ads everywhere in everything you do and do you go kick up a fuss over them? No. you might for 5 minutes but you get over it.



FJOJR said:

Though Mario is portrayed as an "everyman" he actually is super rich when you take into account his old castle from SML2 and his business endeavors like the Cement Factory and his toy company. Plus tons of ads for his companies within the Mario Kart series. So yeah seeing Mario treat himself with a Mercedes isn't a stretch.




Ohh no a Mercedes in my Mario kart 8 let me go cry about it in a corner cause its not cannon, T_T!!! Why Nintendo why i refuse to buy all of your games I will never support you ever again SONY 4 LIFE. ( sarcasm people)



Hit-Girl said:

It is optional.
You have the option to use it and not use it. The same goes for other players. I'll be using it online like many others and having a blast. Too bad for you I guess!

Also you say all that about people seeing it online. Um, Gold Kart anyone? Yes, it sucks but it's kinda the only real unlockable if you like, in the game. Do people moan and whine over seeing that when they themselves either don't like it or don't have it? No, of course they don't. That, the Mercedes and all the other vehicles and parts are there to personalised your races and should not be ruined by people trying to Fus Ro Dah their hateful opinions on something really non inportant, down peoples throats. It is just a videogame and a freaking Mario game at that! Lighten the heck up!



sr388survivor said:

This is Mario Kart, not some fantasy epic. It's not like this dlc is ruining the immersion of the game. If Link starts riding a Ferrari instead of Epona, then we might have a problem lol.



Hit-Girl said:

Casuals, the core and hermits. Nintendo try to add fun and a little wackiness here and there but you just can't please the latter. Gamers, particulary those 100% Nintendo only gamers won't look at anything, freaking anything besides Zelda and Mario and well, look at the pointless hate this has caused. Try to add a little off the wall magic and we're somewhere between the end of Nintendo to explosive, projectile vomiting.

You need your heads banging together sometimes. It's free and as has been said to death, ENTIRELY OPTIONAL.



noctowl said:

I would spend money on this just to read the rage comments after playing it online. It's hilarious that people are making an issue of it.

@SMEXIZELDAMAN gag. That's probably the only vehicle that would deserve the hate and rage.



Refurin said:

It's optional DLC. There is absolutely zero rational reasons for anyone to even be slightly bothered by this.



daniruy said:

I love this "Talking Points" articles. I wasn't giving a damn about this issue. Now, because of this article, I'm thinking about it.

Thank you, Thomas.



PlywoodStick said:

It seems there is a divide between what different people consider "rational"... Even so, there's no need to be dismissive of other people just for feeling differently. Dismiss the idea, not the person.



Refurin said:

It's like being angry because someone else is eating food you don't like (optional DLC) with a food you do like (core game). No one is making anyone put that side dish on their plate, so why should the option of it being available to people bother anyone? Sorry if it seems dismissive, but it's not rational.



SleepyCrossing said:

The incorporation of branding in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is done seamlessly and actually contributes to the trading/player interaction of the game. I'll be darned if the 7-11 set I payed 15M bells for isn't a prized part of my home collection!

I think this article is a tad too pessimistic. Instead of ripping on Nintendo for establishing itself commercially, we should be praising it for NOT selling its soul for cash like many major companies already have. Nintendo is not the kind of company with a history of exploiting its consumer base for a quick boost in funds.

The Mercedes in Mario Kart 8 should be viewed as a positive thing, as it signifies that other DLC (which everyone has called for, including this site) could be on the way.



Th3PlaidHatter said:

I'm ok with properly done dlc, but not advertising. I came back to Nintendo because I got tired of the violence on other platforms, and the constant ads and nags for money on mobile.

Nintendo does everything to be different and unique. This is one of the ways they have done so and should continue.



sketchturner said:

"Perhaps a new power-up in a future Mario entry will be a can of Red Bull that 'gives him wings'"
This needs to happen immediately!!!



Tsusasi said:

@Hit-Girl It's not about the Kart itself, it's about what it represents. Like the title of the article says, it's a slippery slope... and I don't want branding and product placement jacking up the wonderfully fun worlds that Nintendo has created. I enjoy the Mario universe themed billboards along the raceways, referencing fun Nintendo themed businesses. I don't need or want ridiculous brand extensions popping up in the creative worlds I grew up with. Once that happens, the partner companies suddenly get to dictate the way their product and gameplay surrounding their product works or is handled. Goodbye strictly Nintendo gameplay, hello corporate meddling to show their product in the best light. To think that this is no big deal, and has no possible repercussions is to turn a blind eye to the rest of the industry... especially mobile/smart phone/touch gaming, social gaming and branded free-to-play.

That is unacceptable, and exactly what could happen if this Mercedes partnership is a raging success.



Tsusasi said:

Nintendo branding items, partnering with businesses to extend the brand, and throwing Nintendo images on everything is fan service and brand awareness. It's giving the consumer a way to bring their Nintendo fun into the lives in a different way. And it is external to the gaming experience. Inviting unrelated and unnecessary brand placement into the Nintendo universe is an entirely different thing altogether. There really is no correlation, other than both scenarios involve marketing and branding.

One is expanding the brand, external and in the family, so-to-speak. The other is a foreign body, invasive and bringing unrelated brands and products into a creative vision and gaming tradition. It does cheapen the brand, most definitely and it's something that I've very much respected Nintendo for resisting, especially light of recent financial troubles. M$ and $ONY went down this path a while ago, especially M$... and I got sick of ads and branding and product placement showing up everywhere in a service I already paid for. So I no longer use my 360. Maybe I will offline at some point. I still play my PS3, but they don't cram all of that marketing crap down your throat everywhere in the interface.

Nintendo had managed to remain pure by comparison. I was hoping that would never change.



Phaserborn said:

Maybe more companies may pay Nintendo to put their cars in Mario Kart 8, another way Nintendo can make money.



Nintendofan83 said:

This website has lots of ads and external links to trashy stories, but I still come here lol. There are articles on this website about wholesome NIntendo video games and celebrity smokers haha. Consumers, costumers, and readers can all easily get past the ads and external links because we enjoy the articles and the community that talks about said articles. Nintendo fans will laugh at the Benz for a moment and then move on. They will love playing all the other carts and will rarely think "hey, i'm gonna go buy a benz now". There is a slippery slope and thats when the DLC or advertising becomes intrusive to the games themselves. Someone earlier made a great point using Red Bull. If I HAVE to drink a red bull to beat a boss in a Mario game, then i'm done.



AlexSora89 said:

The sheer hilarity of Mario driving a Mercedes car makes every other argument invalid. Period.



2Sang said:

As long as it's free, why argue? Why is this even controversial? It's good business provided it's free and an option rather than mandatory.



Zizzy said:

I approve of this under certain conditions. A) It must be free DLC, B) It should only be done in Nintendo sports games and C) I don't want to see ads on every screen.

When it comes to shameless advertising and whoring out your company, it's up to the consumer to not be brainwashed by said advertisements. You should already know what products you want/need without being told by somebody else.



iphys said:

If it were some average brand, maybe I'd be put-off by the petty commercialism of it, but I just think it's really cool that I'll be able to drive a Mercedes in this game. Maybe it will get the youngsters interested in Mercedes so they'll buy one decades down the line, and maybe it will get older people interested in Mario Kart: I think I could convince my mum to play this game if I told her she could drive a Mercedes in it, because she already owns one and loves driving around town in it with the top down and having people whistle and take notice of her in it, lol.



okamiki said:

These sponsorships are being made in games that their purpose exist in real life. Kart, golf, soccer, etc.

What's wrong with ninty accept these deals??? What's wrong with we playing with a kart similar to a real car??

It's free and before crybabys start to demand new vehicles they already announced one.

You are just afraid that ninty changes MK concept in the future by adding real vehicles.



PlywoodStick said:

@Tsusasi Well said!

I have to wonder... if people believe there is no value in consistant thematic and aesthetic integrity, or even that it is less valuable than doing whatever it takes to reap the greatest profit and "cool factor"... what is there to stop any future work from being dismantled, piece by piece, into a homogenous slideshow of copy-pasted factory products? If it doesn't matter, and it's not worth caring for...

Then what value does individual identity have? Why bother pursuing any identity at all?



jjmesa16 said:

I love the idea of adding real cars to Mario Kart. As long as the sponsorship doesn't get too overblown (10+ manufacturers with multiple models) I'm ok with it. It'd be cool to have a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, or even a Mustand or a Corvette would be cool to see in Mario Kart. The have had other real cars in other video games so I don't see the problem here. Just as long as they aren't putting ads/commercials, or constant banners in games I'm alright with it.

Btw I kind of with the Mercedes-Benz was a SLK or a SLS instead of a GLA, simply for the cool factor of the S-Class roadsters.



Tsusasi said:

@SahashraLA Again, one has nothing to do with the other. One effects, distracts and diminishes the quality, over-all experience and immersion of gamers in the world of a particular game. With Nintendo games, these worlds have nothing to do with reality or the artifices of the real world... and that's what makes them so appealing and charming.

The other is... retail merchandise that allows for fans to collect and enjoy their favorite Nintendo characters and worlds outside of the gaming experience. The two cannot logically or rationally be compared to one another. If I buy a box of Mario cereal and eat it in a Yoshi bowl, when I go to play Super Mario 3D World it will not have altered the gaming experience. Not aesthetically, not gameplay wise, and the world that I so looked forward to immersing myself in at the end of a long day will not be disrupted by a McDonald's flag, or Sour Patch Bears instead of Goombas. Slippery. Slope. Period.



sleepinglion said:

I don't mind so much if it's optional DLC... and who can argue with free?! But there's no denying it's just terribly out of place in that 'world'. It's like when Danica Patrick showed up in Sonic & All-Star Racing Transformed. Why was this needed over another classic Sega character?! While another car isn't as pointless as several character models given a metal finish... grrr... it's optional, and the sight might be humorous enough to make it worthwhile.



SahashraLA said:

It's not as different as you think. Merchandising is merchandising. PERIOD. Hello Kitty Street Fighter dolls doesn't diminish Street Fighter? It's humourous to think that, if Nintendo lends their trademarks to another's works that another wouldn't lend to their works.
I could guess, and probably pretty acurately, that 20-30% of the users who post on these boards actually owns a Wii U.
If the Wii U was selling proper, this wouldn't be happening.
But, again..



Achoo said:

For me personally, I do not like it at all, for many reasons, some of which you have outlined in your article.
I think how much people 'care' about this will depend largely on their age. When I was young I couldn't give a hoots about this sort of thing, as I didn't know any better. But now as a mature, free thinking and reasonably intelligent person, I find it disturbing in many ways



Mikeopferman said:

It is free! This article and a bunch of posts take it way too far! Let Nintendo merchandise their products. I know my children are super excited about it, and unlike some of you, we actually have a WiiU. We are the market Nintendo is going for, super excited. And I would pay for this, I think it is a great deal, BRING ON the Minivan!



3Daniel said:

also as an intelligent mature and free thinking individual i have no issue with tossing shells and sliding around banana peels while karting in a mercedes. i actually want this dlc. if for nothing else then my own amusement. for those that take a spin with this dlc and then rush out to buy a luxury vehicle because mario "told" them is their business.



El_Cuajinais said:

Hello everyone. After being a lifelong gamer, I got burned on video games and had not touched a controller for 1.5 years (except for Spelunky, which I purchased a used PS Vita just to be able to play it again). I became jaded with gaming in general, Spelunky being the single breath of fresh air. In fact I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if you are a hardcore gamer who enjoys 2D platformers, Spelunky will change your life.

Anyway my hiatus with Nintendo had been actually been LOT longer than 1.5 years. I always loved their games but refused to play them in standard def. Fast forward to early May of this year and a Mario Kart 8 preview article changed everything. I purchased the Mario Kart 8 bundle on release day and have been enjoying the heck out it. I purchased two extra pro controllers and had some old friends over for some 4-Player mayhem. What a blast. I used my coupon for New Super Mario Bros Wi U, we have been enjoying the heck out of it with my son and wife. My wife, who never showed interest in modern video games but had always mentioned she loved Super Mario while growing up. This is the best console for families, it's not even a competition. Wii U is simply the best console to share together and have wholesome fun. (Though I absolutely HATE the motion controls gimmick the Wii U sadly inherited from the Wii). I will be purchasing Super Mario 3D World in the next month or two.

So with my introduction out of the way I want to say I don't like the branded DLC one bit. It does not fit with the mushroom kingdom. I will obviously not download it, but I expect that I will have to live with this DLC abomination when I play online, which makes it less likely I will partake in the online portion of the game. So far I had enjoyed playing online; not terribly since like all online games, I quickly reached my rank and from that point forward found myself always in the middle of the pack. And I enjoy winning much more than I enjoy losing. Especially if I'm in the living room sitting by myself. Thanks nintendolife for expressing what many of us where thinking regarding this worrying DLC. Even if we don't download it, this DLC will likely ruin the online portion of the game for those of us that are not interested in polluting the mushroom kingdom with the real world.



ZXMechonBuster said:

You guys are making something out of nothing. If it were blue instead of grey no one would be complaining. It's not like Mario Kart is a life-lasting epic that would be completely ruined by one innocent thing.



Kohaku said:

it's allready going on for years in Pokémon games where you can get special pokémon by wifi in certain stores. I never had those pokémon because its allways an hour driving away.



Shane904 said:

I have no issues with how the current product placement is. It's optional, free, and fits in. Now, if you were to make a Mtn Dew kart or Dorito gear for Mario Golf, that might be different.



Simtower said:

@Shane904 Agree with you , as long as its related to the game like the callayway in the mario golf, and this Mercedes is mario kart, but like you said if they made a Gamestop kart or disney golf clubs it wont look good.



Simtower said:

@jjmesa16 no not really we like Mario Kart as the arcade racer as it is, turning it into a gran turismo or Forza would just ruin it. I belive the dlc that Nintendo should be looking into are more characters, players we havent played before such as a goomba or nabit.



AshFoxX said:

I understand this mercedes deal is somewhat beneficial, even if it does seem to stick out of place in the game. Im in the group that says if you dont like it, dont use it. at the same time, 20 years from now we will inevitably look back at MK8 as "the one with the mercedes" which will also immediately make the game dated in the coming years.

Imagine if Mario Kart 64 had a sponsored car from that era. Do we really need a Mario Kart equivelent to Beetle Adventure Racing? It sounds harmless in the moment but it will age badly.



Gamer83 said:


Yup, it's as simple as that really. Don't like it, don't download. It's free, it's easily avoidable but as usual 'gamers' would rather p*ss and moan about insignificant stuff while not paying any attention at all to actual problems within the game industry.



StarDust4Ever said:

Really guys, it's not like this hasn't been done before. Turtles II for NES had Pizza Hut signs plastered everywhere:
I don't believe any teens or parents playing Turtles back in the day seriously took offence to the Pizza Hut signs.

The Mercedes doesn't look realistic at all, more like a kid's power wheel. Fits right in with all the other rediculous vehicles in the game, and there are some rediculous looking cart combos. Think Bowser driving the biddybuggy with roller whells.

Oh well. The Mercedes will become my preferred target whenever I battle online, Mhu-ha-ha!!!



Lovomotif said:

I think it's a cool DLC. If you don't like it, don't download it. There's no need to take it THAT seriously.



Dreamz said:

Advertising and product placement have already infected just about everything. I'd rather not have it do the same to my game. So no, I won't be downloading the DLC. Even though it's free. Even if they were to pay me.



Dankykong said:

Ooooh we got 3 brand name DLCs for 3 separate games. Yeah Nintendo must be over branding it by now woah woah woah watch your step Nintendo facepalm



andreoni79 said:

Even a fly in a soup is free, but I still don't like it.
It's not a matter of DLC or advertising: the car just don't fit. It's like putting a Mario kart in Forza Motorsport... A McDonald or a Gamestop in a Grand Theft Auto would make the city more realistic, but if you put one of them in Zelda or Dark Souls, then there's something wrong!



Dreamz said:

To be fair, the DLC doesn't fit any worse than the sports coupe that you can unlock normally. Though I generally don't use the coupe either for the same reason.



DarkCoolEdge said:

As long as it doesn't become frequent, I don't mind. It's also important that they aren't an integral part of the experience.



electrolite77 said:

Why are some posters so upset with NL for putting up the article, clearly marked 'Talking Point' when its apparent some other posters don't like it and so it was worth starting the discussion



Vriess said:

@Artwark "I can't believe we're complaining for just additional DLC......."

That's how it starts. Gotta nip this in the bud.



MadAdam81 said:

Mercedes should have gone for three different karts - the other two being a small 4 and a Mercedes F1 car. It would be cool just trying to find the wheels and parachute that look the most ridiculous with each one.
I would also like a free sponsored cup DLC. I think that as long as the content is good and free, sponsored DLC is a winner, and on disc sponsored content, as longas it fits, wwould he accepted, especially if it means the game has a bigger budget.



Einherjar said:

I really dont know why this is such a big deal.
This is all free stuff that noone NEEDS to get and that isnt shoved down your throat.
Lakitun isnt telling you "buy a mercedes will you" before every race, Callaway isnt running its own shop in mario golf to suit you up in pro gear. The animal crossing stuff isnt even that weird compared to all the other stuff you can get in this game. Whats the difference between a real life 7up sign and another famous real life artifact ?

If you ask me, it would be a problem if they would force it onto you OR even charge money for it. But if they do it that way, why not ?
Nintendo is still a company that needs to make money, and this is a very painless way for both, nintendo and its consumers.



TheWeird said:

Not worried about the sponsorship, only that Mercedes, and this car in particular, is a strange fit. The GLA starts at £33000 in the UK which is about 25% more than the average national salary, so hardly mass market. As far as I can tell this is a car primarily used to just to take spoiled brat kids to school. But then it's not just about promoting the brand, as they could have gone with a more exotic "fantasy" model just to do that, so they obviously want to push this particular model. I suppose the money offered was too much for Nintendo to worry about 'brand fit'...



SetupDisk said:

I don't care as long as it doesn't get into stuff that has negative health effects on kids, like the red bull referenced in the article(well negative health effects for everybody with that example). Which I can't see ever happening,

Especially with some of the major mistakes in that regard to some pokemon tie ins.



WanderingPB said:

Free and optional, right? Ok…so i guess we ran out of things to complain about huh?

Hey selecting a games difficulty is also free and optional let us all RAISE HELL!!!



tux_peng said:

It does look a bit out of place, but not too much. Don't know if I'll pick it up, but maybe...

PS-- is it possible this will need a download code only available at mercaidies dealers?



CoreyCannabis said:

I can't wait for Mario's official Timberland boots. Or will it be Wolverine? Perhaps Red Wing? Let the bidding war begin!
They'll go good with his Carhartt overalls.



Geonjaha said:

@Mk_II - What if I'm playing an online race with other players, and I'm forced to play alongside someone else in a Mercedes car even though I don't have the DLC?

I don't mind this being a single player thing, and I don't know if it can be played with online, but if it is then its not a question as to whether or not you can ignore it.



XCWarrior said:

I have always hated paid DLC. You want to give gamers free DLC as a thank you for making your game a million seller? Great. You want to charge us $6 for courses that should have been in the game in the first place, like in Mario Golf? Well that's just BS.Mario Golf is my GOTY game right now, but I haven't even thought about buying the DLC b/c I am against it so much.



PlywoodStick said:

Well, if this is OK, then why stop at Mercedes-Benz? Why not create a whole roster of licensed cars? Ford, GM, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, Pontiac, Volvo, Hyundai, Jeep, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagon, Mazda, Hummer...

Why stop at one? Why not have cars to represent every manufacturer? That would be nice, right? No harm done. Just erase all the karts and replace them with cars. If it doesn't affect the gameplay, is free, and is optional, no harm done, right?



Bass_X0 said:

Well, if this is OK, then why stop at Mercedes-Benz? Why not create a whole roster of licensed cars?

Mercedes-Benz approached Nintendo and said that they wanted to use a Mercedes-Benz car in Mario Kart for advertising reasons. Nintendo isn't going to go around approaching different car manufacturers but if others want to approach Nintendo and make such a request, Nintendo will let them.



Bass_X0 said:

Imagine if Mario Kart 64 had a sponsored car from that era.

Mario Kart 64 didn't have a wide variety of vehicle parts to choose from.



Troggy said:

I don't mind as long as said adverts don't affect gameplay in a negative way. In some cases, it can provide something useful to the player (Such as the Animal Crossing items and Mario Kart 8 vehicle), but in other cases, it's in your face and ruins the experience (Such as adverts in smartphone apps or promotional items made to only make the product seen absolutely perfect in every way).



Bass_X0 said:

And yet if they had someone like Mega Man as DLC in Mario Kart 8, people would rejoice.



remlapgamer said:

This was only a concern because someone wanted to make it concern, i think you would have trouble finding someone who cared enough to trash Nintendo or Mariokart for this profitable move. I actually find it interesting now that light has been shed on this.



Kirk said:

When it actually fits I don't really have an issue with it (remember the Kawazaki advertising in Wave Race...) but when it just stands out like a sore thumb and looks totally forced, as it does with the Mercedes DLC in Mario Kart 8 imo, I'm not so down with it.



Hit-Girl said:

So, yeah.
That Mercedes eh? I wonder what stats it has. I'd imagine good handling but terrible acceleration.



Achoo said:

@Hit-Girl I won't pretend to know anything about cars. Are Mercedes typically slow on acceleration or something?
Personally, I am not a fan of commercialism in most forms, but I especially don't want it in my fantasy worlds, I'm a bit OCD like that. I don't even like product placement in movies. Don't break the forth wall I say.
I'm all for LOTS of DLC don't get me wrong, but I'm not of the opinion that if free must be good.



Hit-Girl said:

I know nothing about cars. Heck, I can't even ride a bike! It just looks like it'd take off from the line like a slug. I like it but despite what I've said and I'm more than likely contradicting myself but, I can't be bothered to check! I can understand peoples concerns but not the hate this has generated.
Mercedes has made a silly, crazy racer all the more silly and crazy. Just don't use it if you don't like it and if seeing it online will be an issue, just ignore it.



theblackdragon said:

@Hit-Girl, @Achoo, @3Daniel: We can have this conversation without insulting others, please and thank you. If you don't like what someone else here has to say, by all means report them if they're breaking our Community Rules, but if it's just a difference of opinion, we ask that you keep any rudeness on your parts to yourselves, up to and including any unasked-for grammar or spelling critique. I don't care who started it, all of you chose to participate in the fallout, and the person who chooses to continue such a horrid train of arguments will wind up banned. This is your warning: Please be excellent to your fellow users.

@LunaticPandora, same goes for you — watch the insults, please, they are absolutely unnecessary. Thanks in advance, everyone!



3Daniel said:

@theblackdragon thank you. i am sorry for my conduct and participation. truely. but on the bright side this opens the doors to the rumoured battle modes dlc and birdo!



Mk_II said:

It all depends on HOW they implement this. It would be easy to filter out opponents that have or do not have the DLC. Or they could just replace the Mercedes kart with the default kart if you don't have the DLC. There are more ways to skin a cat (or kart)



FernandoMachado said:

I think it's very tacky in a good way... I like it.
By the way, some of the cars unlocked on the game by normal means are very real-world-ish too.



SMW said:

Does not fit the game at all, but hey at least its not Danica. (SEGA Racing)



mike_intv said:

The GLA is appealing to younger families (than a typical Merc) --- at least in early US data.

It appears to be going after the same buyer who might be looking at a Honda CRV but can afford a bit more. Depending on features, the difference may only be a few thousands US dollars. Thus, it may be the Mario audience after all.



PlywoodStick said:

I guess we should have known, but... This confirms Mario is just as much a rich snob as Wario. Mario just pretends to be an everyman to appear to be an endearing character... At least Wario makes no false pretenses about his true identity.

Ah, there goes my childhood down the wormhole...



Williaint said:

As long as they don't rely on other brands for advertising.... "Look! We gots mercedes, we duh bomb!"



Geonjaha said:

@CoreyCannabis - Not going online isn't a solution. It just means that if I want to play Mario Kart without random Mercedes cars, I cant use online mode. That's when optional DLC starts to affect people.



Plutonian said:

As long as I can ignore it it's fine. If there comes a time when I can't play Mario Kart, or any other game, without having ads shoved down my throat, then I will stop playing. The only exception being sports game because the banners and other things add to the realism in those games.



Tsusasi said:

@StarDust4Ever Ah... but it's not a 1st party Nintendo title... and the Turtles are based in Manhattan... a real world city, AND they love pizza. It makes sense and doesn't look out of place.



Tsusasi said:

@SahashraLA Actually, it's completely different. Again, one is just product that exists OUTSIDE OF THE GAME ENVIRONMENT that DOESN'T NOT EFFECT, ALTER, OR TRANSFORM IN ANY WAY the GAMING EXPERIENCE.

The other is INVASIVE, GAME-CHANGING, and ALTERS THAT GAMING ENVIRONMENT AND CANON. Look... we already have people who think it will be hilarious to grief people online with this kart... and if its stats are somehow skewed to favor the Mercedes brand... something that doesn't actually exist in the Mario universe, then it's already begun to be a bad thing.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Great article, Tom!
So far I didn’t mind any of this being in a Ninty game and while shocked by the announcement I suppose we’ll just see how popular the Mercedes will really be in online races. Maybe it wouldn't even look so radical with a Mii in it. One thing’s for sure though, you’re not going to make any friends by using it online.
I can see that DLC being a hit with a certain demographic with migrant background here though. These people truly love their Benzes.



RobbySuave said:

@Samurai_Goroh That's different. Wave Race was a realistic simulator. It added to the realism. Mario Kart is very cartoony and over the top-hardly realistic. At the very least, it's weird to have fairly photo realistic, real world things in Mario Kart.



RickyWill said:

By the logic of this article, and that everyone in this website hates advertising more than active terrorists, Xbox 360 is the worst console ever because it has advertisements on it's main menu.



World said:

Although I don't have Mario Kart 8, I went and played the Callaway tournament in Mario Golf after reading this article. I barely noticed the product placement at all. There's a little brand flag to show what tournament you are playing, but the name-branded gear is pretty nondescript!

I think my opinion now is that when it makes sense, such as these examples, and is a nondescript item (rather than constant branded signage or something) it's totally okay.

However, random product placement would be so not on, and I think/hope Nintendo knows this!



PlywoodStick said:

@Cresartist That might be an overexaggeration...

After all, the XBox1 is the worst modern console currently available in terms of adverising and limitations, not the 360. At least the 360 gives you the choice of going offline to avoid ads... Thankfully, the Kinect 2.0 is being dropped, that thing may as well have been a form of domestic terrorism.



Henmii said:

I am not really pro sponsored DLC, and I am not pro using celebrities to promote their games either! We don't want to see our games filled with advertisements, and a lame celebrity doesn't need to tell me that a game is good!

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