Apple is set to hold a keynote event later today. At the upcoming presentation, the company is expected to mainly talk about new services, with a focus on their video streaming offering that's set to rival both Netflix and Amazon. However, many are hinting that the event could be about much more than just one new service, and won't even touch upon any new Apple hardware.
As an aside, if you're a keen Apple observer, you will have noticed Apple took to Twitter last week to announce several new hardware products, including new iPads, iMacs and AirPods — all stuff typically reserved for a big press event. By moving all of these hardware reveals to just web announcements, Apple may have just cleared up plenty of space so their event can big up services, services and more services.
So, how does this tie into Nintendo you ask? Well, a report from business news network Cheddar back in January suggested that Apple may be exploring the possibility of some form of gaming subscription. The report hinted that such a service would allow paying users access to a bundled list of iOS titles, in addition to other benefits.
Now, any further details on this could-be service have been admittedly scant - so the following is just conjecture. More recent reports have surfaced, so there may be enough reason to believe that the launch of such a service, if real, may be a good place for Nintendo to give us a glimpse at their upcoming mobile kart racer.
Think of it this way, Mario Kart Tour was originally due to launch by the end of this month, but instead got pushed back to a vague 'summer' timeframe. Not only that, but Apple and Nintendo do have some history here – with Super Mario Run. We were all surprised to see Shigeru Miyamoto on stage at an Apple event, bringing Mario of all things to another platform. History has a tendency to repeat itself. Could we see 'Tim Apple' and 'Shigeru Nintendo' on stage once again?
Nintendo has been making plenty of noise of late about their evolving approach to mobile games. The company is increasingly open about its concern with microtransaction-driven experiences. It's clear that games with lots of in-app purchases are not the favoured approach for Nintendo going forward, and considering that Super Mario Run did not perform as well as Nintendo had hoped, it may be the right time for the company to try a new, wholly different approach.
Say, for example, that Apple's gaming subscription service is real. Let's hypothesise that Apple offers developers a set amount up-front to be an exclusive game on the service (Nintendo could no doubt command a hefty sum here), and then a cut of revenue each time the game is played.
This way Nintendo gets recurring revenue from the title without having to ask customers up-front to pay to play. This recurring revenue would only be enhanced from updates and additions to the game down the road – something Nintendo has said it will be doing with this mobile Mario Kart.
It's all been very quiet on the Mario Kart front, now would be a good time to make a splash before it launches in a few months time. Let's see what happens, but in the meantime, let us know your thoughts.