Nintendo has announced a handful of new updates coming to its mobile racing game, Mario Kart Tour, throughout September. But one big change — coming in October — is that the game will no longer have gacha elements, instead opting for what it's calling a 'Spotlight Shop'.
If you've ever used a capsule toy machine or a gachapon machine, then you have a pretty good idea of what gacha games are like. They entice you to spend in-game currency — which you can either earn by playing the game or get by spending real money — to buy random in-game items. Popular games that use gacha include Genshin Impact, Dragalia Lost (which is sadly closing down in November), Fire Emblem Heroes (which is Nintendo's most-popular mobile game) and Pokémon Masters EX.
YouTuber Jenny Geist shared an in-game notification she received when booting up Mario Kart Tour earlier today, which indicated that from 4th October, a new store would be available in-game, and it will have new and returning items.
You'll be able to use the rubies you get in-game at the store to get new drivers, karts, and gliders, and it sounds like the store will have a rotating stock. So the monetisation aspect is still part of the game, but the random element will be removed.
Before the Spotlight Shop opens its doors, Battle Mode is also coming to Tour later this month! You'll, at last, be able to duke it out with others online from the comfort of your phone.
More information on all of these upcoming updates will be announced on the official Mario Kart Tour Twitter, but we think this is at least a step in the right direction. The next Tour coming to the mobile game kicks off on 6th/7th September (timezone dependent), and it pits the Mario brothers against each other!
- Further reading - Mario And Luigi Go Head To Head In Mario Kart Tour's New Update
How do you feel about this announcement? Do you prefer an in-game shop to random gacha elements? Race on down to the comments!
[source twitter.com, via twitter.com]
This is shockingly pro-consumer. Like....WHAT!?
so they are trying to cement this as a mario kart 9 game....
don't care, its still a spinoff phone game
That's nice, still won't play it though since the driving mechanics are still bad. Also most tracks are coming to MK8DX anyway
This is definitely a step in the right direction, no more tiny chances of getting the thing you want through ridiculous grind or over-spending.
I bet the prices will probably reflect the old ways though, things will be too expensive to reasonably earn through free play, encouraging you to buy the in-game currency instead.
I wonder why Nintendo / DeNA decided to do this now, exactly 3 years after launch. EU regulations? Public opinion on gacha-mechanics? Low profit rates?
I wish this was implemented before my boy Petey was introduced — I wasted many rubies and didn't even get him. But better late than never I suppose.
I’m just afraid that the prices for High End drivers, karts and gliders will be so high that you can’t in a reasonable way earn them through normal play, even with a gold pass subscription. 100 Rubies for a Mii Costume is too much, and fire off a pipe for 10 different things cost 45 rubies today, with a chance for multiple High Ends and more common items. They probably keep the random pipe for green coins in tours, I guess.
Well, that's good, I may actually give it a try now. Depending on how much things will cost, because I'm not about to spend overly much on every character.
Good riddance the bad gacha rubbish!
That I was seeing things for a secound. Er, kudos, for once lol.
I honestly think they should've done this with Dr Mario World because that one was actually a very fun puzzle game imo
Wonderful, now I'm definitely thinking more seriously about giving Tour another try. As someone who doesn't mind free-to-play, I do hate the thought of paying for just the random chance to get what I want. Good riddance, though the timing is interesting. If only it was always like this!
Battle moooode!!! All good news for my daily Mario Kart fix 🙂
Might try it now that I'll be able to flat out buy Wario.
Nintendo not actively try to scam consumers is certainly a turn up for the books.
Maybe it will actually release now in Belgium and I don't have to spoof living in the Netherlands anymore.
Belgium has a very strict law against lootbox mechanisms and MarioKart isn't allowed to be released here, so I have to manually sideload the APK on every update.
@BlueShellYoshi nintendo said we have to get into Belgium at any cost!!! 🇧🇪🇧🇪🇧🇪🇧🇪🇧🇪
They really are trying pull this is mario kart 9 it won't I still say its spin off not one of titles.
With overwatch 2 also moving to a battle pass system, I’m glad that the industry is moving away from this practice
Dang, I might actually try this now.
I might actually play the game again.
Now this IS good news. I mean, to be fair, many games have been turning away from gacha-style microtransactions.
Judging by how other games have evolved to replace loot boxes/gacha, this isn't necessarily a good thing like Halo Infinite's monetization is a lot worse than Halo 5's monetization.
Hopefully Mario Kart Tour is different and the removal of gacha does actually make obtaining stuff more reasonable.
On one hand, I'm happy to hear about the removal. On the other hand, we've yet to see exactly how many rubies it's going to be to get that one driver you really want. The Mii racing suits already run 100 rubies - at the moment if you boot up the game shop, you can purchase 93 rubies for $49.99. It'll be interesting to see if the Spotlight Shop items are priced the same way. If they are, I'm not sure this is actually a change for the better.
now remove gambling mechanics from FE Heroes too
Very nice to see my biggest complaint about this "game" being thrown out. It better be as permanent as bedrock. Shame it is still god awful, but at least it can be called a game now instead of a disgrace to humanity, unlike 95% of the entire mobile games market, including Nintendo's own Fire Emblem.
Hoping and praying all this predatory gambling get slapped with bans, fines and massive bullet proof age restrictions as soon as possible. It has ruined countless lives worldwide to the same severe degree as drugs and alcohol, and almost destroyed everything good about the industry as a whole, and it along with all of its industry supporters are among the lowest scum of humanity.
To quote Obi-Wan:
"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
About time! Don't know what I would do if I got another Baby Rosalina...
Still enjoying it without spending a penny, or cent if you are in the U.S....
Very interesting point of view, as sure there will be people that abuse these things, but the mass majority will not, so your answer ban all things that have a potential to be misused...by a tiny minority.
I’ve had a resurgence with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe over the past couple of months so maybe I’ll finally try Tour again with the “loot boxes” gone.
@Gamergirl94 @NintendoKnight Mario Kart Tour being a mainline number entry as MK9 has been established since the reveal of the MK8 Booster Course Pass. If you pass Tour as a spinoff against Nintendo's judgement then you're willingly wrong.
Likely just a move to be able to release the game in Belgium and other countries that have outlawed games with loot boxes but still will take it as a pro-consumer victory.
Too bad this update won't actually make the game control less like garbage.
Had to stop because it made me suck at actual Mario Kart
@johnvboy Do you feel satisfaction for not spending a cent on a game designed to entice people in spending money? I often find you in these mobile related articles gloating you don't like an echo chamber so I have to ask. You bring up majority and minority at a similar rate, but you realize we're the minority that doesn't mind being drip-fed content whereass the majority, weaker-willed, have funded this game be it a 20 bucks or pocket change to secure the content right then without tedious grind. It's why this game is still afloat.
Don't get too excited, so many companies are removing Loot Boxes and similar stuff from their games because there are countries that banned them.
I am against nanny state measures, but this time this was necessary, Loot Boxes are gambling, simple as that, just because you can get a bad prize or a good prize, bigger chances for a bad prize, but there's always a prize, it doesn't mean it's not gambling, just because you can't cash in your prize for real money, it doesn't mean it's not gambling.
There are things worse than Loot Boxes that I don't want a government ban.
Good, because that concept is garbage
If only they could go back in time and remove this "game" completely.
I simply offer a counter opinion to the endless unjustified hatred the mobile games market gets from some on here, I would not spend any money on these games as they are advertised as free to play.
As for the rights and wrongs with all this everyone will have an opinion, and there is good and bad with everything if you look deep enough. And as I said with all products there is a potential for misuse, but you can't run the whole game for a small percentage of people, when on the whole most people have very few issues.
"Just don't spend any money" is often a bad excuse to justify these games, since the gameplay experience will be worse for everyone, even if you don't pay, players who refuse to spend money will get treated like dogs getting treats, tricked to play every day and change their daily routines, eventually some will give up and start paying.
There is still free choice however, we can choose to play or not to play, and spend or not, nobody is being forced here, nobody is holding a gun to anyone's head.
Mario Kart Tour had a better system where you could see which prizes each pipe had, meaning that betting on the pipe and not receiving what you wanted, meant that next time, the chances would be higher, and if you managed to collect around 450 rubies, spending them all at once meant that your prize was guaranteed.
While this system was less abusive, it had to go away, people complained so much about horse armor back in 2006, but at least you paid for horse armor, you got horse armor, you didn't pay to spin a wheel that could give you horse armor.
Overall, I think this’ll be a good, but I am curious how much individual racers/karts/gliders will cost.
I dont mind the gacha, makes getting what u want more exciting
Upgrades will no longer cost real money in Pikmin Bloom this month, and Mario Kart Tour will remove its gacha elements next month? All this almost makes up for the death of Dragalia Lost (and Doctor Mario World)...almost…
I gave up playing this game when Multiplayer launched and the track was full of the same character because of the bonus... and I didn't have the character. ¬¬
It's probably because Europe is really clamping down on lootboxes, but this is a very good move. Might get me to pick up the game again!
Downloaded this for my nephew thinking he might prefer it over the console MK games. And then I wound up getting addicted to it. I love the avalanche of content.
(it is so bizarre that yellow Yoshi and gold Mario aren't available as racers)
This would be a move in a positive direction. The idea of loot boxes with odds are starting to see places like Europe crack down on them. Nintendo is just trying to buck that part a little and still have a store that will be able to use real money in it but you know what you get.
@johnvboy I do respect your opinion but politely disagree.
Ban might have been a strong word, but it is my opinion that these games have zero heart and passion behind them, they are as far from art as you can get, and they only exist to make as much money as possible. I want to pay to support art and quality, and some mobile games are amazing, but the fact is that the vast majority are free to play shovelware that wants you to spend as much money as possible or just watch ads, and these kind of games make serious harm to those who actually try. I've played plenty of these kind of mobile games, enough to form my own opinion on this.
It's okay to enjoy these games. I'm not hating anyone who do like them, I just hate what they represent. Some are more harmful than others, like drugs, some dugs are harmless and shouldn't be banned, others are dangerous if you try and then get hooked. I get that I may have missed that important nuance in my first comment. Sorry about that. You do get swept up in the hate mob very easily in these things ...
I get they are not for you personally, and I can take them or leave them, but as I said there will be good and bad with most things like this, some will enjoy them and spend responsibly, and some won't.
A lot of this comes down to personal perspective, as if I say to my wife I am buying a game at £50, she will say that it sounds expensive, but both her and my daughter do not mind microtransactions in mobile games, they do not abuse it by any stretch of the imagination, but still it's a different mindset.
Drugs are a very tough subject, yes there are laws in place to protect people, but you could also argue making them illegal not only makes them more desirable, and in some cases more dangerous as you are not sure what's going into them. Plus you tend to see a lot more criminality, as people will still be offering these drugs, because there is a demand at the end of the day.
I think my initial comment was a little unfair, and I will edit it, as you say very easy to pick a side and go on the offensive.
@johnvboy I do fully agree with you regarding drugs. Like Prohibition in the 20's showed, banning something completely tend to only make things worse.
Paying a lot upfront is something I get can turn off a lot of people as well. Of course it's all personal perspective and picking a side, fighting each other won't solve anything. I do get swept up in these things emotionally because I have had relatives who have lost a lot in these games, but not everyone does, and that's okay.
I do think the industry just has to mature. You're cool, man, and I wish more were like you on this site.
Without a doubt, if you personally know someone affected by these games, your views will be affected by it.
But you sound very reasonable too, and hope they are o.k.
I think the main take away from all this is we need better regulation, and bodies that exist to help people who do get addicted, of course having strict guidelines in place to mitigate a lot of potential problems would be much better, as with most things prevention is usually more effective than a cure.
I’m probably gonna get lynched for this but I actually don’t mind Gacha since I like the element of surprise to it. (This is gonna be disliked to heck and back is it?)
As long as the shop prices aren't egregious, then this could be a really nice change. But when Mii suits are 100 rubies and almost all of them are subpar, I'm a bit worried that they'll price the standard stuff at a much higher price because it's more valuable.
I absolutely despise Nintendo for getting rid of dragalia. I spent so much time and money into hat game. This is like the 3rd failed gotcha I’ve gotten into I’m done with them all
I don’t play it but I would love for more gacha games to adopt this approach instead. This is great news for gaming!
I like gacha systems, getting a rare item is super satisfiying
I believe this is really good, since some challenges in the game are only beatable with certain characters / cars that can only be found randomly (or by speding a huge amount of money ).
Gatcha works well on Fire Emblem Heroes because there´s no such thing. You can beat all missions / chapters with any character, as long as you customize them well, and the game is very generous in giving in-game currency (orbs, in this case)
Still, the driving mechanics in Mario Kart Tour is really bad. It´s unresponsive, we never feel that we are able to control the carts properly.
A lot of hate in the comments for a Mario kart game with better game design than MK8. The driving mechanics are obviously limited by the mobile format, but the tour concept and ranked mode maintains the players interest much better than the static world of MK8.
scoring points is becoming more fun than just racing and should be adopted for every game in the future
theres a learning curve but it only took a week or two to master, I would enable gyro to help save u if u slightly miss something to get back on track of things, also taking off ur case helps if u have one for wide turns w the edge of the phone
@BASEDSAKRI agree. The combo system alone makes racing far more satisfying. I would love to see the game design of tour applied to MK8's driving mechanics and graphics on console. That would truly be an excellent Mario Kart experience.
Well I for one have my torch and pitchfork ready.
Now do the same thing to fortune cookies in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and I'll play it again.
@NintendoKnight uggggg. Your probably right. I vomited in my mouth a little bit when I read your comment.
@mjharper WTF? Are you serious? In that game you have the ability to spend $50 in one shot? Sounds like Mobile gaming has got even worse since I last dabbled in it.
Nintendo be pro consumer? what universe i in
@NOALink see that's one big reason I don't like mobile games it's a huge compromise of control. And then they use predatory tactics to extract money from the player.
Good on them for switching to a less exploitative business model, though hopefully their profits won't nosedive as a result. Maybe they figure the extra money from repurposing their tracks as Mario Kart 8 DLC is enough of a counterbalance. I've been more or less happy with Nintendo's other gacha games, since I've been able to get about 90% of the characters I wanted in Dragalia and FEH for free. Though with the former shutting down soon, I do wish I could somehow preserve everything I've collected, and really pity anyone who dumped hundreds of dollars into the game.
… Wun can only hope.
I gave up on Mario Kart Tour a long time ago. When a game offers $39 DLC to add Diddy Kong versus an entire game costing the same on sale, or it's DLC costing only $24.
@TheBigK you've been able to get him for free for a while now
Wait, maybe this will finally make mario kart tour legal in my country! Woo!
@Vix On the matter of heart in these games. The problem could be that the care or attention the developers put in fails to reach the audience. It fails to reach the audience's hearts because many of those hearts disagree with the feeling of paying to win or playing to be beaten.
I disagree that the presence of uncertainty and gambling randomness brings out a lack of passion or heart in the developers. The hearts of the devs and the gambling are separate factors to a degree, I think putting all of these games under (no heart/ no passion) is not correct.
I think this next statement may be faulty, but the money to continue supporting a game they want to make could be a passionate developer's hope.
If you take Mario run for example, the game had a more traditional payment structure and it failed to reach the mobile audience, guess they like the free to play model with micro transactions better.. or at least they are more used to this.
@TheSaneInsanity Sure. It could also be that the developers had a wonderful idea and wanted to bring the passion, but then all the heart and soul was ripped out by their publishers as they carpet bombed their game with these mechanics. I do fully understand a game needs to make money, but I think there are a million better ways to do it without turning harmful, like an in- game shop where you know how much you spend and what you spend it on.
It's definitely complicated.
@Greatluigi Say what you will. Forget what others think.
It’s probably because their data is showing most people are now spending their gems on the new mii store instead of the pipes
@Kimyonaakuma if you have her at max level, you’d get some coins to spend on more Baby Rosalinas in the shop!
This is just prep work for the eventual switch port.
@Roz1281 I'm pretty sure that's what the new DLC for Mario Kart 8 is for. I'd be VERY surprise if this game got ported to Switch.
@Shade_Koopa You're probably right. I had a bit to drink last night when I made that reply. Still, I've been thinking about the possibility. It would be cool to try the game with proper controller support.
Also, strangely I like the gacha mechanics in this game, though I usually hate the idea. I don't spend money and I like earning my daily pull, or the guaranteed high-end at the end of a tour. Did sign up for the two-week gold trial though, they really assault you with unlocks at that point to get you hooked! Still will be cancelling, it's far too much money for what you get, random or not.
@Roz1281 That's usually how mobile games work. Even Nintendo new it work well. Mario Kart on Mobile is a guaranteed win.
It is nice to see the courses coming to Mario Kart 8. Game is still played to this day, despite how long it's been out. XD
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