Nintendo plans to remove loot boxes from Mario Kart Tour, a popular mobile title that’s generated about $300 million for the company.
The kart-racing spinoff launched in September 2019 on the App Store and Google Play, allowing players to put their skills to the test on maps previously seen in the mainline series.
As with anything Mario Kart-related, the title performed exceptionally well. For example, data from Sensor Tower suggests players downloaded Mario Kart Tour over 90 million times in its first week of availability. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp topped 14 million downloads in its opening week by comparison.
It’s a given that the kart racer has generated hundreds of millions of dollars since its initial launch. Thus, some may find the latest Mario Kart Tour news a bit surprising when taking its earnings into account.
Mario Kart Tour’s loot boxes will speed away next month
Nintendo recently announced plans to do away with gacha elements in Mario Kart Tour. The update that will remove loot boxes will go live on an unspecified date in October.
At present, users can spend virtual currency on microtransactions that offer randomized rewards in the form of karts and characters.
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The upcoming changes won’t totally rid the game of purchasing options, though. Sometime in late September, Nintendo intends to introduce the Spotlight Shop, a digital storefront that sells karts, drivers, and gliders.
Notably, the update will open the door to a selection of new drivers, karts, and gliders, as well as bring back those that were previously vaulted.
Excising loot boxes from Mario Kart Tour probably isn’t a decision Nintendo made lightly. Sensor Tower noted in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz that the title has generated approximately $293 million for the publisher.
Though some governments take a harder stance on loot boxes than others, calls for the industry to self-regulate in-game purchases has some companies on edge.