The lead-up to the release of Mario Kart Tour has been overshadowed by the first reveal of Nintendo’s monetization structure for the game. Now that the game has launched, the microtransaction mess is worse than first thought. The game is available for both iOS and Android devices, and while it pretends to be a free-to-play title, a portion of the content is gated behind a shocking $4.99 / £4.99 a month subscription, and Mario himself, the iconic symbol of the series, costs $19.99 in a bundle with other items.
The cost of these characters is ridiculous for a mobile title, and worse still, they are not optional if one wishes to get the best results. Some characters are needed to acquire certain items or the most items in a race. If one were to look up pay-to-win in a dictionary, they would probably find the following image:
Aside from making Mario ridiculously overpriced, the subscription model is just as offensive in today’s gaming market. Paying the monthly fee will provide higher-level rewards, which include more rubies, the in-game currency, racers, and karts. It will also provide access to the 200cc race mode, and the ability to earn badges for completing challenges.
For the same $4.99 a month, users can access the Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass, which are new subscription models that provide users with access to a broad range of premium titles without ads or these types of in-game purchases. Paying for a monthly subscription to Mario Kart Tour is more expensive than paying for Nintendo Switch Online, which provides access to Tetris 99, and classic games for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Nintendo has made fantastic moves in the past few years with its release of the Switch, and the great games added to its collection. It is shocking to consider that the same company researched how best to monetize Mario Kart Tour and came up with this atrocious proposal.
Mario Kart Tour is nothing less than a pay-to-win, microtransaction filled tragedy. The player base will never grow to what it could have been under a reasonable pricing structure, and that is a shame.
Source: Mario Kart Tour