Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo’s Mario Kart free-to-play spin-off for smartphones, is nearing the finish line. As per a recent announcement, the game will no longer receive any new content following its final updates next month.
[Mario Kart Tour]
Nintendo has announced that content updates will end after the Battle Tour (starting Oct 4).
All tours after the Battle Tour will consist of previously added content. pic.twitter.com/0Igg8H915k
— OatmealDome (@OatmealDome) September 11, 2023
As spotted on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, Nintendo has confirmed that Mario Kart Tour will be receiving its final new content in October 2023. “From 10/04/2023 (Wed) on, tours will consist of content from tours that have appeared before,” the company wrote. “Note: No new courses, drivers, karts, or gliders will be added following the Battle Tour starting 10/04/20223 (Wed).”
Despite a constant internet connection being required, Mario Kart Tour will remain playable for the foreseeable future once the period of support has ended. However, no new content will be added, and future Battle Tours will simply consist of recycled events from previous tours.
Mario Kart Tour has experienced a decent amount of controversy since its launch back in 2019. Its randomised Gacha feature through which players could unlock new drivers and karts was criticised for being a thinly-disguised gambling mechanic. Said mechanic was swapped out last year in favour of a fixed storefront where players can spend money directly on items they want. This change followed years of criticism from players along a potential class-action lawsuit filed against Nintendo, seeking refunds for in-game purchases made by impressionable minors with their parents credit cards.
Despite these criticisms, Mario Kart Tour has been a real money-spinner for Nintendo. The game has remained the company’s second-highest grossing mobile game ever as of September 2022, having made approximately $293 million in microtransactions and subscription fees. Said revenue is still absolutely dwarfed by Fire Emblem Heroes, which crossed the $1 billion in revenue mark last year.
Despite the notable successes of Mario Kart Tour, Pokémon Go and Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo announced a shift away from mobile development back in 2020. True to its word, no new mobile games based on Nintendo properties have launched since 2019 save for Pikmin Bloom, a Pikmin-themed collaboration with Niantic. As such, it is unclear if this signals an end of support for Nintendo’s other existing mobile offerings in the near future or not. Whatever the case, Mario Kart Tour will receive its final updates next month, and will then recycle content for as long as Nintendo keeps the servers operational.