The beta for Nintendo’s mobile racing game is here and it seems like Mario Kart Tour microtransactions are pretty bad, according to various people posting online. Several users in the beta report that the game makes use of a gacha system to unlock things in the game and some mechanics give rare racers an advantage.
Mario Kart Tour is Nintendo’s latest foray into the world of mobile gaming. It’s a highly anticipated title that many fans were looking forward to playing considering the success of games like Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. However, Nintendo’s partners in their mobile ventures had previously expressed frustration with the lack of monetization options for mobile titles and it seems like the parent company has finally relented, allowing the use of more severe Mario Kart Tour microtransactions.
“Looks like Mario Kart Tour beta is pretty hardcore with regards to monetization,” said Dr. Serkan Toto on Twitter. “Multi-level gacha for drivers, karts and gliders. Rare drivers have advantages during races. Stamina system limits races available on an hourly basis. (Subject to change, this is a beta.)” User Kojiknight on ResetEra further confirmed that the game’s gacha system includes characters, gliders, and karts.
Looks like Mario Kart Tour beta is pretty hardcore with regards to monetization.
Multi-level gacha for drivers, karts and gliders.
Rare drivers have advantages during races.
Stamina system limits races available on an hourly basis.
(Subject to change, this is a beta.)
— Dr. Serkan Toto (@serkantoto) May 22, 2019
For those of you who don’t play free-to-play games originating from Asia, a gacha (ガチャ) system comes from the Japanese word gachapon (ガシャポン), an onomatopoeic term related to the sound that capsule toy machines make. These systems are essentially one-shot loot boxes where you open a box and receive a single random item. Gacha systems will sometimes have multiple different types of box in one game. As an example, an RPG might have one type of box for unlocking characters, another type for unlocking weapons, and so on. Players would acquire these gacha boxes through normal gameplay or by purchasing them with microtransactions.
As stated above, the Mario Kart Tour microtransactions seem to consist of a three-tier gacha system where players can open boxes for characters, gliders, and karts. What’s more, some characters have advantages depending on the track.
“Ok so certain characters have benefits playing certain maps it seems,” said Ryoukai on ResetEra. “Example: Toadette being used in 3ds toad circuit gives her 3 item slots in the race, but 1 item slot in other maps. Luigi gets a 3-item boost in Luigi mansion map etc..”
Mario Kart Tour microtransactions have reportedly brought Nintendo a step closer to some of the more intense system used by their contemporaries in Asia. While this isn’t a first for the mobile gaming world, it’s certainly a first for Nintendo. The game is currently still in its beta, so there’s still time for a poor reception to the system to cause the company to reconsider use of this system.