Nintendo and game publisher DeNA have announced that they will no longer be creating new content for the popular mobile game Mario Kart Tour, starting October 4th. This decision has raised speculation that Nintendo may be shifting its focus away from mobile games.
However, before the discontinuation of new content, fans can expect the release of new Mario Kart Tour content as part of the Anniversary Tour, starting September 20th. This will be followed by the launch of the Battle Tour on October 4th, where only old content will be released.
In a surprising move, Nintendo has stated that after October 4th, no new courses, drivers, karts, or gliders will be added to the game. The company did not provide an explanation for this decision, leaving fans curious about the future of the popular mobile game.
Despite the discontinuation of new content, Mario Kart Tour has been incredibly successful for Nintendo. It has become the company’s second biggest earner on mobile, after the game Fire Emblem Heroes. Since its release in 2019, it has been downloaded over 230 million times and earned approximately $243 million.
Interestingly, the free-to-play version of Mario Kart Tour was the most downloaded iPhone game upon its release. However, this success hasn’t prevented Nintendo from ending support for five out of eight major mobile games since entering the mobile market in 2016, including Mario Kart Tour.
One reason behind Nintendo’s decision to discontinue new content could be a decline in earnings. After removing the game’s controversial gacha system, which allowed players to spend money to try and acquire rare items, Mario Kart Tour’s estimated monthly earnings dropped by $1 million.
Despite Nintendo’s relative lack of success in the mobile gaming market, other rival publishers, such as Sony, are still pursuing mobile gaming ventures. Sony plans for around half of its games to be on mobile and PC by 2025, with 20 percent of new PlayStation games being developed for smartphones. In fact, Sony even launched the PlayStation Studios Mobile Division in 2020 to further their mobile gaming efforts.
As Nintendo shifts its focus away from mobile games, it will be interesting to see how the company’s future unfolds and whether it will continue to compete against its rivals in the ever-growing mobile gaming industry.