Mario Kart Tour has a questionable subscription pass


Mario Kart Tour is out now (if you can get in) and if you thought the current server issues were the only concern, you might want to prepare yourself for this next bit of news.

Nintendo has announced that Mario Kart Tour will have a “Gold Pass” subscription service. Gold Pass is a paid service that affords you some in-game benefits each month, including some “gold gifts,” in-game badges, and 200cc. That’s right, in order to play races at 200cc, you’ll have to fork up $7.99 AUD a month. And you’ll lose access to it if you stop paying. That’s 95 dollarydoos a year.

This is on top of the game’s randomised gacha mechanics, in which you’ll have a random chance of getting characters and karts that have a huge impact on how you play and can give you big advantages in a race. It’s a worrying look, to say the least, and it’s looking like Mario Kart Tour will end up as Nintendo’s most aggressively monetised game to date. We can only hope this isn’t the start of a trend.

To put the price into perspective, with the same amount of money per year, you could buy a year-long Family Pass subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, or a full-priced game on the Switch eShop, with cash to spare. Or a year of Apple Arcade, and gain access to a hundred games without any microtransactions, ads, or in-game purchases. Tough choice.

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About The Author
Oliver Brandt
Deputy Editor, sometimes-reviewer, and Oxford comma advocate. If something's published on Vooks, there's a good chance I looked over it first. I spend way too much on games and use way too many em dashes.
  • Silly G
    September 25, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    The “start” of a trend?! Nintendo has whole-heartedly embraced some of the worst practices in the industry while introducing some of their own.

    I loved Nintendo for not succumbing to the scummy anti-consumers practices of their contemporaries, but since Iwata-san’s passing, Nintendo are as bad as the rest. Only the quality of their catalogue is what propels them ahead at this point, because their business ethic sure as hell doesn’t, at least not anymore.

    And the gold pass fee is absolutely obscene. That’s almost as much as a Netflix subscription.

    A one-off fee of US$10/AU$15 was considered too much for Super Mario Run, yet the Mareep will lap up these ongoing fees like flies to a turd. Isn’t it nice how Nintendo is now “with the times”?

  • Aaron
    September 25, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Clearly the mobile market, for Nintendo, is just this big dirty side-hustle to make BANK utilizing very crummy practices. It’s so crummy that I couldn’t even care less what they do with it. It’s stupid and stupid people will support it. End of the day, they’ll get bigger budgets for the games I care about on console.

  • Oliver Phommavanh
    September 26, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    If this leads people to play Mario Kart on the switch or 3DS then mission accomplished. This is why I avoid mobile games but it’s a shame that Nintendo didn’t see this as a way to win new fans over.

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