After almost eight years of Nintendo’s inactivity in the mainline Mario Kart franchise, business analyst Dr. Serkan Toto announces that “the beloved racing series is in active development”. This announcement was made after the teaser appeared on Toto’s website in Tokyo: Gamesindustry.biz. Furthermore, Toto had previously announced back in 2021 that this was “on [his] list of expectations for the upcoming year”.
“I am aware that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still selling very well on the Nintendo Switch, but Mario Kart 9 is in active development,” says Toto. “On mobile, Nintendo has been very silent since Mario Kart Tour’s launch in 2019, but I think 2022 is when we will see an established IP arriving on smart devices again”. This speculation implies not only the release of a new Mario Kart game but the possibility of the game being active in the App Store or on mobile devices.
According to the teaser Toto saw (as of January 27 2022, released only in Tokyo), this new Mario Kart game may come with a “twist”. Twists have been prevalent in many mainline Mario Kart games such as the advent of online multiplayer starting Mario Kart DS and the use of anti-gravity sections on the tracks in Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Perhaps the most well-known example of “twists” in Mario Kart games is the two-kart, two-item-box feature in Mario Kart: Double Dash! The concern amongst Mario Kart fanatics is that features such as these were inexistent in further Mario Kart titles, save for double item boxes in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”. As such, there is concern that this twist will apply only for Mario Kart 9. Still, Toto has not spoken about the new installment on his website since.
Fans of the series have gotten creative and taken to social media platforms, announcing their predictions. “The twist is that it borrows a load of mechanics from F1 Race Stars-including the damage system. Enjoy hitting those pit lanes every time one comes up”, wrote user Christopher Searle. “I think Mario Kart 9 should incorporate Smash style into their game, such as Super Smash Bros, but it has Sonic, Pacman, and even Disney characters as racers”. Many fans also desire Mario Kart 9 to bring older exclusive features back such as the previously mentioned Double Kart feature from Double Dash and the “Mission” feature in Mario Kart DS. Still, people continue to wait eagerly for the announcement to reach the United States.
The Mario Kart franchise has gained a strong reputation throughout the years. According to the Nintendo website, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe remains to be the highest selling game for the Nintendo Switch with over 38 million copies sold followed by Animal Crossing: New Horizons with 34 million sold copies. Furthermore, its predecessor, Mario Kart 8 became the highest-selling racing video game of all time: over 40 million copies. While many fans were surprised about the hiatus of mainline Mario Kart games, many fans also report that a new installment is quite fitting as Mario Kart reaches its 30th Anniversary. Only time will tell if Toto’s predictions are proven valid.
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