Although one of Nintendo Switch’s killer apps came out on its predecessor, the new version was even more successful, so it’s no wonder the Japanese company is breaking its head on the sequel, Mario Kart 9.
Mario Kart is a franchise that has been an almost unstoppable success since its SNES launch. There have been some not-so-great instalments in the series, but it has impacted the games industry so much that even Crash Bandicoot got a go-kart spinoff (which Naughty Dog made for PS1 in 1999), not to mention many other attempts.
Mario Kart 8 was released in May 2014 for the Nintendo Wii U (which was far from a hit, especially after its predecessor, the Wii that aimed at casual players, too). It’s no wonder then that the big N has ported and expanded several of its formerly Wii U-exclusive games ported to the Nintendo Switch (there are many examples to cite). These include Mario Kart 8, with its anti-gravity twist (or a short boost of speed by bumping into each other): the Deluxe subtitled edition was released for Switch in April 2017 and has sold an excellent forty million (!!!) here alone. In short, it’s the best-selling game on Switch. And deservedly so.
Dr Serkan Toto, an analyst at Kantan Games, a consulting firm focused on the Japanese games industry, told Gamesindustry that Mario Kart 9, potentially launching this year, is already in active development (for Nintendo Switch, we probably don’t need to mention that), and that Nintendo is adding a new twist to it. Of course, he didn’t say what (then his insider contact at Nintendo would probably be fired), but it was somewhat expected because when a franchise is explicitly successful, you can’t commercially pass up the next act (or a sequel, if we’re talking about new IP).
But Nintendo is a company that rarely leaks anything major (while we hear this from western publishers almost non-stop…), so maybe we’ll have to wait until June, the Nintendo Direct, timed for E3…