Mario Kart Tour Will Be “Free-to-Start” Says DeNA CEO

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New details have emerged concerning the structure of Mario Kart Tour, the newest mobile game from Nintendo. According to tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki’s tweet‏, the mobile app structure will be “free-to-start.” This comes from DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu. 

We now know that Nintendo is fine with providing free-t0-play games that include micro-transactions, as is the case with their Fire Emblem Mobile and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. It’s not necessary to pay for content in either title, but it does give players more options on content non-essential to the actual game. It’s interesting to note, though, that before Nintendo started releasing mobile games, president Satoru Iwata had specific thoughts on the term.

Satoru Iwata left, speaks with Isao Moriyasu, president and CEO of DeNA

In an interview with Time, Iwata said, “I do not like to use the term ‘Free-to-play’…[I] realize that there is a degree of insincerity to consumers with this terminology, since so-called ‘Free-to-play’ should be referred to more accurately as ‘Free-to-start.’” This would correlate with the specific wording used here, and maybe is intended to be open with players regarding the new game payment structure. Additionally, according to Twitter user Oscar Lemaire, Super Mario Run is the only mobile game released to not include the term “free-to-start” in its promotional materials:

DeNA is Nintendo’s partner in the mobile game business, and Mario Kart Tour is scheduled to launch sometime before March 2019.

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