10 Years of Mario Kart 8: Nintendo’s Perfect Platform Game?

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Among the many rumors that crowded the internet before the advent of the latest Nintendo Direct, many focused on one element in common: the announcement of Mario Kart 9, which seemed just within reach. It is evident that some connection was really behind these leaks, because Nintendo is really working on the series, only that it is still about Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The confusion is understandable: almost a decade after the release of Mario Kart 8 and considering how the Nintendo platforms have historically all had their own chapter and on Nintendo Switch there has been “only” an upgrade of the game released on Nintendo Wii U , it was quite legitimate to think – perhaps in the face of some clues about the development of new tracks – that Mario Kart 9 was on the way, but the Kyoto house has blown everyone away once again by announcing a program of additional tracks with the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Pass Additional Courses, which includes the release of 48 new circuits in 6 successive packages until the end of 2023which is practically 10 years after the release of the original game.

One could argue about whether or not a passage to a whole new chapter is preferable, perhaps with new mechanics and a general overhaul to the driving system and power-up, but this is not so much the point we want to grasp, but rather the fact that Nintendo, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, has essentially realized what turns out to be a dream project for many developers who launch themselves into live service games: the construction of a game-platform capable of run for ten years, as in the original Destiny programs, for one thing. Not that there are other examples of games that have gone on quietly for decades: Blizzard titles like Diablo or World of Warcraft have hit the target for some time, but the curious thing is that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was not born as a project of this one. type and is organized in a completely different way, while managing to attract millions of players and keep them tied to its contents for years and years, without however the ongoing support usually required by live services.

The transition from Mario Kart 8 to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was certainly not as demanding as building a completely new game, also because it took advantage of the additional tracks already published previously, however we must not underestimate the study at the level of game design that is hidden. behind the construction of every single track in the game.

Therefore, the creation of 48 new circuits (although based on those present in the various historical chapters of the series) still represents a work of considerable magnitude, which perhaps could have merged into a real Mario Kart 9. So why this choice? It is not easy to understand, but it is likely that the eighth chapter has now become so large and widespread that it cannot be left behind, at least for the moment.

Considering how sales continue to be booming, with the total sales exceeding 50 million copies between Nintendo Switch and Wii U, it is clear that there is no “need” for a Mario Kart 9 at the moment. The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe experience has become a sort of constant, a characterizing element of the Nintendo Switch console itself, getting closer to that concept of game-platform that is becoming more and more established, overcoming the concept of series with progressive numbering to embrace the idea of ​​a game that forms the basis for different experiences through progressive support. In fact, 48 tracks to be released over a couple of years represent considerable support and also an absolute novelty from Nintendo, especially as regards its historical series. We are all waiting to see if any news of this kind will also involve other classic franchises of the company, as well as can’t wait to try the new circuits firsthand, of course.

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