Mario Kart Tour achieves the most successful mobile game launch of all time

Mario Kart Tour achieves the most successful mobile game launch of all time
Imogen Donovan Updated on by

Video Gamer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more

Mario Kart Tour was downloaded 10.1 million times on its launch day, making it the most successful mobile game launch ever (via Apptopia). 

Apptopia is a data analyst for mobile apps and games, and according to its calculations, the launch numbers of Mario Kart Tour left its competitors in the dust. Super Mario Run scored 4.7 million downloads upon its release, and Pokémon Go’s record-holding 6.7 million downloads has been dwarfed.

In addition, Mario Kart Tour is number one in the iOS store in 93 countries, and has a 4.7 rating on iOS and a 4.3 rating on Google Play. Apptopia affirms that this is very unusual for a mobile game’s journey, as the downloads tend to accrue over the second, third, fourth day after launch. It’s clear that Mario Kart Tour won’t follow the pattern, and the analyst has some theories as to why.

Mario is one of the most recognisable video game characters of all time. Not only this, but Mario Kart is one of the most fun games ever made, and I am the best Kart racer. Alright, maybe only one of those statements is empirically true, but lots of people like Mario and they like Mario Kart. A mobile release for the series is an almost guaranteed success. Also, the game was promoted intensely by Nintendo and by Apple and pre-orders would automatically download, helping out download statistics considerably.

Apptopia reports that ‘Super Mario Run was boosted significantly from this launch’. Searching any phrase combined with ‘Mario’ lists Super Mario Run, and it was downloaded 200,000 times yesterday which is 36 per cent higher than its daily average over the past 30 days. 

All this success is music to Nintendo’s ears, but a clustering of Kart racers are unhappy with the game’s monetisation strategy. There are no advertisements in Mario Kart Tour, but in-app purchases will unlock characters, Karts, gliders, and loot boxes. As per a loot box transparency policy, Nintendo revealed that these loot boxes have horrendous drop rates. There’s a five per cent chance of unlocking characters like Shy Guy and Baby Mario, but an abysmal 0.3 per cent appearance rate of Dry Bowser or the Gold Glider.