Nintendo has announced that Mario Kart Tour will receive a multiplayer beta session next month, and it will be open for the game’s Gold Pass subscribers only (via Eurogamer).

Mario Kart Tour is the latest game to come from the collaboration of Nintendo and DeNA. The daring duo have also delivered mobile games like Miitomo, Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Pokémon Masters. Earlier this year, development was delayed on the game as Nintendo decided to focus on ‘improv[ing] quality of the application and expand[ing] content offerings after launch.’

Details were not shared on the start date nor the duration of the beta, or whether the beta will be opened up for non-subscribers. It’s rational to test a new feature with a portion of its players rather than biting off more than Nintendo can chew with all players all at once. But, it’s still a strange choice to leave out online multiplayer at launch when that has been the bread and butter of the series for quite some time. 

In addition, the monetisation strategy of Mario Kart Tour has soured some players’ enthusiasm for the game. There are no advertisements in Mario Kart Tour, and the Gold Pass monthly subscription is priced at £4.99. But, in-app purchases support the game by unlocking characters, Karts, and gliders through loot boxes. Nintendo had to disclose the loot box drop rates for its in-game items, and they are abysmal. Players have only a five per cent chance of getting characters like Shy Guy and Baby Mario, and Dry Bowser or the Gold Glider have a shockingly low 0.3 per cent drop rate. 

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