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Boy sues Nintendo over "immoral" Mario Kart lootboxes, after spending $170 via dad's credit card

"Minors are especially susceptible," lawsuit states.

Mario Kart Tour maker Nintendo is facing a lawsuit over the smartphone app's now-removed randomised reward mechanic, lodged by a boy who racked up $170 (£137) in-game using his father's credit card.

The class action suit was lodged this month by an unidentified minor - albeit via his legal guardian (thanks, Axios). The suit claims that Nintendo's gacha-style rewards system in Mario Kart Tour violated consumer protection and business profession laws.

Specifically, the boy is seeking compensation for Mario Kart Tour's Spotlight Pipes, which let you pay real-world money for in-game Ruby currency, and spend them on chances for randomised rewards.

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"As with other lootbox games, [Nintendo]'s lootbox mechanism capitalised on and encouraged addictive behaviours, akin to gambling," the lawsuit alleges.

"The 'Pipe' lootboxes offered in Mario Kart meet the definition of gambling as set for in a multitude of gambling statutes and regulations and rely on the same predatory practices designed to induce consumers to spend money on games of chance.

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"Minors are especially susceptible to these addiction-enhancing elements of game design. The experience of acquiring surprise rewards and the associated excitement of uncovering unexpected in-game items holds a strong appeal for minors and reinforces their desire to keep playing and keep getting rewards."

Notably, Nintendo ditched the app's randomised Pipe rewards back in September last year. The game is now monetised via an in-game shop, where you simply pay for what you want to buy.

Before the change, the minor who filed the lawsuit states they spent $170 on Mario Kart Tour microtransactions discovering his Nintendo Account was hooked up to his father's bank account.

It was reported last year that Mario Kart Tour was Nintendo's second-highest grossing mobile game, and had earned an estimated $293m worldwide.

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