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Nintendo to gut Mario Kart Tour of grubby gacha elements

Pipe down.

After two years of operation, Nintendo has decided to scrub Mario Kart Tour of its gacha-like elements.

Nintendo's smartphone version of Mario Kart currently allows you to dump currency into an in-game warp pipe in exchange for randomised rewards, such as characters and karts.

This will soon be replaced by a Fortnite-style rotating item shop, where you can exchange currency for items directly.

Digital Foundry analyses the latest Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC tracks, many of which are taken from Mario Kart Tour.

Nintendo confirmed the change this morning via Twitter and gave more details in an in-game message for Mario Kart Tour players, which stated these changes would arrive early next month, on 4th October.

Mario Kart Tour's previously-datamined Battle Mode will arrive slightly before then, in late September.

The removal of gacha elements from Mario Kart Tour marks a major shift from Nintendo, which has infested its most lucrative mobile games with gacha mechanics.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp lets users spend money on fortune cookies with random items inside, while Fire Emblem Heroes lets you splash out on randomised characters for your party.

Mario Kart Tour's warp pipe gacha in action.

Nintendo did not comment further on its decision to remove randomised purchases, though this shift away from lootbox-style mechanics has been seen elsewhere in the video games industry.

While lucrative, lootbox or gacha-style mechanics have caught the eye of numerous governments and regulators, concerned around gambling.

Blizzard recently detailed how it would remove paid-for loot boxes from Overwatch, and run a straightforward in-game item shop and battle pass system in Overwatch 2.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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