Mario Kart Tour is live now! But if you want to unlock all the speeds, of course there’s a catch.
With the full launch of the game comes the kicker: microtransactions. We already knew in advance that the game would have its own grind and currencies for unlocking characters, karts and gliders, but the real salt in the wound is the racing classes.
50cc, 100cc and 150cc are unlocked out of the bat. But if you want the full 200cc experience, you’ll have to sign up for the Mario Kart Tour Gold Pass, a monthly subscription that costs $7.99/month.
I would have expected characters to be unlockable via purchases, but a monthly subscription just for 200cc? That’s brutal. The Pass also comes with exclusive Gold Challenges and “Gold Gifts”, with certain items exclusively locked behind these pay-to-win items.
It’s the precise kind of FOMO bullshit that’s rife throughout mobile gaming, and exactly what users hoped Nintendo wouldn’t subscribe to when they brought their classic IPs to mobile. But hey: this is 2019. People love to burn cash just to save a few minutes of time, or even for digital vanity. But locking full game modes behind a subscription pass might actually be a new low.