The reports are in and Mario Kart World Tour smashed Pokemon GO’s iOS day one download record. I don’t really feel this is too much of a surprise since we are talking about Mario Kart on mobile.
We have all played Mario Kart at some point whether it be at a local bar on a Wii showcasing our dominance after 5 beers or at a friends house, also showcasing our dominance after 5 beers. The point is, the franchise is a mega-franchise by any standard of measurement. Releasing the fun of competitive combat racing on a platform that literally everyone in the world owns was bound to cripple some sort of day one record.
Pokemon GO launched on iOS to the tune of 6.7 million downloads. It’s crazy how fast GO really blew up. Granted those are only iOS numbers, it still set the bar pretty damn high. To put this into perspective, Supercell’s Clash of Clans launched with between one to two million downloads on day one of their iOS launch while Fortnite saw an even more mediocre five hundred thousand to one million on their day one launch.
Mario Kart World Tour clocked in ten million downloads on day one for iOS and another ten million on Android. Twenty million people showed up on day one to slang some shells and bust some pole positions out. I consider this much more impressive because Mario Kart World Tour doesn’t have any sort of multiplayer aspect as of yet.
The concern is whether or not MKWT can keep up the momentum and generate income for Nintendo in the long run. They launched with a paywall to unlock the 200cc racing class, and that will earn them some real coin, but that isn’t really the golden meal ticket. I want to believe Nintendo will ride the wings of minimal microtransaction action, but the mobile market is a vicious place. Developers often find themselves venturing down the dark rabbit hole of paywalls and microtransactions to counteract the cost of server upkeep and growth. Nintendo isn’t some small fry developer though. It will be an interesting case study in the long run.