Nintendo's infamous plumber, Mario, has mostly resided on game consoles over the year. More recently, however, he has found new platforms for play on, including iOS and Android devices. So, what's next? Nintendo announced that it is bringing Mario Kart to smartphones in a new game called Mario Kart Tour, set to release sometime in Nintendo's fiscal year ending in March 2019. Mario is also headed to the sliver screen.
The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near. A new mobile application is now in development: Mario Kart Tour! #MarioKartTour Releasing in the fiscal year ending in March 2019. pic.twitter.com/8GIyR7ZM4z
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 1, 2018
Sadly, Nintendo is not offering up much information on either endeavor. Regarding Mario Kart Tour, all we really know about it is that it is in development and coming out sometime within a year. When it does arrive, we anticipate a wildly popular reception, considering how popular the Mario Kart franchise is as a whole. To that end, Nintendo yesterday stated in its earnings report that it has sold 7.33 million copies of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, compared to 14.86 million Switch consoles. In other words, half of all Switch owners own the latest racing game as well.
It's also worth mentioning that Nintendo has seen a lot of interesting in its limited smartphone play. To date, the only games Nintendo has published for smartphone devices are Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. It also released a social app, Miitomo, and indirectly launched the hugely popular Pokemon Go (licensed and published by Niantic).
As for Mario's upcoming appearance in movie theaters, Nintendo has partnered with Illumination to make it happen. The project will be produced by Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, and Shigeru Miyamoto, representative director and fellow at Nintendo. Universal Pictures and Nintendo are co-financing the flick, with plans of distributing the movie in theaters around the world.
There are some heavyweights involved in the project to ensure that doesn't happen. Obviously Nintendo is a major force in gaming, but Illumination is the studio behind the Despicable Me franchise, which has pulled in more than a billion dollars, and movies such as Secret Life of Pets. None of this means that Mario won't flop at the box office—anyone remember the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie from the early 1990s?—though partnering with Illumination looks like a smart move.