If you’re a Mario Kart fan, then today might be an exciting day. Nintendo has launched Mario Kart Tour on both Android and iOS, bringing another one of its big-name franchises to mobile devices. Nintendo has been experimenting with different kinds of monetization strategies as it grows its mobile portfolio, and with Mario Kart Tour, we’re seeing something similar to Fortnite‘s Battle Pass.
With the Battle Pass, players pay around $10 to work their way through various challenges and earn special cosmetics and items for use in game. We see hints of that in Mario Kart Tour‘s Gold Pass, which is a monthly subscription that unlocks certain perks.
The Gold Pass runs $4.99 per month and offers three main things. The first are items called “Gold Gifts,” whether these are racers, karts, or skins for in-game assets. You won’t be granted these right away, as you’ll need to race in tours to earn them. Similarly, Gold Pass buyers can also unlock special badges by completing Gold Challenges. Finally, buying the Gold Pass is the only way to unlock 200cc, which is the fastest game mode Mario Kart games generally offer.
In an FAQ over on the Mario Kart Tour website, Nintendo says that you’ll be able to keep the items you’ve already unlocked in the event you cancel your Gold Pass, but all of the other perks like 200cc will go away. This effectively means that you’ll need to stay subscribed to Mario Kart Tour‘s Gold Pass if you want to keep playing 200cc, so if that’s your favorite mode, prepare to pay up.
If you’re on the fence about subscribing to the Gold Pass, Nintendo is offering a two week trial to the subscription service to all new sign ups, allowing you to judge if it’s worth the asking price. Auto renewal, unsurprisingly, is turned on by default, so be sure to cancel before those weeks are up if you don’t want to continue paying. We’ll see what the general gaming public thinks of Mario Kart Tour soon enough, so stay tuned for more.