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‘Mario Kart Tour’ Sets Mobile Game Launch Record

September 26, 2019, 2:58 PM UTC

Mario Kart was expected to be a big mobile franchise for Nintendo, but if the early numbers are right, it could be bigger than anyone expected.

Mario Kart Tour, the mobile version of the popular franchise, was downloaded 10.1 million times globally in its first 24 hours of availability, according to data firm apptopia. That shatters the previous record, set in 2016 by another Nintendo title, Pokemon Go. (That game was downloaded 6.7 million times on its first day.)

The achievement is notable not only because of the record, but because apps typically don’t have their biggest number of downloads on launch day. It’s usually several days later that they hit their peak as word of mouth spreads.

Mario Kart Tour, which was announced last February and originally due in January, is already the most downloaded game in the Apple App Store across 93 countries. Nintendo is monetizing the game through in-app purchases and a $4.99 per month subscription program that unlocks exclusive gameplay modes and rewards.

Mobile is still a relatively new venture for Nintendo, which it said in 2011 was a threat to the livelihood of game developers. As the market continued to grow, however, the company pivoted and has seen success with several titles, most notably Pokemon Go.

Analysts see the game as Nintendo’s best chance at achieving a billion-dollar-grossing app.

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