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As Nintendo fans begin to ponder what the company may be revealing during E3, I often see Mario Kart 9 brought up as a possibility. I think that’s optimistic.
According to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group’s list of best-selling games in the U.S. during March, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe ranked at the No. 6 spot. That is incredible for a game that is about 4 years old. It’s more shocking when you remember that it’s a port of an even older Wii U game.
The NPD Group notes that Mario Kart 8 is now the best-selling racing game in U.S. history. It’s clear that just about everyone who buys a Switch also purchases Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. So why would Nintendo need to release a sequel on the same system?
Now, Nintendo isn’t opposed to releasing sequels of Switch games on the same platform. We know that Splatoon 3 is coming even though Splatoon 2 was an early hit for the console. But unlike Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 has fallen off of the sales charts. It was not one of the 10 best-selling Switch games for March. And unlike Mario Kart, Splatoon is still a young franchise. It’s has more that it can improve and iterate on with a new entry.
But then there’s that Breath of the Wild sequel. The first Breath of the Wild is still selling well. It ranked No. 16 overall for March. But Nintendo knows that its fans are willing to buy multiple Zelda games for the same system. Heck, even the NES had two entries in the franchise.
However, do you really need two Mario Kart games for the same console? Of course some will double-dip. But a lot of those new Switch owners will just get the newest game, regulating Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to a rare position for any Nintendo game: the bargain bin. Well, OK, maybe not. But it may actually have to stop charging $60 for it.
We’re going to see a Mario Kart 9 some day. Who knows, maybe it even will release for the Switch (or Switch Pro). I just don’t see it in the console’s immediate future. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe still has incredible momentum. There’s no reason for Nintendo to slash its tires.
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