Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Producer on the popularity and accessibility of the game

Image: Nintendo

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best-selling game on the Switch, with over 40 million copies sold since its release in 2017. Its popularity is likely to continue to soar in 2023 with the gradual release of new tracks. through Course Enhancement Card.

Now, Wii U producer (and Mario Kart 8) publisher Kosuke Yabuki spoke to Nikkei to discuss the popularity of the game and how accessibility plays a role in this. Thank you to our friends at NintendoEverythingYou can check out some key points from the interview below:

Did you expect the game to become such a historic hit that it sold over 40 million copies?
We didn’t, but in hindsight, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a good fit for the Switch. You can play the console anywhere and even split the controller in two, so it’s easy to hold and play with siblings or friends nearby. Five years after the game was released, that appeal still hasn’t faded.

What do you think made the Mario Kart series so popular?
In general, you’re not trying to thwart your opponents in racing games, but in Mario Kart you spend races throwing shells at them and trying to make them slide on banana peels. Those unique tactics are at the core of Mario Kart’s appeal.
It is both an accessible and insightful game. There are people who only play games around Christmas or New Year, while others strive to improve their skills every day. We always pay attention to balancing the experience for both types of players.

How did you keep accessibility in mind when developing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?
We want the game to be a fun experience for everyone. It can be frustrating to lose, but there’s a lot going on in races to make players smile or want to play another round. Hoping for players to experience emotions beyond the outcome of the race. We designed the game in such a way that unimaginable things like sliding a banana right before the finish line happen one after another.

Above [March] On the 18th, more downloadable classical music was made available to players.
The word ‘remaster’ sounds cheap, but we are confident that it will create new and unique experiences, different from the way the original tracks were. We had to make all sorts of adjustments, as it wasn’t enough to simply leave it original. The Game Boy Advance track ‘Sky Garden’ (released 2001) was originally a flat plain, but we added some verticality to the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe version.
Players will have their own memories with each course, so we’ve been careful not to change them too much. Discussions about intellectual property often happen around characters, but courses also belong in that conversation. We wanted to honor the memories of our players while also polishing the appeal of each course as an IP.

How do you plan to develop the Mario Kart series in the future?
Former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata often mentioned the phrase ‘from 5 to 95 years old’. The end goal is something that anyone can enjoy. ‘Drive assist’ and other systems make it easier to attract new players, helping us get closer to that goal step by step. Former developers often tell us that “Mario Kart is a competitive communication tool” – we will always cherish the meaning behind that phrase.

It’s clear that Iwata’s influence continues to be felt within Nintendo and will likely shape future projects across the company. When and where we see the next major entry to the Mario Kart series is anyone’s guess, but at least we can be safe knowing that new content will be included in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in the coming weeks. the coming months and we can’t wait to see which songs make the cuts.

What do you think about Yabuki’s comment on the popularity of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Did you buy the Booster Course Pass for the game or do you want Nintendo to release a full sequel? Let us know!

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