Reports that Mario Kart 9 is in active development have been flying around the internet, the game rumoured to be in active development for the Nintendo Switch and with a new gameplay twist expected as well. So… is it true Is Mario Kart 9 coming soon?
The source comes from a predictions article on GamesIndustry.biz, who reached out to a variety of industry analysts for their predictions of what will happen in video games over the next 12 months. It was Kantan Games’ Dr. Serkan Toto who outed the development of Mario Kart 9, stating that it’s in active development despite the fact that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to sell very well on the console, and that it “comes with a new twist”. His prediction is that Nintendo will tease it this year.
Mario Kart 8 first released for the Nintendo Wii U in 2014, quickly becoming one of the ill-fated console’s best-selling games. However, it really struck the big time when Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released for the Nintendo Switch in the months after the console’s launch. Bundling in all of the DLC tracks and a few other enhancements alongside, it’s perhaps the definitive Mario Kart game and is often one of the first games that people will buy for the console. No wonder that it recently surpassed Mario Kart Wii to become the best-selling title in the franchise.
However, Nintendo cannot bank on the game continuing to sell forever, and so it makes perfect sense that they have been planning for a sequel. Toto noting that it comes with a new twist alludes to the way that the series has constantly shifted and evolved since the turn of the millennium. Mario Kart: Double Dash added a second racer to each kart, Mario Kart DS added online play, Mario Kart Wii introduced motorbikes, Mario Kart 7 on 3DS brought hang gliders, and then Mario Kart 8 added anti-gravity racing so that you could ride up walls, round loops and more.
Having a new twist or big new feature has been a must-have for the franchise, and considering how comprehensive Mario Kart 8 ended up being, with a bunch of the series’ best tracks brought back, it could be essential to have a new quirk to convince people to buy again. Then again, it’s been so many years that I’m sure Mario Kart 9 would fly off the shelves anyway.
What could that twist be? At its simplest, we could see Mario Kart 9 fully embrace the spirit of Super Smash Bros. and bring more and more of Nintendo’s other characters and licenses into the game. Mario Kart 8’s DLC saw Link from The Legend of Zelda and the Inklings from Splatoon join the racer lineup, while tracks inspired by The Legend of Zelda, Excitebike and more also features.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.