Mario Kart Tour, the highly successful mobile version of the popular racing franchise, is set to launch the beta test for its highly anticipated multiplayer feature sometime in December.
Unfortunately, it will not be available to all players, as only Gold Pass subscribers will be able to gain early access.
— Mario Kart Tour (@mariokarttourEN) November 1, 2019
Nintendo has promised since day one that Mario Kart Tour will add a multiplayer mode, as many Mario Kart fans have vivid memories of taking down their friends in a race using blue shells. The mobile game is currently only focused on single-player races, bonus challenges, and leaderboards, but it will get a massive boost once players gain the ability to race through tracks against other players across the world.
No specific date was released for the multiplayer beta test aside from the month of December, but Mario Kart Tour players who simply need to try out the new mode as soon as it is available should already be planning to sign up for a Gold Pass subscription next month.
The Gold Pass, which costs $5 per month, unlocks special Gold Challenges, adds the chance of acquiring Gold Gifts, and most importantly, opens up access to the 200cc race tier, which is the highest level of competition for the mobile game. Early access to Mario Kart Tour‘s multiplayer mode will be a lucrative added bonus to subscribing for the Gold Pass, which should bump up the app’s earnings.
The free-to-play Mario Kart Tour is Nintendo’s biggest mobile launch so far, beating the likes of Pokémon Go and Super Mario Run in terms of launch day downloads. The game later set the record for first-week downloads of a Nintendo mobile game at 90 million, eclipsing the now second place Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp with 14.3 million downloads and Super Mario Run at 13 million downloads.
Mario Kart Tour, however, lagged behind Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run in terms of revenue, partly because the racing game offers a free two-week trial for the Gold Pass. Nintendo may have found the perfect hook to get more players to subscribe to the $5-per-month plan with the exclusive multiplayer beta test.