Nintendo released Mario Kart 8 Deluxe April 28th, 2017. After four years on the market, it sold over 35 million copies world-wide . When looking at the last fiscal report from April 2020 to March 2021, 10.62 million copies were sold. These are astounding numbers, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be waning. Rumors have circulated that a Mario Kart 9 is in the works, but when should it be released?
There are many reasons why the current Mario Kart installment is such a success. Use of Online Mode (great for the pandemic), updates to Battle Mode, and additions of new characters– such as the Inklings from Splatoon are just a few examples.
If we simply look at release date, one would think we are due for a new Mario Kart, but do we really need one right now? I think with the last fiscal year sales numbers, Nintendo should be in no rush to release Mario Kart 9. People are still purchasing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and they seem satisfied racing with friends on it.
In my opinion, Nintendo should focus on releasing other major IPs this year (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 or new Donkey Kong, anyone?). Once the focus shifts to new 2021 releases after E3, I think Nintendo should plan for Mario Kart 9 at next year’s conference and a 2022 holiday release.
This buys Mario Kart 8 Deluxe a little bit more time to bask in its success. Once its finally worn out its shiny welcome, gamers will be voracious for another installment. I’m hoping that Mario Kart 9 will continue to push the envelope. With the introduction of Splatoon characters in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I’d love to see more characters added in such as Fox McCloud from Starfox or Samus. I also think it would be amazing if Nintendo allowed online play between Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Mario Kart 9 owners through shared tracks (doubtful, but one could dream).
Mario Kart 9 is coming, and I have no doubt Nintendo will continue to surprise us with new mechanics, characters, and/or tracks. However, I believe Nintendo should hold off for another year before releasing a new installment of the franchise. What’s that saying? If it’s not broken, don’t fix it?
When do you think Nintendo will release Mario Kart 9? Is it one of your 2021 E3 predictions? Let us know on our Discord!
Also, check out this quick pod clip where Nintendo Pow Block discusses what they want to see in the next Mario Kart and when they expect it. Pod clips are great bite-sized recordings when you want to tune into a specific topic, and you only have a few minutes!