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Mario Kart Tour Lootbox System Criticized in Lawsuit



Nintendo’s mobile racing game, Mario Kart Tour, recently made changes to its gacha elements and introduced a “Spotlight Shop” system. However, a young gamer in the US, with his father’s approval, filed a lawsuit against the video game giant over supposed “immoral” microtransactions within the mobile racer. The plaintiff called for refunds for all minors in the US who paid to use Mario Kart Tour’s “Spotlight Pipes” that delivered players in-game rewards using undisclosed odds.

Details of the Lawsuit

The lawsuit was originally filed at the state level in March and subsequently entered the federal system. The plaintiff, identified only as N.A., alleged that Nintendo “intentionally” made the game difficult to proceed without paying and used “dark patterns” to encourage players to spend more. The suit also claimed that the lootbox mechanism within Mario Kart Tour helped reinforce addictive behaviours and likened it to gambling. It revealed that the plaintiff had spent more than $170 on Mario Kart Tour microtransactions using his father’s credit card, which was linked to their Nintendo user account.

The Alleged Violation of Consumer Protection and Business Laws

According to Axios, the lawsuit claimed that these practices allegedly violated Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act and California business law. The suit aimed to hold Nintendo accountable and to recover funds for the expenses incurred in the microtransactions.


Although the lawsuit against Nintendo concerning the microtransactions in Mario Kart Tour has only just entered the federal system, it is expected to bring better clarity to the regulation of video game microtransactions in the US and could prompt countries worldwide to rethink their laws.


What was the ‘Spotlight Shop’ system?

The ‘Spotlight Shop’ was a replacement system that Nintendo introduced in Mario Kart Tour after removing the gacha elements from the mobile racing game. It allowed players to choose the items they obtain.

What were the “immoral” microtransactions in Mario Kart Tour?

Mario Kart Tour included gacha elements in which players would “fire” a pipe to obtain a random item. It was replaced by a Spotlight Shop system, and the microtransactions in question involved paying real money to activate the pipes repeatedly, hoping that they will produce useful upgrades.

What is the lawsuit about?

The lawsuit filed by N.A. against Nintendo in the US claimed that the video game company “intentionally” made the game difficult to proceed without paying and used “dark patterns” to encourage players to spend more. It alleged that the lootbox mechanism helped to reinforce addictive behaviour, thus breaching consumer protection and business laws.


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