The Mario Kart mobile version will no longer feature the controversial gacha Pipe that featured randomized drivers and other items. Instead, it will have a more specific in-game shop.
Nintendo announced that October Mario Kart Tour will be ending the Pipe mechanic, which allowed players to get random drivers and karts by spending in-game currency.
Gacha mechanics are similar to lootboxes in that they offer random rewards and have similarities to real-world gambling. Although not as well-known as lootboxes, gacha mechanics have been removed from games like SecondLife.
The Mario Kart Tour Pipe will be replaced by a Spotlight Shop that offers a rotating inventory to allow players to purchase specific drivers, karts and gliders. According to VGC’s in-game description, the Spotlight Shop will have returning and new items.
The only way to obtain limited-time items was through the Pipe when Mario Kart Tourlaunched. The Pipe could only be used by in-game Rubies. Many of the current 193 drivers and 246 karts were also only available through the Pipes.
In 2018, Nintendo acknowledged that the gacha model would not be applicable to all its mobile titles. It was also announced that the mobile RPG Dragalia lost would be ending in November.
It still enjoys a lot of success with Fire Emblem Heroes. The five-year-old RPG had generated $1 billion in revenues as of June.