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Mario Kart Tour is Nintendo's biggest mobile hit yet

Nintendo's latest mobile app, "Mario Kart Tour," was downloaded more than 90 million times in its first week.That's a new record for Nintendo mobile g...

Posted: Oct 3, 2019 6:24 PM
Updated: Oct 3, 2019 6:52 PM

Nintendo's latest mobile app, "Mario Kart Tour," was downloaded more than 90 million times in its first week.

That's a new record for Nintendo mobile games. Its previous record-holder was "Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp," which had 14.3 million installs in its first week, according to data provided by analytics firm Sensor Tower.

But it's not a complete surprise that "Mario Kart Tour" resonated with iOS and Android users. The game brings Nintendo's popular racing series "Mario Kart" to smartphones, allowing fans to race against computer-controlled characters inside the app. (It plans to add a multiplayer mode in the future.)

On the app's launch day, some users complained on social media of issues trying to play the app right away due to heavy traffic.

Although fans of the franchise were eager to download the game, they are less eager to spend money on it. It's free to download but a monthly subscription of $4.99 unlocks rewards and other characters. That's before the $19.99 fee to unlock Mario as a playable character.

"It's off to a record-breaking start in terms of downloads, but revenue is a different story," said Randy Nelson, head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower.

The game has made $12 million so far, according to Sensor Tower, which Nelson said is "certainly impressive," but he would have expected more from 90 million downloads. Nintendo is currently offering promotions and free trials within the game. Once those deals expire, it could see a sales boost.

The app may be Nintendo's biggest mobile hit to date, but it may still trail behind the success of "Pokémon Go," which is not a Nintendo property but uses characters commonly seen in its games. While "Pokémon Go" only saw 38.5 million installs in its first week, it had a gradual release and only appeared in three countries initially. It has since grown incredibly lucrative, bringing in $110 million last August alone, for a total of $2.95 billion globally since its release.

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We got another taste of summer today with temperatures reaching the mid 90s with a strong breeze. Sunday looks to be very similar to Saturday's weather with continued highs in the 90s.Tonight will be breezy with lows in the 60s. Above average temperatures will continue through the beginning of next week as sunny and dry weather remains. Rain chances look to return towards the end of the work week, bringing cooler weather along with it.
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