Nintendo has announced that in October Mario Kart Tour will be getting rid of its gacha-like mechanic known as the Pipe, where players could get random drivers, karts, and other items via spending in-game currency.
Like lootboxes, gacha mechanics offer random in-game rewards, and similarly have parallels to real world gambling. Though not always talked about to the degree that lootboxes are, games that used gacha in the past, like Second Life, have removed the mechanic.
Beginning October 4, the Pipe in Mario Kart Tour will be replaced with a Spotlight Shop with a rotating inventory for players to buy specific drivers, karts, and gliders. According to the in-game description seen by VGC, the Spotlight shop will feature returning and brand new in-game items.
When Mario Kart Tour launched in 2019, the Pipe was the only way to acquire limited time items,. You could only use the Pipe by spending in-game Rubies, and several of the game's current 193 drivers or 246 karts, for example, were only made available through the Pipes.
Here's a peek at #MarioKartTour's update coming late September! Battle mode will be added, along with a Spotlight Shop, where you can exchange rubies for drivers, karts, and gliders! Also, pipes you can fire by using rubies will be removed. See the notification for details. pic.twitter.com/brsI1tH8YD— Mario Kart Tour (@mariokarttourEN) September 2, 2022
Back in 2018, Nintendo admitted that the gacha model wouldn't be applicable to all of its mobile titles. Earlier in the week, it was announced that another of its gacha titles, the mobile RPG Dragalia Lost, would officially end in November.
Even so, it still has a big success in the form of Fire Emblem Heroes. As of this past June, the now five-year-old RPG has earned $1 billion in revenue.