Nintendo has launched a monthly subscription for its free-to-play mobile game Mario Kart Tour that offers players ways to earn more in-game rewards in exchange for $4.99 a month.
That Gold Pass subscription is somewhat similar to the Fortnite-styled Battle Pass more and more free-to-play games have started to offer, and represents yet another kind of monetization used in Nintendo’s mobile catalog.
But, while other games take a season-by-season approach, the Gold Pass in Mario Kart Tour relies on a monthly subscription, and one that renews on its own until manually canceled.
Those that buy into the Gold Pass receive access to a faster, 200cc mode in-game and can earn additional in-game rewards while playing Tour for the duration of their subscription.
As far as monetization goes, previous Nintendo mobile releases have dabbled in gacha with the heavy-earner Fire Emblem Heroes, timer-driven play in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, a full premium price tag for Super Mario Run, and now a Mario Kart-themed battle pass.
While some methods have brought Nintendo better returns than others, the company has previously said that it’ll continue to explore different systems for each new game, and try to ensure that the monetization approach suits the series it’s attached to.