At the end of last year, Nintendo removed the gacha elements from its mobile racing game, Mario Kart Tour. It replaced this system where players would “fire” a pipe to receive a random item with a ‘Spotlight Shop’.
Although the item system has already been updated, Axios reports a young gamer (with approval from his father) has filed a lawsuit in the US against the video game giant over supposed “immoral” microtransactions within the mobile racer.
The suit was originally filed at state level in March and last week entered the federal system. Here are the details, courtesy of the source:
“The suit calls for refunds for all minors in the U.S. who paid to use Mario Kart Tour’s “Spotlight Pipes,” which delivered players in-game rewards using undisclosed odds. Until last year, Mario Kart Tour players could spend real money to repeatedly activate the pipes, in the hope they’d randomly produce useful upgrades… Its plaintiff, identified as N.A., spent more than $170 on Mario Kart Tour microtransactions, via his father’s credit card, which was linked to their Nintendo user account.”
It’s claimed Nintendo “intentionally” made the game difficult to proceed without pay – using “dark patterns (essentially encouraging players to spend more). The suit goes on to mention how the lootbox mechanism within Mario Kart Tour reinforced addictive behaviours – likening it to gambling.
As noted by Axios, these practices allegedly violate Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act and California business law.