Mario Kart 8 first launched on Wii U almost 8 years ago, and the Deluxe version hit Switch about five years ago. In all that time, Nintendo hasn’t given us so much as one hint that Mario Kart 9 is on the way. However, that could be changing in 2022, according to a prominent analyst.
Mario Kart 9 teased in 2022?
Dr. Serkan Toto is CEO of a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy called Kantan Games. He (along with several other analysts) recently sat down with GamesIndustry to talk 2022 predictions, and he had one that caught me off guard.
Prediction: Nintendo announces Mario Kart 9 and a new mobile game
I am aware Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still selling very well on the Nintendo Switch, but Mario Kart 9 is in active development (and comes with a new twist) and Nintendo could tease it this year. On mobile, Nintendo has been very silent since Mario Kart Tour’s launch in 2019, but I think 2022 is when we will see an established IP arriving on smart devices again.
As Dr. Toto mentioned, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still selling tremendously well. In fact, its sales have only increased year by year since releasing on Switch. It’s not surprising that Nintendo would begin development on Mario Kart 9 anyway, as top-selling franchises almost always have something in development. But seeing as Deluxe is still selling better than most brand new games, there’s no rush to get 9 out the door.
However, a teaser in 2022 doesn’t mean the game has to launch then. If Dr. Toto’s scoop is correct, it could be revealed this year and launched in 2023. If and when Nintendo ever chooses to launch a more powerful Switch model (or even a true successor), Mario Kart 9 would certainly be a good system-seller.
Dr. Toto also teases that Mario Kart 9 “comes with a twist,” but doesn’t elaborate further. Most games in the franchise have some kind of unique mechanic, like the anti-gravity sections in 8. Personally, I wouldn’t mind Nintendo expanding the roster further and going full-on Super Smash Kart.