According to an industry analyst, Mario Kart 9 is currently in development and could be teased as soon as this year.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz about his predictions for what will happen over the next year in gaming, Tokyo-based industry analyst Dr. Serkan Toto says that while he’s aware that Mario Kart 8 is still a best-seller on Nintendo Switch, “Mario Kart 9 is in active development”.
Even more interesting, Toto adds that the game comes with “a new twist” and that Nintendo “could tease it this year”. Twists on gameplay aren’t exactly a new thing in Mario Kart (just look at the anti-gravity mechanic in Mario Kart 8) but Toto doesn’t expand on what, or how significant, the twist could be for the next game in the series.
Aside from Mario Kart 9, Toto also touches on Nintendo’s mobile plans in his prediction, acknowledging that though the company has been pretty quiet on the mobile gaming front since the release of Mario Kart Tour in 2019, “2022 is when we will see an established IP arriving on smart devices again.”
As with any report, we suggest taking this one with a pinch of salt for the moment. Nintendo hasn’t officially confirmed plans for Mario Kart 9, or that it’s actively working on it, so we don’t want to accelerate into excitement too early on this one.
Analysis: Is it likely?
So, putting aside the question of whether or not it’s in active development right now, just how likely is it that Nintendo is planning to release Mario Kart 9 at some point in the future? Um, yeah it seems pretty likely.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been an incredible success for Nintendo. It sells millions of copies each year and towards the end of 2021, it was revealed to be the series’ best-selling entry ever with more than 38 million copies sold. That’s not bad for a game that was originally released on the Wii U back in 2014.
It’s true that Deluxe was padded out with DLC and some welcome improvements to gameplay but since then Nintendo hasn’t added to the game with any additional DLC and we’re getting kind of hungry for some new tracks.
Given the success of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it feels like a no brainer for Nintendo to have another entry in the series up its sleeve but this success also probably means that Nintendo isn’t in a huge rush to get another entry out there. Nintendo hasn’t released two mainline Mario Kart games in one console generation before, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe being a Wii U upgrade could change things.