Nintendo is being sued over 'immoral' Mario Kart Tour microtransactions
The mobile version of Mario Kart is under fire from a disgruntled consumer
Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo’s mobile version of its popular racer, is facing a lawsuit in the US due to the game’s discontinued loot box system, which was removed in an update last year.
Mario Kart Tour used to feature a gacha-like element called ‘Spotlight Pipes’, where players could pay to receive random rewards with undisclosed odds.
Nintendo has since removed Spotlight Pipes from the game and replaced it with the ‘Spotlight Shop’. The Spotlight Shop removes the potluck element of the previous system and lets users see exactly what they can purchase with their money.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Mario Kart Tour lawsuit
👩⚖️ Mario Kart Tour is subject to a lawsuit in the US
👎 A young gamer believes the game had predatory microtransactions
🤔 Nintendo removed the offending loot box system last year
💰 The lawsuit is demanding a refund for anyone who used Mario Kart Tour’s ‘Spotlight Pipes’ in the past
However, that hasn’t stopped a young gamer (backed by his father) from filing a lawsuit in the US against the Kyoto-based company over its previously “immoral” microtransaction system.
First reported by Axios, the class action lawsuit alleges that Nintendo intentionally made it hard to progress in Mario Kart Tour without paying, and essentially encouraged players to spend money on microtransactions.
The claimant also says that Nintendo’s “loot box mechanism capitalized on and encouraged addictive behaviors akin to gambling” and is calling for “refunds for all minors in the US who paid to use Mario Kart Tour’s ‘Spotlight Pipes’, which delivered players in-game rewards using undisclosed odds”.
The plaintiff spent more than $170 on Mario Kart Tour microtransactions via his father’s credit card, according to the suit.
The alleged practices from Nintendo apparently violate Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act and California business law, so it doesn’t seem to be a frivolous suit by any means.
However, loot box lawsuits have a mixed track record of success. Authorities have debated for years whether the system constitutes illegal gambling or not, and only one country has banned them as a result.
The Federal Trade Commission recently fined Fortnite maker Epic Games $520 million over accidental and confusing in-game purchases. Heads up, then: if you’ve played Fortnite, you may be owed some money.
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