Nintendo, in a stripped-down digest of its financials, confirmed that Mario Kart Tour, the spinoff title heading to Android and iOS is delayed. The title was initially expected to arrive in this quarter, but will now land on Android in the summer.
According to Nintendo, the game is being delayed to make sure it's up to the company's usual quality standards. In the same breath, the company said that it plans to put significant effort into maintaining developmental momentum and community support for existing mobile titles, meaning that dragon shifters, pocket campers, and Super Mario Runners have nothing to worry about for now.
Mario Kart Tour was announced a year ago, and has been in heavy development since. The original plan to release it during the previous fiscal year stands as a testament to that, despite the newly announced delay. Even with things as they are, though, Nintendo has kept details of the planned title under tight wraps.
Nintendo's strategy with mobile has usually been to time major releases so as to bolster the popularity of console titles coming out around the same time or shortly after. With Mario Kart 8 Deluxe currently posting extremely strong sales on the Switch, now would seemingly be an opportune time to release the mobile game, lending further credence to Nintendo's claims that the current build simply isn't up to the company's stringent standards.
Looking to the quality of Nintendo's past mobile efforts, this will likely be good news for players in the end. Miitomo may have come out a little feature-barren and arguably half-baked at first, but Nintendo learned its lesson and every mobile game since has been top-notch. Fans enjoying those games will have a good, long time before seeing them fade away. Even Miitomo took over a year to dry up.
Super Mario Run, Dragalia Lost, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp have all garnered massive player bases and rave reviews. That being the case, Nintendo probably doesn't want to release Mario Kart Tour until it's sure that the game will get the same kind of warm reception. In any case, the extra time leading up to the proposed release window will give Nintendo time to polish up the game, test it internally, and do all the other things that lead to a quality end product, as it usually does in the mobile space.
The summer timing will put it smack in the middle of the gaming giant's new fiscal year, too, meaning that it could prove to be a big enrichment for a period that's normally pretty dry in the gaming world. The fall is the busiest gaming release season for big titles, in most cases, so a summer release window would slot it right between two blockbuster seasons.