Parents slam Nintendo for ‘immoral’ Mario game – warning to keep children away


A CLASS-action lawsuit has been filed against Nintendo over ‘immoral’ practices in a recent Mario game.

The lawsuit alleges that Nintendo used ‘dark patterns’ to lure players into making purchases.

Mario Kart Tour is free-to-play but contains microtransactions.

Mario Kart Tour is a free-to-play mobile version of Mario Kart.

As a free-to-play game, there are a number of microtransactions that can get you new karts, and speed up the time it takes to unlock new tracks.

There are also upgrades for karts that can be unlocked or purchased to give you a boost.

The lawsuit surrounds Spotlight Pipes, a kind of microtransaction that is no longer in the game.

Similar to loot boxes, these Spotlight Pipes gave random items, with an undisclosed chance at getting rare or powerful items.

As reported by Axios, one young gamer spent $170 (£140) on his father’s credit card, purchasing microtransactions from Mario Kart Tour.

Studies suggest that minors are particularly susceptible to in-game purchases that offer surprise rewards.

According to the suit: “Defendant’s [Nintendo’s] loot box mechanism capitalized on and encouraged addictive behaviors akin to gambling.”

The suit also alleges that the game was made ‘intentionally difficult’ to encourage people to try to purchase upgrades.

Loot boxes are already illegal in a number of countries, including Belgium and The Netherlands.

Spotlight Pipes were discontinued in October 2022, but plenty of players purchased these before the discontinuation.

There are plenty of conversations surrounding whether loot boxes should be legal in games as it is similar to gambling.

One of the most popular examples is FIFA, where FUT packs offer random chances to win rare cards.

Nintendo has refused to comment on the pending lawsuit.

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.