Kosuke Yabuki, producer of Mario Kart, explains the design philosophy of the remastered retro tracks and how they will manage the series in the future.
The immediate future of Mario Kart is already planned at the Nintendo offices. After the initial release of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s Booster Course Pass for Nintendo Switch -which will consist of six waves with a total of 48 remastered retro tracks between now and the end of 2023- fans of the driving series are wondering when we will have the next new game in the saga. Kosuke Yabuki, producer of Mario Kart, has explained in an interview with Nikkei (via Nintendo Everything) the design philosophy of this DLC and how they plan to develop the series in the future.
What can we expect from the other 40 remastered tracks of the Booster Course Pass?
Since this March we can access the first two cups of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass; a total of 8 of the 48 remastered tracks that will include this expansion pack of the hit title, which already had 48 tracks. Thus, by the end of 2023, purchasers of the DLC (or Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers) will have 96 tracks. What's in store for the other 40 tracks?
“The word ‘remaster’ might sound cheap, but we’re confident that it will create new and unique experiences that are different to how tracks were originally,” explains Yabuki, who gives as an example the Sky Garden track from Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, GBA), unrecognizable in its design, although not as risky in its structure as other Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tracks, which dared to change heights and add elements such as anti-gravity.
“Players are going to have their own memories with each course, so we were careful not to change them too much. […] We want to honor players’ memories while also polishing the allure of each course as IP.”
How do they plan to develop future Mario Kart in the future?
It seems clear that we will not have a new Mario Kart (in the collective imagination is Mario Kart 9) until at least 2024, since the Booster Course Pass will end at the end of 2023. Kosuke Yabuki quotes Satoru Iwata, the much-loved former president of Nintendo, in explaining the basis of the series going forward.
“Former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata often mentioned the phrase ‘from 5 to 95 years old’. The ultimate goal is something that anyone can enjoy. ‘Steering assist’ and other systems that make it easier to bring in new players get us closer to that goal one step at a time. Former developers often told us that ‘Mario Kart is a competitive communication tool’ – we’ll always cherish the meaning behind that phrase,” concludes.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is available exclusively for Nintendo Switch. The title has already sold more than 43 million copies; the most successful of the console and the series.