Nintendo’s Issues With Micro-Transactions

It seems like Nintendo has been all over the news in relation to gaming this year whether it be for good or bad reasons. While Nintendo has gained a ton of good publicity regarding the success of the Super Mario Bros Movie this year the gaming giant has recently found themselves at the receiving end of some negative publicity as of late. It was recently revealed earlier today that Nintendo has been hit with a lawsuit related to “predatory micro-transactions” included in the Mario Kart World Tour from 2019. A father claimed that his son ended up using $170 of real-world currency in the free-to-play mobile kart racing game on “Spotlight Pipes”. The Spotlight Pipes served as loot boxes allowed players to obtain special perks including upgrades in order to enhance their chances at winning races. Over the years there have been a handful of companies that has received backlash for including micro-transactions within their video games after consumers have paid full price for the game they already purchased. The controversy surrounding Gran Turismo 7’s heavy use of loot boxes had a detrimental effect on the game’s over quality and sales performance back in 2022. However, Gran Turismo 7 for the PlayStation 5 was not advertised as a free to play video game unlike Mario Kart: World Tour; so technically Sony could not be accused of false advertising. But it definitely seems like video game companies are becoming more greedy in general with the inclusion of heavy micro-transactions. The plaintiff’s suit against Nintendo claim that the predatory micro-transactions used in Mario Kart: World Tour violated Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act and California Business Law. One of the biggest issues with the inclusion of micro-transactions in Mario Kart: World Tour was that it encouraged gambling for minors who often utilized their parents credit cards without their knowledge. While Nintendo has no control over the actions of the minors some would probably argue in favor of Nintendo a company that has no previous track record regarding big issues concerning micro-transactions.

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