DeNA has confirmed that when it brings Mario Kart Tour to mobile for Nintendo, it will be a “free to start” title.
DeNA CEO revealed the plans on Twitter stating
DeNA CEO said “Mario Kart Tour,” a Nintendo-DeNA smartphone game planned for FY18, will be free-to-start.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) February 8, 2018
Nintendo previously used “free to start” with Super Mario Run. The system allows you to play the initial part of the game before having to pay to unlock the rest of the game.
One interesting thing to remember is that Nintendo’s late CEO Satoru Iwata preferred the term “free to start” instead of “free to play.” Depending on which way DeNA and Nintendo use the term we could see Mario Kart Tour as a free to play title where microtransactions fund the game, or a true free to start title where you get a taste before having to pay to unlock the game.