'Mario Kart Tour' Maintenance: Nintendo Fans Frustrated as Racing Game Remains Down at Launch

The mobile version of Nintendo's flagship racing game Mario Kart, titled Mario Kart Tour, released Wednesday for download but, unfortunately for eager fans, was not immediately playable.

Social media users flocked online with complaints and memes, voicing frustrations about a pop-up box containing the warning "currently under maintenance." The only clickable button led players back to the title screen. Another version warned about heavy traffic on the server.

For its part, Nintendo indicated that it was well aware of the initial maintenance issues, but did not make any reference to the screenshots showing suspected traffic overloads.

Responding to the barrage of tweets in a statement today, the Mario Kart Twitter account wrote: "The game is scheduled to become playable around 1 a.m. PT/10 a.m. CEST on 9/25.

"You need a Nintendo Account in order to play, so feel free to make one if you haven't already." It followed up: "The game launch timing may be mistakenly shown in-game for some players. This should correctly be around 1 am PT (8 a.m. UTC). Thank you for your patience."

Still, the company's own clarification did nothing to stop social media from boiling over, although it's likely that many of the posts were being made for comedic purposes. Some users claimed to have waited up until midnight to play the cartoon racer, only to be sorely disappointed.

"We really thought we was gonna play Mario kart when it came out huh," one Twitter user wrote. Another person added: "If you could all close Mario Kart so I can play I'd appreciate it."

For now, Mario Kart Tour can be obtained via the application stores for iOS and Android devices. But until the release date listed by Nintendo passes, all players will find themselves stalled.

To access the game, players need to have an in-game registration card, which can be obtained by linking a Nintendo account. These accounts can be created on the company's website.

Mario Kart Tour is described as a "free to start" title, meaning that it is supported by in-game purchases, also known as micro-transactions. Nintendo's 2016 Mario offering, called Super Mario Run, was released for iOS in December 2016. It had an interesting revenue model that doesn't appear to be replicated here. In Run, the first couple of levels were free, but the full game cost $9.99.

Mario Kart Tour is also using a "Gold Pass" system, which is a subscription service that claims to offer players with "more in-game rewards." First-time users are eligible for a free trial but after that it costs $4.00 per month, according to Nintendo. It should be noted for anyone who signs up, the service automatically converts to a monthly subscription plan if it is not manually canceled.

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'Mario Kart Tour' Maintenance: Nintendo Fans Frustrated as Racing Game Remains Down at Launch | Tech & Science