Over the course of its existence, the Mario franchise has seen numerous spin-offs. Some of these spin-offs have met with a lackluster reception, which is why they haven't showed up more than one or twice. In contrast, others have become so successful that they have inspired full-fledged series in their own right. For proof, look no further than the Mario Kart series, which started up in 1992 but has seen a continuous succession of releases since that time.
For those who are curious, the first Mario Cart was Super Mario Cart, which was released in 1992 for the Super NES. Said release managed to sell close to nine million units, which would be an incredible number even in the present but made it the fourth best-selling title for the Super NES. Due to this, it is no wonder that Nintendo was convinced to make further installments in the same spin-off series.
As a result, the first Mario Cart for the Super NES has been followed up by more Mario Cart games for other Nintendo consoles. However, while each release has seen changes, the series has remained more or less the same at its core, which can be summed up as Mario, his friends, and some of his foes racing in go-karts while making use of a wide range of tools to gain an advantage over their fellow competitors. Currently, the latest installment in the spin-off series is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is a upgraded version of its Wii U predecessor that has come out on the Nintendo Switch. which has managed to sell more than 11 million copies so far.
How Much Money Has the Mario Kart Series Made?
There are no public figures for how much the Mario Kart series has made over the course of its existence. However, there are public figures for the number of units that have been sold. In short, one estimate puts the total number of units that have been sold for the Mario Kart series at more than 125 million units, though it is important to note that this figure has become outdated because the series has continued to sold in the time since June of 2018. With that said, it is interesting to note that these sales can't be attributed to a single title or even a small number of titles in the series because Mario Kart games tend to do well. For proof, consider how Mario Kart 8 was seen as something of a substandard performer in spite of the fact that it managed 8 million units, which would be amazing numbers for most releases.
Calculating the amount of money that has been earned by these releases is complicated by the fact that the units would not have been sold at the same prices. Never mind the fact that the value of money changes over time. However, considering how a higher-end Nintendo Switch game goes for something like $60, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the Mario Kart series has managed to earn billions over the course of its existence. For that matter, it should be mentioned that there has been a fair amount of Mario Kart merchandise, which has presumably contributed even more to the total earnings of the series.
Regardless, it seems safe to say that the Mario Kart series will continue to make incredible amounts of money for the foreseeable future. After all, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still a relatively new release, meaning that it still has some life in it. Furthermore, its performance as well as the performance of its predecessors suggest that its successors will be able to bring in respectable numbers as well, though there can still be some serious variation between titles. Having said this, it is interesting to note that Nintendo is set to release a Mario Kart mobile game at some point in the not too distant future, which is another excellent example of its growing mobile presence. Simply put, Nintendo is probably never going to release its staple series on the consoles of other companies unless it stops making consoles, but it is clear that it doesn't see mobile devices in the same way. Should the mobile game prove to be successful, that could mean further revenue streams for the series as a whole.
Written by Garrett Parker
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