Nintendo

Ubisoft Apologizes For Tweet Against Mario Kart 8 DLC

Someone with access to the official Twitter account for Ubisoft tweeted in opposition to Mario Kart 8‘s upcoming Mercedes-Benz DLC. The publisher has since deleted that tweet and apologized for the opinionated comment. The Wii U racing game will receive a new update next week that will add the ability to download three Mercedes-Benz cars that players can race: the modern Mercedes-Benz GLA, the 300 SL Roadster from the 1950s and the Silver Arrow of the 1930s.

229 comments

  1. I actually agree with what the tweet said. Putting real life cars into a Mario Kart game just feels….counter-intuitive. .

      1. Just because there’s already another realistic car in the game doesn’t make it a good decision either.

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      3. Because we’re talking about companies here. In a corporate/business standpoint, that tweet was very unprofessional. It can ever ruin the image of the company.

      4. Its called damage control because Ubishit royally pissed off Wii U fans of their nonsense so anything else they say or do, they’re trying to sweep under the rugs but ultimately fail in vain anyway.

      5. Still better than nothing. This game needs as much content as it can get.

      6. What Mario Kart 8 needs is, more characters that aren’t babies, separate screens when playing co-op multiplayer online or in general, a patch that makes the coins come up far less when playing online races…

      7. Characters Ill agree with, there are many more worthy character slots than babies, except Mario and Luigi since they have had appearances in other games such as Partners in Time, don’t really care for the others as much, Pink Gold Peach is also a waste, she never even existed. Metal Mario is fine, at least he appeared in Smash Bros, but I would say make them alternate costumes with different weight classes so they can still function normally.

        As for the coins, maybe a little less, not much less, but so you can strategise about weather you throw your Banana or Shell away and risk the next box being another of above or a coin. Or keep it so you don’t risk getting a coin rather than a useful weapon.

        Don’t think I’ve noticed that with Co-op multiplayer, but that may just be me. :P

      8. If i do recall, Nintendo already explained why they changed the battle mode in Mario Kart 8, so I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

      9. Voice chat will sell millions more and increase replay value and longevity

      10. “F#ck off with those bulls*hit blueshells, p@ssy!!” “Shut up b?tch-a$$ n00b, I slept with ur mom.”

      11. And we’ll have a bunch of little shitheads doing exactly what bkdvkkwsjbv d,jkbwskbvd quoted.

      12. Oh absolutely. I especially agree with the coins thing- I had an online race where I got coins from every item box except for one time when I got a banana. WHAT COULD I DO WITH ONLY COINS!? Got 12th place because of that shit.

      13. Think they need to patch the item balance in general oppose the coin thing because I oddly find myself getting single shells and even fucking coins around 7-9th place at times.

      14. I say to Just get rid of that stupid coin item… that flaw is literally the tripping that was implemented in Brawl!

      15. The only DLC MK 8 needs is a real battle mode tracks. The default ones are not fun at all. It’s the only Mario Kart game that fucked up that important component. It’s the 8th game for fucks sake…

      1. Hmm, that depends, is it the free bundle? Because I don’t want that one, it’s glitchy as hell.

      2. I’ve mentioned this before. Sure, YOU may not download it, but many others will, and when you play online, you’ll see a bunch of Mercedes-Benz cars advertising to you and ruining the feel of the game. Not cool. Adding these to the game was a sell-out and ruins Mario Kart. Why Nintendo felt the need to go down this road when they’ve been against it all this time is odd. They could have added content that wasn’t advertisement, which is exactly what this is.

      3. Also, yes, we should be upset by this because what’s next? The All State Insurance guy being in Smash Bros.? Or Flo from Progressive maybe? Can’t wait until the Geiko Gecko moves into Animal Crossing! If we’re cool with this, Nintendo will keep doing it and ruin every franchise.

      4. you talking about an USA point of view in term of ad, geiko ads will be relevant to US market but Not for the rest of the world. Even a caveman can do it won’t work outside US, it’s like some joke in Friend where it get lost in translation.

        Mercedes is well known around the world and the product is available worldwide, so the derive will be a worldwide product and not specific to a country.

        I perfectly understand where you coming from and I have the same fear but at the end people will be gutted and the sales will go down cause people hate ads. If that trend increasing like the DLC then for me it will be bye bye video game and hello PC.

      5. Then I guess people like you will just have to either quit going online or deal with it. Either way, the free DLC is coming whether you like it or not.

    1. mario kart had already had a few designs that were at least partially based on or inspired by real world designs, i don’t see the big deal

      also they’re still kart sized.. they’re not actual real world cars.. i challenge you to find a similarly sized mercedes car :P

      1. Nintendo does rule, calm your tits, but it’s a weird DLC, free or not.
        Real life cars don’t belong in a Mario Kart game.

    2. You agree with Ubisoft that the free DLC that isn’t even out yet, that you have not played MK8 with, that is optional for anyone to download it or not, is a bad idea, because the cars exist in real life, yeah, that’s a horrible idea.

      1. People making that a huge deal obviously has nothing else to nitpick on Nintendo ATM and its getting pathetic. While we get great updates and free DLC, these same motherfuckers are wasting $50-60 for free online play and ripoff DLC along with dealing around DRM.

    3. And they didnt say anything about Sega doing the exact same shit with Sonic Transformed adding a real life person in the game. Ubisoft should STFU and either make real games that are not gimped and on time or GTFO of Nintendo’s business.

      1. Yes, but that’s SEGA. Sega does that stuff. Also nobody cared about Sonic Transformed. Also didn’t Ubisoft claim they were hacked? Don’t know if that’s true, but don’t go pinning them down.

      2. Funny how you say nobody cares about Sonic Racing Transformed, yet it is one of best selling third party games on Wii U.

      3. Oh don’t even start that “Because its *insert name*” BS. lol

        Knowing Ubishit’s crappy Uplay (DRM), I’m pretty sure it got hacked like Origin.

    4. It’s a game about plumbers, babies, metallic beings, turtles, and a fucking guy in a mask and robe racing each other in a giant castle, underwater, in space, and inside a fucking clock.

      Who cares if there are real life cars? It just adds to the weirdness.

      1. THANK YOU!!! Screw the “It’s in-game advertising that ruins my fun!” crying humans as if it’s freaking ads taking you away from the game. It’s not like it’s a freaking ad that forces you to watch it before you can actually play the game like with youtube.

    1. Yeah your mother should have apologized for raising such a fat nerdy soiled rotten coward internet stalking no life psychopath bitch.

      Don’t you have a maid to do everything for your worthless ass and another free pokemon 3ds to get you fat virgin internet breathing no life? It’s always the rich spoiled rotten brats that have these psychopath behavior.

      Sickr ban this trash there’s kids and i don’t want a freak breathing psychopath stalking social reject here for the sake of it.

      1. Aww, butt hurt much sasori? Someone didn’t breast feed from Obianuju this morning

      2. The way you turned out i bet your mom breast feed you poison because you are a mistake and a burden to society. Go get raped in prison no life pedophile psychopath.

        How many animals do you kill?

      3. Bout one a week, brotha got a have his meat y’know what I’m saying
        I eat meat if you don’t get it because unlike you, I can afford the finer things in life

        Unlike your peasant ass, shoo shoo

      4. Seriously man, you are FUCKED. I hope YOU get raped in prison, obviously nobody likes you, and it’s the only way your gonna ever lose your virginity.

      5. Once you get cured from tourettes then maybe you’ll have the right to bother others you pathetic ape…

      6. Your fucked in the head, Anonymous. Srsly, you need fucking help.

  2. I feel Ubisoft’s comment was fair. It is a fine line Nintendo is dancing on, they could quite easily devalue one of their properties, or their entire brand.

    1. it’s funny how on one hand some people frequently scold nintendo for taking no risks with their brands and on the other hand there’s those who find fault with nintendo conducting even the tiniest of experiments..

      i mean this really isn’t a big deal.. it’s purely cosmetic and it’s a negligibly tiny part of the game

      i guess they can never do right if you only count the negative opinions of their actions

      1. Lmao, I know you hate Assassin’s Creed, but 4 is definitely not the same as the others. I know people that don’t even care about Assassin’s Creed that said they loved 4. You should give it a try. Probably after you get a PS4 so you can get the DLC.

      2. Be careful where you boast about PS4 here, angry fanboys are waiting to rip on somebody who plays something other than Nintendo.

      3. “Not the same as others”..you use stealth, you kill with hidden blades and you surf on boats which players have done the same in AC3. I see nothing different between games. lol

        And no. I’ll wait for MGS5 for a real stealth game.

      4. Dude, I have played Assassin’s Creed 3 for over 70 hours on my Wii U. It is not like Assassin’s Creed 4. Lol. If you are talking about gameplay, the same can pretty much be said about every GTA game. But GTA V is better than the other ones. Lol. As they always say, “don’t knock it before you try it”. You may like it. :)

      5. You played the first one. That’s nothing like 4. I got bored with that one. XD

      6. You ought to try it though. In Assassin’s Creed 1, you go through this long, tedious tutorial before doing anything. And then afterwards, you start playing as Altair who is such a boastful loudmouth that thinks he can take on anyone and then tries to kill some guy, and end up unsuccessful. Then, he ends up getting his weapons taken by the leader and then you start the first part of the game getting your Assassin gear back. I understand why that was boring as heck to you. XD I haven’t seen much of AC4, but the action starts immediately when you play! You need to try it. If you don’t, I swear to god I will find a way to force you to. Even if I have to buy it for you and give you an eshop download code. XD

      7. Yeah right. XD You wouldn’t even be foolish enough to buy a game for a (not so) complete Stranga (pun intended) lol Besides, I’m not touching anything Ubisoft anyway.

      8. You know, one day, someone might give you a game and you will get home and play it and then you might tell that person “that game was awesome! I really loved it !” And then that person will tell you “Oh really? That’s cool. It was made by Ubisoft btw.” And then your face will go from “:D” to “._.”
        XD

      9. AC3 was fun at first, and quickly became boring and to me.

        AC4 is soooo much better.

      10. Huh? That’s funny. Lol. For me, AC3 was pretty boring as it started, and then it was amazing when I got to the end. I still play it basically every day running around the streets with my recruits fighting tons of soldiers. XD

      11. But… I’ve been playing it for over 70 hours on the Wii U. O.O The only other games I’ve put that much time in are Need For Speed Most Wanted U and Sonic Racing Transformed. It’s not really boring to me. I’ve played it more than Mario Kart 8. I’d say the most boring game I have right now out of them all of is Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (another game which I’ve put tons of hours into) I need new games now and I’m definitely going to sink in tons of hours into Hyrule Warriors. After that, I may get Bayonetta 2 or wait for Smash Bros. :)

      12. I was gonna buy Transformed at one point but I’m unsure if its a good game to me. Besides, MK8 blows Transformed away. XP

        And a certain someone that I hate is gonna jump you over you calling Tekken Tag boring. lol

      13. Haha. You’re right about MK8 being better than Transformed, but I played that game way more than Mario Kart 8. I put almost 160 hours into it. It may be easy getting all the tracks, but after you beat it, there’s so much content and replay value. Sure, online might be dead now, but it was great going up against people in the 12 player races. In fact, if it weren’t for that game, I’d have most likely sold my Wii U back then. (That was during the huge game drought) It makes GREAT use of the Gamepad! It can be used as a rear view mirror, you can see your item and all other players’ items, you can see the map, and best of all, your own screen when playing local co-op with someone. I don’t have it anymore though (because my dumb baby cousin totally screwed up the disc when I wasn’t looking) but it’s definitely one of the best third party games on Wii U. Btw, my Need For Speed Most Wanted U disc was also ruined by my baby cousin. Lol, but much worse. She took it out of the case and literally ripped it in half. That’s a shame… That game was even better than Sonic Racing! >.< But now that I think about it, EA kind of does deserve that. Cracked discs. Lol. XD

      14. I don’t know the price of the game in the US but PC version is way cheaper than PS4 or PS3 version in UK. It’s also depend on his/her PC but £400 instead of a PS4 you can have a decent AMD FX6350, a very good mother board and 8 GB of RAM. For an upgarde that way better than a PS4. :-)

      15. As much as I enjoyed AC3 & AC4, I wish I had gotten them as 2nd hand games. Well that’s 120 bucks, plus tax, I’ll never get back that’s also going to fund games NOT coming to the Wii U. Mrgrgr!

      16. Not sure if I should get Watch Dogs in the future on Wii U or PC. If I get it for Wii U, it would count towards sales. But I would have to sacrifice one of the Nintendo games I want this holiday since I want to limit the money I spend, and well, that’s not happening. XD I think they totally screwed up the PC version by downgrading the graphics just so they wouldn’t make those PS/XB graphics fanboys feel left out about their outdated consoles. Watch Dogs was honestly one of the best looking games I had ever seen back in 2012 and now it barely looks any better than most 7th gen games. And to add insult to injury, it won’t even run that good on your PC unless you have a super good one which is BS because even on ultra it barely looks better than the PS4 version. I just want them to make a game with true next gen graphics and not screw it up and go back on their word. The Division looks promising at this point, but knowing Ubisoft, they’ll find a way to mess it up yet again. Whether it be Uplay or another graphics downgrade, they will find a way. They are almost reaching EA’s level of broken promises. EA always worried about DLC all the time and they keep rushing out the gamesand that aggravates me! They are definitely worse than Ubisoft, but at least they promise on the graphics though. Lol can’t say the same about Ubisoft.

      17. If you’re thinking about getting that trash for PC, you might as well get GTA5 in its place. Its a far superior game, well designed by real dedicated talents and..you can punch anyone unlike a certain POS 2014 joke of a sandbox game. lol

      18. That’s not what I’m talking about. I already plan to get GTA V. I’m talking about which platform to get Watch Dogs on.

      19. I am getting Watch Dogs regardless of whether or not I get GTA V. I know it is the better game, but I still want to play it. :P

  3. Let’s lobby so that Nintendo and Playboy can collab on a couple of car designs with murals of naked “models” on the hood and doors of said cars.
    Let Hugh pay Nintendo so that US as consumers can have it….what’s that word again…..FREE!

    This way those idiot bots posting “it’s free, so can’t complain” can have something to choke on. As I’m certain there is a healthy dossage of female gamers who approve of this DLC for that same basic reason.

    “why complain if it’s free” if that’s so, let’s do as I mentioned, see how you won’t be spewing the same stupidity as the next follower.

    I am NOT for this DLC! Ads are disgusting, but I guess leave it to the 90’s born soft generation to be blinded by their “dear” company’s foul tactics….just because “it’s free”

    Feels great to be in the middle generation, best of both worlds. Not too young, not too old, just right!

    Stoopid poeple to mhuch stoopid poeple. Toodles!

    1. Im down for some playboy dlc. I dont know why youre so bothered by this lol again its free dlc, dont like it? Dont get it.

    2. Don’t know you… But I can’t run to the dealer and buy any of those cars…so I think most of the players just see some DLC, and just the ones with the money to buy a car will take it as “Ads”
      Plus, I love Mercedes ^.^

  4. TBH I have to agree with Ubisoft on this one. The first time I saw a picture of Mario in a Mercedes I honestly thought it was Photoshopped. It looks incredibly out of place since Mario Kart has never had any real-life cars in it. Their karts/bikes have always been unique designs with unique names (or generic designs with generic names, like the Mach Bike). It’s going to be very bizarre seeing Nintendo characters driving around in Mercedes vehicles.

      1. Exactly. The out of place real life cars will fit in just fine with the fictional ones.

  5. thanks ubisoft and thank you all of the surpports that signed the petition to get cod aw to wii u. i really appropriate everyone efforts. we reached 314 signatures in 1 day and 4 hours. thanks everyone :’)

  6. This DLC is brilliant marketing for both companies. Mercedes is reaching a wide market through Mario Kart, and Nintendo is reaching out to a new crowd/raising awareness of WiiU through the Mercedes commercials as well. Don’t know how these things could be bad. Great campaign, great example of thinking outside the box for both companies, and it’s free. Simple.

  7. When is Ubisoft going to release Watch Dogs on the Wii U? I was considering buying it a chance but they are releasing it too late! The Nintendo games I want are almost here and I won’t have time for it. Not to mention, Watch Dogs will be going up against Smash Bros and, Hyrule Warriors, and Bayonetta 2! It won’t stand a chance selling at all at this rate. Especially since I’ve been waiting for Bayonetta 2 since Wii U’s launch!

      1. I’m disappointed AC Rogue and Unity, The Crew, and Far Cry 4 are not coming to the Wii U. Would’ve been really fun to play. But I probably wouldn’t have had time for those anyways with the upcoming Wii U games. Suppose I may check them back out after I get a PC or PS4/XB1.

      2. Yeah same here lol I wanna get a pc, xbox or ps4 just for third party stuff. I get the best exclusives and third party!

      3. PC is the only real choice…

        Why pay for online multiplayer on those gimped PCs when you can have a free better experience on the PC?…

        And games that are cheaper compared to th Xbot and Sonyan version…

      4. Ubisoft PC ports are complete shit. Just try Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed III. Have you tried AC III? They tried pulling off the always online shit with us. And like Xbox, they failed

      5. I wasn’t even talking about them, I don’t buy their crap on PC…

      6. I’ve never played it before. My mom (even though she isn’t really a gamer) seems to like that game. Lol. What’s it like?

      7. Similar to AC but harder, more fluent battle gameplay, puzzle solving, acrobatic skills, enjoyable bosses for the most part and the music stomps AC crap…

      8. That’s good to hear. But I strongly disagree about Assassin’s Creed. :)

      9. my only hope is AC rogue will come to PC, cause there is not way I will get the PS3, that will be a shame for me cause it ties why AC3,AC4 and AC unity

    1. They’re never gonna release it and quite frankly, I dont care. The game’s an overhyped garbage that can’t even allow you to punch in a 2014 sandbox game.

    2. Don’t worry. You can always buy the game used. It should be around 20 bucks in a month or two when some buyers of it hate it or play it all the way through once and sell it back to Gamestop.

  8. “The Internet is populated with people and when people assemble, physically or virtually, psychopaths prey. On the Internet, one manifestation of this personality disorder is the cyber stalker. Cyber stalkers have provoked the deaths of scores of online users, some through psychological torment, others through old-fashioned murder. The primary difference between the cyber stalker and the serial killer is that the cyber stalker cowardly does his work from afar, cloaked in anonymity, where any insect can pretend to be powerful, hiding as he is, in the darkness.”

    Nintendo is my blood in a nut shell. What a fucking nerd coward fat lard. He;s so stupid too not knowing he has enough evidence against him to be locked up on this page alone. Just picture him in prison “what you in for?” I was stalking some 15 year old boy across the world because he’s a bad person and made fun of nintendo. That nerdy coward bitch would be the prison beat down and bitch.

  9. Please dress like My dad and teach me a lession i need it i maybe a troll but i need you to troll all over my face

    1. Like delaying two completed ports in a row, gimping Blacklist, skipping DLC on AC4, holding Wii U gamers for extortion and now making nothing but crappy party gamed that no fan is gonna care about.

  10. Personally, I think its pretty cool that they would allow Nintendo to use the cars in general. I’ve only seen one of them and it looked nice. Gives you just that little bit of extra. I’d download it.

  11. It’s free DLC so you can’t really complain, since other companies would charge about $5 for this.

  12. Ubisoft, nobody gives a shit if you like the dlc or not. Nobody gives a shit about your apology. Just hurry up and go bankrupt.

  13. To be honest lot of people moan cause it’s a free ads for Mercedes.
    1) you don’t have to download the dlc if u don’t want it.
    2) Nintendo doing some marketing for their benefit as well so let not complain.
    3) some people want it and there is a demand for those cars also this operation has been carefully deployed.
    4) doesn’t matter if ubi is right or wrong,after what they have done to Nintendo and the amount of ads for xbox360/1,Ps3/4 and the lack of it for wii u, I think they are the last (with EA) to even make a public comment on that topic.they should just shut up u and keep it for themselves (bande de conard).
    5) it may be just one off opportunity and even if it’s not. that ‘s a way to bring revenue for Nintendo and a cheap ads for Mercedes.
    6) if u are poor u won’t go for a Mercedes but u have the fantasy to drive one (why sport car game are so famous)?
    7) it may not be ubi official statement but it’s the general feeling point of view of this company who has the decency to apologise even if the apologise was dodgy

    1. Hahaha you think it’s a ‘free’ ad? Not a chance, Mercedes are paying Nintendo for this, and that’s fine. It’s being integrated in a way that is both good for Mercedes and fun for players. I’m not sure what’s not to like – I just hope that the karts are balanced.

  14. Yeah Ubisoft is just begging to break off it’s ties with Nintendo. I don’t know why besides poor sales either. I’ve always enjoyed Ubisoft games on Nintendo platforms.

  15. Heres the logic

    Because Mercedes is in Mario, it it selling out
    But Mercedes in any other racing game is okay

    What do people want from Nintendo?

  16. This DLC isn’t going to pop ads everywhere.

    It is an ad, yes. But at the same time, it is something players will enjoy, not something that will harass players.

    1. Exactly my point to the ones complaining about this DLC being just ads for real life car companies. It’s not like we’ll be plagued by pop up ads as we play the game that lag it to hell & back.

      1. If I could buy the drivers I played with in the last console version, I’d start playing again. It’s like releasing a Metroid, but not letting you play as Samus… Bullshit. Instead you get Baby Samus and fight Baby metroids. All I need is a bottle and I’m all set for Nintendo’s baby generation of games.

      2. Your still mad about the babies? Lol babies are my favorite! Specially baby Peach. :P

      3. Yeah. I’m more disappointed than really “mad”… I was waiting for MK8 for so long… I don’ necessarily have an issue with the babies being there, it’s the fact they continue to excuse my type by eliminating the “scary” drivers. (Boo, Piranha, Dry Bones, Dry Bowser,)

        There’s probably no easy way to explain it. I could say they are excluding adult gamers, but then someone will jump in with “I’m an adult and I love the babies!” … So whatever. Nintendo will either figure out they are killing off a section of long-time gamers, or I’ll figure out I’m just too old school, and Colorful Babies and shit are just what gamers want, and I’m part of a dying breed.

      4. Yeah, but I’m still a sucker for Peach. I just can’t get over the blonde hair and long gloves. XD

      5. But…Rosalina is better. X3 Besides, Peach should take a break from cock teasing Mario all the time by allowing Bowser to kidnap her ass for “certain” needs. XD

      6. Why doesn’t he just kidnap Mario and keep him held captive? Lol, what does Peach have that he or anyone else in the Mushroom kingdom don’t? Doesn’t make any sense.

      7. Lol maybe been going on for quite some time now if Bowser jr is big enough to walk, talk, and operate machines. XD

  17. LOL WHAT A SCUMMY FUCKING COMPANY UPLAY SHIT DRM SHIT PAY 4 DLC SHIT

    GETTING MORE LIKE EA BY THE DAY PATETIC CLUNKY CONTROLED UBISHIT GAMES

    ASASIN-ASS CLUNKY CONTROLS CLUNKY CAMERA CRAP CHILDISH STORY AND HOODIED SO CALLED BAD ASS CHARECTERS

    LOL IS PRINCE OF PURSURE FOR CHAVS AND BRO DUDES

    A GUY IN A HOODY GOES IN A TIME MACHINE WERES A OLDEN DAYS HOODY AND STABS PEOPLE SOOOOO STREET UBISHIT SO GANGSTER

    PILE OF SHIT GAME

      1. Why make another Mario, or Pokemon or any other shitty platformer rehash?

        Just because you think FPS’s are rehashes, doesn’t mean that 90 percent of the gaming industry don’t. If you actually try looking harder, you’ll see a much more varied amount of games which aren’t shooters, yet are mature and never coming to the Wii U/3DS

      2. Point is devs and even dudes like you are blind to your hypocrisy over maturity. Nintendo is only for kids yet I see more kids playing mature games than anything Nintendo makes nowadays.

  18. Even if people agree that they aren’t a fan of the DLC, it’s not like you have to have it and it’s free. Fact is Ubisoft was very unprofessional about it and should know better.

  19. Let’s start with some context, and the fact that this isn’t the first time that Nintendo has entered into a business partnership for branded content in its games. Sticking to modern times, a notable example is 3DS success story Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which has provided plenty of themed gifts for gamers to enjoy. Two examples tied directly into deals with retailers — in North America some content could only be received through accessing the game online within Best Buy stores, for example, though the DLC itself wasn’t identifiably linked to the retailer. In Japan the story was a little different, with a similar idea of receiving content in 7-Eleven stores; in this case, however, the items were branded with the store’s logo and openly promoted the retailer.

    Another example on 3DS is with Mario Golf: World Tour, a title in which Nintendo runs regular tournaments. In this case there’s has been branding linked to a Callaway tournament and related in-game gear, combining the well-known real-world golf equipment company with the fantasy of Mushroom Kingdom Links play. This is around the world rather than only in Japan, and again promotes a brand within the game world, albeit without asking for any additional money from the player.

    Now we have Mercedes in Mario Kart 8, with the related Facebook post not messing around with subtlety in terms of doing its bit to reward the money put into the deal:
    “Take a new Mercedes Benz GLA-class SUV for a spin in the Mushroom Kingdom, with a special GLA-class kart planned to drift onto Mario Kart 8 as additional content this summer!”

    I made an assumption that Mercedes is paying to have its kart created and shared in Mario Kart 8; that’s based on the logic that, from Nintendo’s perspective, the only way this DLC is worth the effort of developing the kart is in exchange for a decent amount of cash. Mercedes clearly values the Mario Kart brand and wants to be associated with it, and will have paid for the opportunity to appear in the franchise — the first ‘real’ car company to do so.

    I’ve certainly chewed over the relevance of Mercedes being in Mario Kart 8, and in truth I’m not entirely sure the match-up makes sense. Nintendo’s brand primarily targets families and enthusiastic supporters of the company and its IPs, and here we have a luxury car — albeit an SUV that could be plugged as a pricey ‘family’ car — getting promoted. It’s an odd mix, and a more affordable typical family brand like Ford, or a fantastical aspect such as a race car, would seem more natural. Whatever the thinking of the Mercedes executives, I’m not quite sure it works as a product placement ‘fit’.

    That aside, the presence of sponsored DLC like this in a franchise as significant as Mario Kart does raise a few alarm bells. Beyond the weirdness of it, there are legitimate concerns over where this trend is going for Nintendo; where it will end. Perhaps a new power-up in a future Mario entry will be a can of Red Bull that ‘gives him wings’, or Super Smash Bros. will have Nike trainers as an item that give greater speed and agility when dashing around in a battle. What I will say as a concession with the examples highlighted above is that they’re all optional content that can easily be ignored. As these deals are struck with increasing regularity, though, will that remain the case?

    The fact is that sponsored DLC isn’t exactly rare in gaming, with plenty of franchises having branded content — Sim City had Nissan items, and there are shooters / action games with branded multiplayer maps. Some titles have blatant brand promotion in-game, too, such as real-life advertising hoardings in driving titles or banners in football games. Smartphones are home to tacky spin-offs such as the Coca Cola Zero-sponsored PlayStation All-Stars Island. The trend is that these are free offerings or incorporated into existing games, as they’re ways for major companies to get eyeballs on their brand.

    In terms of Nintendo gingerly going down that route, there are multiple perspectives. An outlook of concern is that Nintendo is demeaning brands it strives to protect, which seems particularly relevant with Mario Kart, and that in-game advertising may not fit with what Nintendo’s userbase — and particularly parents looking to give their children safe, fun entertainment — expects of the company. Sometimes regarded as a White Knight in a cynical cash-grabbing game market, it’s an image that Nintendo tries to promote. Let’s consider Satoru Iwata’s dismissal of in-game paid DLC in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, for example, saying that he would not allow “unwholesome” extra content along those grounds. Yet is plugging external brands wholesome? It can be argued that it isn’t.

    Let’s not be naive and over-idealistic, though. We may love Nintendo’s penchant to prioritise fun and goofy pleasures, and admire its devotion to innovation and unique gameplay experiences, but it’s also a major corporation with shareholders and a desire to make a lot of money. In fact, the company’s financial losses of recent years has seen it begin a relatively dramatic increase in licensed products and commercial deals. The company seems to be popping up in McDonald’s Happy Meals around the world on a bi-monthly basis, and Satoru Iwata has said the company must leverage its iconic IPs in more licensed products. It’s only doing what every company does. If anything Nintendo let some of these areas of its business slide too far in the Wii and DS era, raking in the cash from phenomenally successful hardware and, arguably, getting a little complacent in the process.

    We don’t need to look far to find examples of Nintendo exploiting brand power in the past, either, with the late ’80s and ’90s delivering products ranging from cereals to lunch boxes. Perhaps uneasiness in these recent deals, like with Mercedes, is that unlike in Happy Meals where a parent can refuse to take their child to the restaurant and the goods are promoting Mario, sponsored DLC has little to do with the game in question. From a gamer’s perspective it’s unsolicited, and as we’ve suggested above the question remains as to how easy Nintendo makes it in future deals for us to ignore the third-party product being branded. Is “Nintendo All-Stars Island’ sponsored by Pepsi an inevitability? Are examples of Mercedes in MK8 actually worse, as it’s unrelated real-world products being dropped into a game that we’ve already bought? Likewise with Callaway in Mario Golf: World Tour?

    It’s a tricky subject, especially as gamers and consumers increasingly demand more from Nintendo. Give us Metroid, give us F-Zero, we want more games, we want a big game for both Wii U and 3DS every month. We want, we want, we want. For Nintendo, it’s trapped in delivering more content due to losing so much third-party support, for one example, so must spend more money creating games or paying to publish efforts from other studios. Without Wii and DS levels of sales, it needs to find ways to do that while turning a profit. As a result, this kind of sponsored DLC is perhaps inevitable.

    As gamers, we probably can’t always have our cake and eat it. We can’t expect Nintendo’s business practices with DLC, free-to-play and more to be squeaky clean while demanding that it spends as much money and produces as much content as rivals. Something has to give, and we get the GLA-class kart as a result.

  20. Well at least I can say this, the MK8 update comes out the day before my birthday, and I’m getting a pro controller that day. So I get to experience 2 new things!

  21. Ubishit, you’re one to talk about DLCs making sense since you’re the one who FAILED to make any real games and effort on Wii U and does DLC-less Wii U AC4 sound familiar? If you ain’t gonna bend on your knees and beg forgiveness from ALL Nintendo fans you intentionally screwed for the past 2-3 years and start making real games without excuses, then STFU about anything Nintendo does and stay out.

      1. Then why it says it is and Ubishit is responding about it, never clarified it was fake? lol Because Ubishit is now exactly like EA in every way.

      2. No, after they start releasing $50 DLC for Assassin’s Creed and charging you to play demos, then they will be.

      3. They can kiss my ass instead. Paying for demos? I’m not those idiots who recently sniffed crack and bought MGS5 Ground Zeroes for $30 just to beat it in under 10 minutes. lol

      4. To be fair, MGSV GZ has a connection to the next part: Phantom Pain. That demo will actually help a lot. Lol.

  22. People scold Nintendo for not advertising there games or marketing. Well guess what? This is a form of advertising and marketing people. People just want to bash nintendo no matter what cause they want to play nintendo but they can’t cause its either not popular enough for them or they dont want people to think they play a “kiddie” game system. Here’s some advice people grow some balls and play what you like. Who cares what people say about the sytem or its games as long as you enjoy them and they are fun everyone else can fuck off.

    1. Finally, someone who speaks tons of sense over here. :) The thing I figured out about these haters is that they don’t hate Nintendo. They envy them and wish they were making games for other consoles but are too high on their chickshit, adulterated egos to swallow the BS about Nintendo consoles looking like its for kids and just enjoy it. I’m 25 years old and don’t give a flying fuck what I buy as long as I enjoy it and Nintendo is not the only games and platform I play.

      1. I actually like when people call me or others for “social rejects”, it only shows that we are the ones with the brain and you’re the sheep masses that follows blindly the idiots that inhabits this primtive planet…

      2. Coming from an anonymous commenter, that joke was so burned out years ago. Social Reject? Please don’t tell me about that aspect of your personal life. lol Because I don’t give a fuck. XD

  23. It was ONE employee. I would hardly blame Ubisoft of being an ass hole for this comment.

    As for what they guy said. He is stupid. No magic was lost though the addition of the Mercedes-Benz DLC…. I don’t know why people keep saying this. It doesn’t look weird, it doesn’t feel out of place. It looks completely normal and awesome.

  24. Look at it this way, if you like Mercedes, here’s some sweet news
    If you don’t, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of hitting one with a spiky-blue shell

  25. Ubisoft might have the dumbest people working for them in all of video game history. They think they are the greatest and that everyone happily suckle every Rayman and Ass ass ins game they milk out every year. They need to learn their place and shut the hell up before people lose all respect for them.

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