Nintendo's new Mario Kart Tour app launches with some hiccups

Heavy traffic leads to server issues

By Shannon Liao, CNN Business
Nintendo via CNN

(CNN) - Nintendo launched a mobile game version of its popular racing series "Mario Kart" on Wednesday, but fans eager to download the game ran into some trouble.

Some users complained on social media of issues trying to play the iOS and Android app Mario Kart Tour, which gives players a chance to race against different city backdrops, such as New York City, and lets them assume the role of favorite characters like Mario, Yoshi and Princess Peach.

Nintendo displayed an in-app notification to users who downloaded the game they may not be able to play it right away.

"The servers are experiencing heavy traffic. Your log-in request will be processed in the order it was received," the notification said.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Twitter user Josue Hernandez tweeted early Wednesday he was frustrated the app was under maintenance and included a reaction video of someone crying. Another Twitter user, Christian Rhodes, said "C'mon Nintendo let me play Mario Kart Tour, I've been waiting on this one. Who launches an app during maintenance."

The app appeared to be working several hours later.

The Japanese company is notoriously protective of its brands and video game characters. It ports successful Mario titles to many of its own consoles, but bringing them to systems like iOS and Android is a relatively new frontier. The success of this strategy has varied: "Super Mario Run" struggled to get users to spend $10 on in-app purchases, while "Fire Emblem Heroes" performed moderately well, pulling in $12 million in August revenue.

The first Mario Kart video game launched in 1992.

Mobile games make up 45% of the $152 billion video game industry, according to market analytics company Newzoo.

For now, fans of the franchise will only be able to race against computer-controlled characters within the app; a multiplayer mode is expected in the future. A monthly subscription costs $4.99 to unlock rewards and other characters.

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