A company in Japan looked to give its customers what was basically a real-life Mario Kart experience by letting them drive around in go-karts while outfitted as fan-favorite characters, but you won't be seeing any Nintendo references from them any longer. The company formerly known as Mari Mobility just lost a court case involving Nintendo where the massive gaming said the former was infringing on its property by capitalizing on the Mario Kart brand and Nintendo's characters. The go-kart attraction company lost the case and was directed to pay Nintendo, and it's now rebranded itself and made it clear that it's not associated with Nintendo or Mario Kart.
Kotaku reported on the latest news regarding the situation between the former Mari Mobility and Nintendo. The real-life Mario Kart attraction was also known as "MariCar" and has been around for a while now with the legal battle going on for years as well. Nintendo won 10 million yen initially from the lawsuit which equates to around $92,000, but the defendants appealed the decision. In losing that appeal, they now have to pay 50 million yen which is just under $460,000.
Photos of happy MariCar riders which were previously up on the company's site showed peopled dressed in outfits which were pretty obviously supposed to be Nintendo characters like Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi. That and the name itself appeared to lean on the popularity of Mario Kart to boost the attraction even if there was a disclaimer on the karts that said "unrelated to Nintendo."
Head to the attraction's site now and you'll find that it's been rebranded to avoid sounding anything like Mario Kart. It's also distanced itself further by more explicitly saying it's unrelated to both Nintendo and Mario Kart. There are still costumes for riders to rent if they want such as Spider-Man and Superman outfits, but you won't find any Nintendo ones there.
The attraction itself is now also known as "Street Kart Akihabara." Some images on the site have been blurred in what's thought to be an attempt to remove any other references to something that could be interpreted as a Nintendo inspiration.
"We at Street Kart is providing our service as usual," an update on the site said. "Street Kart is fully complied through local governing laws in Japan. Street Kart is in no way a reflection of Nintendo, the game 'Mario Kart'. (We do not provide rental of costumes of Mario Series.)"
A Mario Kart attraction is in the works for the Super Nintendo World theme parks that are opening around the world eventually, so at least Mario Kart fans will be able to live out their fantasy in a more official capacity at some point.