For a while there, the MariCar attraction in Tokyo was thriving, allowing locals and tourists the opportunity to race around the city in Mario Kart fashion, even going as far as to drop “weapons” on one another. But it appears that the race is over, as Nintendo has thrown a huge legal spiked shell their way. And you guys know how lethal those are.
Kotaku has reported that Nintendo has taken the MariCar crew to court, claiming that its intellectual property rights have been violated, since the company simply didn’t have permission to run said races. And it appears that the court agrees with them, as it’s fined the company nearly $89,000 for said violations.
The lawsuit was actually filed back in February, but it appears that MariCar could continue to run for the time being while it was being passed around. But now, with this judgment, it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to operate -- at least, not with official Mario characters and weapons.
Not that the attraction wasn’t without its faults to begin with. Kotaku also reported a number of injuries that came from the MariCar attraction, including an altercation that occurred in early May. A 30-something year old tourist visiting from Singapore accidentally made a wrong turn, and ended up crashing the rental vehicle up on the sidewalk and crashing into a street sign. (Fortunately, the driver turned out to be okay, though MariCar didn’t note if any legal implications came from that.)
More than likely, MariCar won’t continue on with any sort of new characters, considering the trouble we’ve seen from previous accidents. That means the racing party will likely be kept to local go-kart races, instead of ones that take place through the city. After all, MariCar did just dish out nearly $100,000 in legal fees, so it probably can’t afford to settle any lawsuits outside of that.
Honestly, if you’re going to play Mario Kart, do the smart thing and go visit Samsung’s Mario Kart VR exhibit. Not only do you feel the rush of racing from a first-person perspective, but you also get to use weapons and actually throw them with your hands, which is an awesome touch. And you won’t hit any restaurant signs.
Not in Tokyo? At least you can enjoy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch, which is available now.