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Nintendo Shuts Down Real-Life 'Mario Kart' In Japan

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Nintendo won a lawsuit against MariCar, the Japanese company that allowed customers to play real-life Mario Kart in the streets of Tokyo.

Nintendo filed the legal action against the real-world Mario Kart early last year, and a Japanese court has now ruled in favor of the video game company. It looks like gamers who want to play Mario Kart will now only be able to do so where it was intended to be — in the living room.

Nintendo Wins Lawsuit vs MariCar

The Tokyo District Court ruled in favor of Nintendo in the lawsuit that it filed against MariCar, now known as Mari Mobility. The karting service was ordered to pay 10 million yen in compensation, which is equivalent to about $89,000, and to stop providing customers with Nintendo-related costumes.

The popular real-life Mario Kart tour allowed customers to ride through the streets of Tokyo while wearing costumes resembling Nintendo characters such as Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach. Aside from the copyright infringement, Nintendo claimed that Mari Mobility was damaging the Mario Kart franchise because of several accidents. One example of an incident happened in May, when a tourist made a wrong turn and drove the kart onto a sidewalk and into a street sign.

Mari Mobility will still be able to take customers on go-karting sessions around Tokyo. However, it will no longer be allowed to bring Mario Kart to life, a ruling that the company should follow since Nintendo said that it will not stop taking necessary measures to protect its intellectual property.

'Mario Kart' In Real Life

Mari Mobility may be shutting down its real-world Mario Kart races, but that does not mean that the game will be purely limited to playing the traditional way.

In June, Nintendo made Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch compatible with the Nintendo Labo, the cardboard accessories and software that allows gamers to create projects known as Toy-Cons. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the first game outside of the Nintendo Labo package to receive support for the peripherals, so gamers may get creative in combining them.

Mario Kart fans who want to experience real-world racing inspired by the racing series, however, will still be able to do so soon. Super Nintendo World, which is expected to open its doors before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will also feature a Mario Kart attraction, with karts on a rail while one rider focuses on the vehicle's drift and another rider on the weapons and power-ups.

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