\”Our marketing really depends on our target\”
During Mario’s Canadian Karting Day, Nintendo Enthusiast’s Jason Lepine sat down with Nintendo of Canada spokesperson Matt Ryan to discuss the karting event, Mario Kart 8 itself, Nintendo’s promotional game plan, as well as their E3 plans for this year. While Ryan managed to keep very tight lipped, Jason managed to eek some interesting details out of him. Check out the interview in full below and be sure to check Nintendo Nation’s tour of the event as well as the beginning portion of the interview here.
Jason: Very cool, I definitely have to race and get one of these for myself. Alright, so Mario Kart 8 is the 8th title in the franchise can you explain a bit what’s new this time around in Mario Kart?
Matt Ryan: Sure! The biggest thing with Mario Kart 8 is the new anti-gravity features. So once you go over a blue strip on the track, your wheels go on their side and they get a wicked blue hue under them and that allows you to go upside down, up walls, up waterfalls and it’s pretty amazing, it changes the perspective and the dynamic of the game. One of the other cool things is if you\’re a true Nintendo karting competitive racer, you know that speed boosts are super important. So a new gaming dynamic that’s changed is when you\’re in anti-gravity and you bump into another kart you actually get a speed boost and there’s bumpers on the track that usually you would avoid but no, hit those dead on and you\’re going to do this wicked spin and you\’re going to come out of it really smoothly with a speed boost. Every speed boost counts in kart so with that new anti-gravity feature that’s one of the things that’s new. It’s also the first time that Mario Kart has been in HD, the graphics look incredible and we\’ve also brought forward a bunch of new customization options, new characters and of course new circuits, new tracks.
Jason: That’s very exciting. So this race game actually encourages you to bump into other people.
Matt Ryan: Exactly, in the past bumping was ok, but things you didn\’t want to bump into them those bumpers though will definitely help you out it’s one of my favorite things. The gameplay of it is so smooth, the transition because you do a spin when you do it and it feels so awesome.
Jason: So is it similar to the Wii version when you actually got in the air and had to wiggle your controller to get a boost. Are we going to see that coming back?
Matt Ryan: Yeah, doing the tricks and getting a boost when you land is not a new feature, but we\’ve brought it forward. It really depends on what controller configuration you\’re using, as there’s tons of different options. So sometimes it’s using motion controls, sometimes it’s using buttons it really all depends on your preference.
Jason: Great. So lots of choices depending on your style of gameplay. Now with Mario Kart 8, we\’re also seeing Nintendo take an aggressive marketing stance. I\’m seeing Mario Kart 8 advertised everywhere is this something we can expect going forward with Nintendo and their other titles?
Matt Ryan: Our marketing really depends on our target market for Mario Kart it literally is everybody especially Nintendo fans. So depending on which programs you\’re watching you may see our TV commercials. Canadian Karting day we\’re definitely pumping that out quite a bit through our social media through our Nintendo of Canada Facebook page. We\’ve got some radio ads and then our general TV spots are going to air on other channels as well. Event marketing is a great way for you to come down, play the game and have some fun. We love doing these types of fan events for our people out there. It brings them all together! What’s amazing is if there’s ever lineups for Nintendo events, people are in line using their Nintendo 3DS\’, streetpassing each other, playing Pokémon or whatever to pass the time. We love that so we love bringing people together like this.
Jason: Great. Now this week on the internet we saw the release of a very interesting trailer coming out in Japan with some Mercedes Benz DLC coming to Mario Kart. Are we going to be seeing a lot more of that in the North American release? A lot of DLC coming our way?
Matt Ryan: So what you saw from Japan is strictly between Japan and Mercedes Benz. That commercial that you saw is totally awesome, if you haven\’t seen it yet go check it out. The DLC is also exclusive to Japan, we haven\’t made any announcements thus far about North America. As for other DLC we\’ll have to see what happens.
Jason: So we\’re going to keep our eye out on that. Finally, we have E3 just around the corner and I know you can\’t say much about it but is there anything you could tease us about or get us ready for it.
Matt Ryan: I can\’t let any of our secrets out obviously we\’re really good about keeping out secrets and I\’m not gonna tell any of you those. Smash Bros for Wii U though is going to be one of our big activations at E3. We have a big smash bros tournament happening on Tuesday at E3 and for those that are at home we\’re doing what we call Smash Fest at Best Buy stores. You can go to our website and see a list of stores. You\’ll actually be able to go to those Best Buy stores and play the Smash Bros Wii U demo that is actually on the tradeshow floor at E3, but play it here in Canada and that’s going to be huge for the fans. Bring your Nintendo 3DS for that. There’s going to be lineups but it’s going to be super fun.
Jason: I\’m really excited! Thank you very much! Thanks Matt for your time and of course I hope to see you at E3.
Matt Ryan: Cheers!
Mario Kart 8 is out now in stores as well as digitally in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U. We plan to online gaming events for Mario Kart 8 in the future so stay tuned for more information on that.