While the next mainline entry in the Mario Kart series had been rumored for a late 2020 release, Nintendo may have delayed it into 2021.
Rumors for a Mario Kart 9 on Switch began in January by noted leaker Sabi. Further, the insider mentioned Mario Kart as a potential holiday release. The same leaker accurately reported that a new Paper Mario would come out this year, a point that proved true.
But the Mario Kart sequel is now delayed to 2021, according to ComicBook and industry insider, Vergeben. Vergeben previously leaked the development of 2019’s Resident Evil 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighters Ice Climbers and Simon Belmont, which later proved accurate.
A reason for the delay was not given, though the coronavirus has caused industry-wide disruption.
Digital Trends reached out to Nintendo for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
For now, Mario Kart Tour holds its place as the latest release in the Mario Kart franchise. The popular mobile title regularly gets updated with new events in the form of “tours,” which include new vehicle parts and racers.
And Mario Kart 8 Deluxe stands as one of the Nintendo Switch’s most successful games and one of the best multiplayer games on Nintendo Switch. Given Nintendo’s track record with the series, Mario Kart 9 is strongly expected to enter the playing field eventually. However, the wait may take a bit longer than initially predicted.
Given the game’s original rumored release window of late 2020, Switch owners may have a while to go for more big first-party releases after Paper Mario: The Origami King. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 and Bayonetta 3 were also pushed out of the 2020 window, and the latter half of this year looks dry for the Switch.
As for Mario Kart 9, the game hasn’t received an official announcement yet. However, it is feasible that Nintendo fans will get a preview by the end of 2020 if the game is in development. This year marks Super Mario Bros.‘ 35th anniversary, so it would make sense for there to be more Mario-related announcements for Nintendo Switch. Further, a Mario Kart 9 announcement would be a welcome one for fans of the franchise.