The gaming industry doesn’t really have a centralized, universal system for recognizing successful titles like for example the Oscars in the film industry, and the system works slightly differently. Multiple renowned publications usually compile their own, “personal” lists of their favorite titles for the past year, and afterwards, it can be inferred how successful a particular title was by looking at the number of publications that have given it a place in their own rankings.
When it comes to “Mario Kart 8”, its success was something nobody has ever doubted. The game was an obvious hit from its very launch, despite having some small gameplay issues which gamers were quick to point out – and Nintendo even quicker to address. And now, as the year is wrapping up, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the industry just loves the newest installment in the “Mario Kart” franchise.
Among the positive comments that journalists had about the game, a lot of praise was sent to Nintendo for managing to pull off eight whole releases without the gameplay becoming too stale or boring. In fact, each new installment seems to make things even better, and leaves gamers even hungrier for another game than they were before. Compared to, for example, “Call of Duty”, which for the last few years has been releasing to cries of “not another one!”, this is an obviously major achievement for Nintendo.
The company isn’t afraid to break out of its comfort zone either, as one of the more major changes in their development approach that can be seen in the new title has been in its additional content. Nintendo seem to be planning to incorporate downloadable content much more heavily in the future, if the current “Mario Kart 8” is of any indication, and this has been met with a lot of positivity by most critics, as well as fans.
The game also did something more subtle which not everyone noticed – it breathed some fresh new life into the Wii U which has been struggling to keep gamers’ attention through the last year. 2014 was indeed a problematic year for the console, but the release of “Mario Kart 8” seemed to really change that, as there was suddenly a lot of interest in Nintendo’s system. On the other hand, some experts were claiming that the console’s launch could have been timed better to benefit from the popularity of “Mario Kart 8”, although it’s hard to say if things would have played out exactly like that – it’s easy to say that in hindsight, but there were certainly numerous other factors that came into play.