The first wave of the new race tracks for Mario Kart 8 was released last Friday, providing a whole new slew of content for live streamers. For the first quarter of the year before the Booster Course Pack release, the number of unique channels streaming Mario Kart 8 remained steady at around 1500-2000 channels. Big events like the Mario Kart North American Open in January and the announcement of Nintendo Direct in February saw a jump in hours watched on live streaming channels, garnering about 935k and 811k hours watched, respectively. However, the number of unique channels streaming the game always stayed the same.
The release of the new race courses on March 18 saw a jump in the number of unique channels streaming Mario Kart 8 to over 7,000 streamers. In addition, the game received over a million hours watched on Friday alone, and about half a million on Saturday.
Nintendo will release the Booster Courses DLC in a total of six waves, concluding late next year, they said in their February Direct announcement. A total of 48 tracks will be released, with 8 new tracks in every wave. The tracks are available for purchase through the Booster Course Pack. They are also included for free for members who subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online.
While other companies like Xbox and Sony have many free to play games through their games passes to entice new fans, Nintendo’s model seems to be about satisfying their current customers. A new Mario Kart 9 might not be on the horizon, but live streamers who frequent Nintendo’s game library won’t be without new content for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to track the new course releases to analyze their success on live streaming. Will the new courses be enough, or will streamers get tired of the same game and move on to others?