Nintendo gets slapped with a lawsuit due to Mario Kart Tour's Spotlight Pipes lootboxes

The Spotlight Pipes lootboxes, which were accessible in the mobile game Mario Kart Tour until September 2022, are the subject of a lawsuit against Nintendo.


According to Axios, the plaintiff is a teenage gamer who used their father's credit card to spend more than $170 on Mario Kart Tour in-game purchases. In the case, it is claimed that the lootboxes "capitalised on and encouraged addictive behaviours akin to gambling" and that all children who purchased them in the United States should receive refunds. The lawsuit claims Nintendo made it difficult to advance in the game without buying them and tricked players into spending more money than they wanted to with the Spotlight Pipes in Mario Kart Tour, which were fairly typical lootboxes that allowed players to pay real money to receive a randomly selected reward.

Both the Washington State Consumer Protection Act and California business law are allegedly violated by these actions.


In September of last year, Nintendo discontinued the lootbox method of item acquisition from Mario Kart Tour and replaced it with a more conventional in-game shop where players may easily buy the item they want.

In recent years, lootboxes have drawn criticism from a number of governments and consumer advocacy organizations, with many comparing their random drop rates to gambling. Without a gaming license, the practice was outlawed in Belgium and the Netherlands in 2018, and some American politicians voiced their opposition to lootboxes in 2021. Although the UK decided not to enact rules against lootboxes around the same time, the Norwegian Consumer Council last year labeled their existence in games as manipulative and exploitative in a report backed by consumer groups throughout Europe.