Does Disney Speedstorm Have the Chops to Don the Mario Kart Killer Mantle?

With every console generation, the cost for development doubles, but game prices go down in value. While $70 is no chump change, it's still not enough for big publishers and developers to survive long-term, because the $10 increase since the PS4 days can't even keep up with inflation. A $60 game back in 2017 would now cost almost $74. This buy-to-play business model is slowly waning, and creators need to find a solution. This is why free-to-play games like Disney Speedstorm are starting to come out of the woodwork, trying to recapture Fortnite's lightning-in-a-bottle success.
Disney Speedstorm 16 photos
Photo: Gameloft
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This rule doesn't seem to apply to every major publisher on the market, because we have Nintendo, an industry juggernaut that simply doesn't seem like it can be stopped or even slowed down in its tracks. While its $60-$70 games barely see a sale or discount at the eShop, 1st party titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are industry-defining and stay at the very top of the most-sold games list.

Nintendo's kart racer has moved more than 52 million copies, not counting the DLCs (downloadable content). Disney being Disney, of course they want a piece of this cash pie as well, because let's be honest, Mario has been stuffing his face with it unrivaled since... well since forever, it seems.

No one has this genre fully clenched in their grasp like Nintendo does. But maybe, just maybe, this status quo is about to change when Disney's Speedstorm hits PCs and consoles on April 18 for free.

Some might say that Speedstorm was developed as a Mario Kart killer and features something other brands don't, but more importantly, can't have: a roster of beloved characters that have been winning people's hearts for decades. While Mario and his band of adorable misfits have their charms, they still can't hold a candle to age-old stories like Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and so on. At least not in theory...

Disney Speedstorm
Photo: Gameloft
Granted, the hold these characters have on people could easily make for countless human conditioning studies stemming from childhood cartoons, but if Gameloft, the developer, doesn't pull their weight after launch with fresh content, then Speedstorm will most likely die off after the initial surge of millions of curious players. The same thing happened to Fall Guys.

This doesn't seem to be the case, though, because, from everything Gameloft shared with us, it sure looks like this free-to-play kart racer will receive constant DLCs like new maps, characters, and everything else under the digital sun. And that's the key to success, as Fortnite has proven oh so blatantly with its almost unique adaptability feature.

Also, a Mario Kart 'killer' might seem like a good tabloid headline, but it's actually a term bestowed only upon a worthy opponent, and it doesn't mean it will have any effect on Nintendo's game.

Disney Speedstorm
Photo: Gameloft
Quite the opposite, in fact, it's healthy competition that keeps this industry alive, and if you're looking for more proof than that, then look no further than on the Switch eShop, which will be hosting this game with no problem whatsoever. In fact, Nintendo will get a cut of every purchase made in Disney's Speedstorm, so the more it thrives, the more money Nintendo makes. It's a simple win-win for everyone involved.

There's still no official word about a mobile version on the horizon at the time of writing, with nothing as much a squeak on the tin foil hats forums as well, but certain signs show that Gameloft is taking its sweet-sweet time with the PC and console ports first, because all in all, we are getting an Early Access version and not the full thing, so they need to iron out the kinks and so forth.

If this thing proves to have the chops and takes off, I'll be willing to bet dollars to donuts that Disney will eventually come out with a mobile version. But until that happens, you can play it from pretty much every other platform on God's green Earth, like the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, Epic Store, and Steam.

Disney Speedstorm
Photo: Gameloft
Also, don't worry about who's playing on what platform, because it has crossplay, so anyone can join their friends from whatever device they want.

'The relationship ruiner,' as I personally call it, or 'split-screen' as advertisers do, is also featured, but at the same time, another included option called cross-save is anything but free of charge. If you were to pay close attention to the release date trailer at the 0:52 minute mark, you'll notice an asterisk (*) next to the 'cross-save' option.

The text at the very bottom clearly says that cross-save is only available if you buy the $30 Founder’s Pack on each platform you'll be playing from and then link your accounts. Aside from this, you'll also get Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck unlocked, plus another racer of your choice, some in-game currency, together with other bells and whistles.

Like always, I recommend not spending a single dime on a game that's free, unless you'll be doing it wisely, and a paid cross-save option doesn't quite fit that description, as far as I'm concerned.

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Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

About the author: Codrin Spiridon
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Codrin just loves American classics, from the 1940s and ‘50s, all the way to the muscle cars of the '60s and '70s. In his perfect world, we'll still see Hudsons and Road Runners roaming the streets for years to come (even in EV form, if that's what it takes to keep the aesthetic alive).
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