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Nexon’s new KartRider game races onto mobile with a Premium Racing Pass for bonus challenges

KartRider: Drift launches simultaneously on PC and mobile
Nexon’s new KartRider game races onto mobile with a Premium Racing Pass for bonus challenges
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Following on from the success of its KartRider Rush Plus mobile adaptation, Nexon has released a new free-to-play addition to the franchise on mobile and PC, titled KartRider: Drift.

Available on Steam, Nexon Launcher, the App Store and Google Play Store, KartRider: Drift follows in the tracks of its 2020 predecessor as a separate, standalone title. Cross-play won’t be featured between the two games.

A sequel to success

The first KartRider game was a Nexon title released in 2004, starting out as a South Korean service and localised in China in 2006 before expanding elsewhere.

Much more recently, KartRider Rush Plus launched in 2020 and raced to 10 million downloads in its first two weeks, starting out with more than 50 tracks and 20 karts. Inspired by the original PC version, the mobile title made improvements to gameplay to merge competitive aspects with something more "fun and casual", Nexon producer Dennis Bernardo told us in an interview.

The game amassed 23 million players in just over a year.

Nexon’s latest entry in the series, KartRider: Drift is rendered using Unreal Engine 4 graphics and – perhaps more importantly this time around – has seen its initial launch on both PC and mobile.

Among the modes is Time Attack, where racers aim for the top of the leaderboards, and there are of course customisation options as well. Season passes appeared in the previous entry and are here again in KartRider: Drift, iterating on the former’s success; additional karts, characters and emotes are unlockable via the Racing Pass, and bonus "premium" challenges available to players who buy the Premium Racing Pass.

While KartRider: Drift has seen a simultaneous release on PC and mobile, console releases on PlayStation and Xbox are coming later – sometime during "Season 1", although a date is yet to be confirmed.

After the launch of KartRider Rush Plus, Nexon experienced its best Q2 revenue to date (at the time) with a 20 percent year-on-year increase, generating $610.4 million. Only time will tell whether KartRider: Drift will have a similar impact.