REDMOND, Wash. — Nintendo of America announced that all Mario Kart games will receive an automatic update on July 1st, changing Rainbow Road from a colorful space racetrack into a standard space turnpike.
“We actually always meant for Rainbow Road to be Pride Month exclusive, but we forgot for twenty years,” said Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser. “We want to show our unwavering support for the LGBT community, but really, isn’t thirty days enough?”
Michael Harbor, a Mario Kart speedrunner and member of the LGBT community, spoke out about the change to the digital racetrack.
“Nobody really thought the track was political until they announced it was, and before we could even get used to the idea, they’re already taking it away. I feel like I should be offended, but I’m mostly just confused,” Harbor said. “I’m not sure why they are framing this like a pro-gay marketing play. It’s kind of the exact opposite.”
Mario Kart developer Margaret Stevenson defended the reasoning behind Rainbow Road’s controversial update.
“This is not a political statement. It’s just a matter of what makes sense,” Stevenson said. “A floating rainbow in space? That’s a bit outlandish if it’s not Pride Month. A regular toll highway in outer space seems a lot more ‘on brand’ for us, year round.”
Nintendo of America also revealed that the fan-favorite character Toad is a proud gay man, and would therefore no longer be appearing in the Mario series in any form until next June.