Mario Kart 8 director on why arenas were replaced with tracks in Battle Mode
Mario Kart 8 introduces a major change for Battle Mode. For the first time, tracks from the main game are used as opposed to dedicated arenas.
You might be wondering why Nintendo decided to implement such a drastic alteration for Battle Mode. Kosuke Yabuki, director of the title, did explain the thought process to EDGE this month.
Yabuki said the following when asked why the team replaced arenas with tracks:
We’ve changed the style of Battle mode for Mario Kart 8 to use circuits that lots of people can play on. Players won’t know when a rival will appear from around a corner, which will bring a new sense of excitement and strategy to this mode. In terms of rules, we designed it for playing with 12 players, including the CPU. In the beginning, you have to defeat the CPU players and earn your score, and towards the end it becomes a battle between just human players. That’s the real thrill of it! It should also be a fresh experience for users to be able to race backwards around the circuits they are familiar with. I’m sure there will be a few people who aren’t so sure about us moving away from how we’ve done things previously, but I hope they try it out for themselves first. I’m sure it will be a new experience for everyone, [and] like no other battles in Mario Kart before
Thanks to joclo for the tip.