Nintendo has quietly wound down beta-testing of highly anticipated mobile game Mario Kart GO in the wake of a spate of fatalities.
The game, which had been billed as Pokémon GO for people who don’t like walking, allowed motorists to initiate road races with nearby drivers and use augmented reality to collect power ups and coins.
“We could never have anticipated such a fun, innocent game could cause so much destruction,” a Nintendo spokesman said. “Unfortunately, a bug in the system recognised pedestrians as coins and power ups.”
Police initially arrested hundreds of Sydney taxi drivers suspected of using the app, but all were let off with fines for a range of infractions, including using several mobile phones while driving, littering (mostly banana skins and turtle shells), and driving inside shopping centres.
Nintendo’s next mobile game, Super Smash Bros. GO is set to be released in early 2017.