Tomorrow marks the official North American launch of Mario Kart 8, one of the biggest games coming to the Wii U this year. Nintendo announced through their Twitter earlier today, that they are forming a partnership with Mercedes in order to promote the company's new GLA, which will appear in the game as a bit of free DLC. So far, the downloadable content has only been announced for the Japanese version of the game, which was released earlier today, and is expected to launch sometime this summer as a free add-on.
A trailer has also been released, which features an 8-bit GLA cruising around the original Super Mario Bros., as well as a rather creepy live-action Mario. Yes, it's exactly as strange as you would expect. While Nintendo is far from the first developer to feature a real-world product in one of their games, it's a bit jarring to see one of Nintendo's most colorful IP be invaded by something so realistic. This is the first time the company has undergone such a partnership, and is most likely a result of the financial losses Nintendo has experienced over the last couple of years.
This is currently the only DLC Nintendo has announced for Mario Kart 8, but it leaves the idea open that Nintendo may include other bits of additional content somewhere down the line. Nintendo recently acknowledged fan complaints regarding the game's roster, which omits several long-running characters like King Boo and Birdo, so one could certainly speculate that Nintendo may feature downloadable characters as a way to fix this issue. Extra tracks and cups have also been rumored, though we haven't seen any evidence to support this.