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Mario Tennis Aces is getting more characters — and a new way to unlock them

Mario Tennis Aces will get two additional playable characters after launch: Koopa Troopa and Blooper. Nintendo announced today that the characters will be added to the game as free, downloadable content this summer.

But there’s a bit of a twist to how Nintendo is rolling out Koopa Troopa and Blooper: Players will only be able to get access to those characters early if they take part in online tournaments for Mario Tennis Aces.

During a Nintendo Treehouse Live stream at E3 on Wednesday, a Treehouse employee named Roxanne revealed that Koopa Troopa will be available for every Mario Tennis Aces owner on Aug. 1, but that players can get early access to the character in July.

“If you participate in the online tournament that will be held in July after the game launches [and] if you earn enough points in the tournament, you can earn Koopa Troopa as a playable character early,” Roxanne said. “Otherwise, he will be available for everyone starting Aug. 1.”

Similarly, players who take part in an online tournament in August will get access to Blooper early. For everyone else, Blooper will be unlocked in September.

Nintendo’s taking an interesting approach here, and it appears that it really wants players to experience Mario Tennis Aces’ online features. It’s a clear incentive to eventually subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online, the paid subscription service that will go live in September. Mario Tennis Aces players will need to subscribe to the service — which costs $19.99 per year — if they want to continue playing the game against other players online.

Mario Tennis Aces will launch on Nintendo Switch June 22.

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