Nintendo’s Splatoon has been going strong for over a year now, helped along in part by regular community events known as Splatfests. Gamers select one of two sides to battle for, after which they engage in 24 hours of matches between the two teams in a quest for dominance. This morning, Nintendo revealed that the next Splatfest will be against hosts Callie and Marie—but perhaps more importantly, they also announced that it will be the final Splatfest.
Is now the right time to end Splatfests? Should they have continued on, or have they overstayed their welcome already? It’s a tough question to answer, for sure.
As one who has enjoyed several Splatfests and has used them multiple times as a reason to dive back into the game after a month or two away, I must admit that I’m a bit disheartened to see them end. Entering the plaza to the sound of special music, fighting for a nation- or worldwide team with a common goal, proudly claiming victory at the end of it all (or at least contenting ourselves with the knowledge that we’d kept the losing side from failing too hard)… It all served as a great way to unite Splatoon fans and kept interest in the game strong. Wii U may be on its way out, but I can’t help but feel that more Splatfests would have helped players feel they got their money’s worth from their current system.
On the other hand, the game is over a year old now, and we’ve seen sixteen Splatfests in that time period. Sure, Splatfests seem like a pretty simple system to us fans, but there’s really no way to know how much effort Nintendo requires to organize, advertise, and manage them. At the very least, I’m sure some of their specially themed ones like the Transformers Splatfest required a lot of time and energy to get the necessary approvals. For the already-struggling Wii U, the gains from Splatfests may not be enough to justify that sort of time and energy; perhaps those personnel would be put to better use working with other games or preparing for the reveal and launch of the upcoming NX.
I know I’m a bit disappointed to see Splatfests go so soon, but I’m sure Nintendo has good reason for deciding to cap them here. And I certainly hope to see them return someday soon, be that through an NX port of Splatoon or a whole new sequel to the Wii U’s breakout franchise.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Should Nintendo have kept Splatfest going, or are they making the right call here? Let us know in the comments below!