Nintendo caught everyone off guard (yes, even you) at this year’s E3 with the reveal trailer for a new IP called Splatoon. One of the best-received games on the whole E3 show floor, Splatoon is a territory-based shooter in which players claim areas by splattering them with colored ink, gaining special abilities in territories they own, and aiming for the ultimate goal of controlling a majority of the map at the match’s conclusion. While there will be multiple modes available when the game launches next year, E3’s trailer and game demo (one of the most popular on the E3 show floor) focused on a four versus four online multiplayer mode.
So how in Miyamoto’s name did Nintendo end up making a competitive online shooter? In a recent interview, some of the game’s developers explained that although they play games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, they don’t really consider Splatoon to be a shooter, and certainly not a watered-down one at that.
Speaking with Kotaku, Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami revealed that he and many members of his staff play ‘super shooters’ like Call of Duty and Battlefield, both as part of their job and for fun.
We definitely play those types of games. There’s definitely guys on our staff who are super into shooters. We definitely play other games and other company’s hardware. We do that as part of our jobs and we also do that because we’re gamers and love to play games. — Hisashi Nogami
However, Nogami said that his mission in overseeing Splatoon is “creating a new game.” Director Tsubasa Sakaguchi shared similar sentiments, stating that Splatoon isn’t intended as a simplified shooter game, but a new gaming experience that incorporates shooting elements.
We didn’t make this game with the idea that we wanted to make a simplified shooter or a dumbed-down shooter or anything like that. This game has shooting elements, but the main part of this game is the idea of painting that ink… The game is built around the ink and how to use it. — Tsubasa Sakaguchi
Splatoon is definitely an imaginative new step for Nintendo, and judging by the game’s reception at E3, it’s a step in the right direction. Splatoon is targeted to launch for Wii U in the first half of 2015.