Nintendo is one of the most successful entertainment juggernauts in the world. Almost all of their first-party game characters are international icons that have become a part of our culture. But as time has passed, the rise of Call of Duty has shown us one thing: gamers love first-person shooters and that is not going away anytime soon.
It’s an overstatement to say that Nintendo has held on by a thread in the modern era because their previous console, the Nintendo Wii, has sold over 101.02 million consoles worldwide. So the recent Wii U struggles are most likely a temporary situation that is being remedied as we speak with the release of Mario Kart 8.
Nintendo will not be a platform for everyone through purely third-party titles as many studios have given up making their triple-a titles for the system and its confusing Gamepad controller.
But if Nintendo can break the ice and create new IPs that are of the shooter variety, they could wipe the competition with shooters and their already successful first-party favorites (Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, etc.)
Splatoon is a very important experiment for Nintendo. Can they make a shooter title molded from the core values and creativity that is Nintendo and succeed not just critically but commercially as well?
From what we saw at E3 2014 in June, Splatoon is a multiplayer 4-on-4 shooter, where players use ink for offense, defense and transportation around the maps. It looks both fun and strategic and exactly what a Nintendo shooter would look like.
I am very excited for this title and hope it succeeds and spurs Nintendo to explore more ideas for shooters (keeping my fingers crossed for a shooter spinoff of Super Smash Bros., with all of Nintendo’s greatest characters in a team deathmatch).
Check out the Splatoon announcement trailer from Nintendo’s digital E3 press conference.