Nintendo Considered Making Splatoon a Mario Game

What do you want to see from Nintendo, new IP, or more of Nintendo's iconic characters?

Nintendo's upcoming competitive paint shooter, Splatoon, could have been another Mario game, the company's iconic game designer and senior managing director Shigeru Miyamoto has said.

“There were heated debates over who the main character should be [in Splatoon],” Miyamoto told Edge magazine in an interview (via MCV). “Whether it should be Mario, or the squid. When we talked about the possibility of it being Mario, of course we could think of the advantages: anybody would be willing to touch it as soon as we announced that we had a new Mario game. But at the same time, we had some worries. If it were Mario, we wouldn’t be able to create a new IP.”

Nintendo first revealed Splatoon at E3 2014. It was a surprise both because it's the first new IP Nintendo has announced a long time, and because it's a competitive shooter, not a genre the family-friendly company is known for. However, as GameSpot's Managing Editor Randolph Ramsay said in our first hands-on coverage of the game, it's exactly how you'd imagine a Nintendo-made competitive shooter would be: colorful, charming, and non-violent.

In the game, two teams of four players armed with paint guns have to try to cover the level with as much of their team's color. Players also have the ability to transform into a squid, and swim through any area splashed with their team's color.

Splatoon is set to release on Wii U in 2015.

Are you happy to see new IP from Nintendo, or do you wish Splatoon was a Mario game? Let us know in the comments below.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

90 comments
jark888
jark888

Character designs are great on their own right. This better be a new IP imo.

NickCanadian
NickCanadian

Leave it to Nintendo to want to try new things with hardware but be to afraid to try something new with it's software. Why not make a new F-Zero, a new Kirby, a squeal to Super Mario Sunshine, a fully 3D console quality pokemon game... Not all this recycled quality that is slowly degrading because you keep reusing it so much!

shinta125
shinta125

First thing's first on the older iconic stuff. I'd like a new F-Zero.


Now that's out of the way, I'd love to see some new IPs from their new studio. I'd like to have an RPG set in ancient Japan with an art style resembling a Hanafuda card.

jmoneypn
jmoneypn

I do love to see games featuring my favorite characters from Nintendo's arsenal. But at the same time I love to see what new ideas, concepts and characters the developers at Nintendo can create. Nintendo is great at trying new and unique things that may or may not catch on. I think Splatoon is a good start and I want to see more. I'm glad Splatoon was not another Mario game.

Defender1978
Defender1978

Well, I am looking forward to the new Legend of Zelda, but I would really like a new Metroid.  An awesome new 2d and 3d adventure.  I would also really like to see Metroid Zero Mission on the Nintendo Store.  New IPs would be great, especially since 3rd party developers are blowing the Wii U off.  Which is a shame.  I have every console and I love the Wii U.  

scottsayssupbro
scottsayssupbro

Splatoon is essentially a multiplayer version of Super Mario Sunshine so I don't see why Nintendo wouldn't put Mario in it especially with all the hyping up fans have been giving the early 3D Mario games lately.

But the series does need a rest for a year or two, so that when it comes back it can finally match Super Mario Galaxy/2 quality, because these yearly releases tend to be rushed and uninspired.

xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

Give Mario a rest unless it's a game int he main series. I was Mario'd out years ago even if he still has quality releases. It's over-exposure. Nintendo has so many great IPs that I would love for them to use and build up instead.

Pewbert
Pewbert

I want to see more boobs from Nintendo.

warriors30
warriors30

Well, I'm glad they didn't! This was the one Nintendo game I was really excited about (last year's E3), and my guess is Mario will be in it ANYWAY... either as unlockable hidden character, or dlc or whatever... You'll see, because it's fu**ing Nintendo. 

Pupchu
Pupchu

Anything Miyamoto is gold in my book! Pre-order not cancelled.

freedom01
freedom01 moderator moderator

this game looked fun in E3, will be getting it :D

coop36
coop36

Mario wouldve been cool, but they really need to make some new IP's. It seems after the SNES era most things were sequels of some sort, or used pre-existing characters in different ways like Smash Bros, Paper Mario, Metroid Prime, etc. Which is fine to an extent, but in a way it seems like the easy way out. Especially when they show they still capable of incredible creativity at Nintendo after all this time.

Chico86_basic
Chico86_basic

As much as I like Nintendo legacy of characters, most gamers don't associate a new IP with existing icons like Mario. Since the company is all for innovation, why not start making new characters to better represent your games? Splatoon is a great example as they thought of squid-like human cartoons!

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

I'm hoping for a single player mode with memorable characters. It improves the chances of a sequel happening. Otherwise I'm glad its a new IP but really Nintendo's roster is probably bigger than everyone else. Just look at Smash if you want an example. Nintendo has created tons of characters for different games. Its just that like almost every big publisher those other IPs and characters end up getting pushed to the side because they don't sell well.

justinka777
justinka777

I remember a similar statement by Nintendo about the Wonderful 101 and how in early development they were thinking about using a smash bros-ish lineup. I suppose when starting a new game someone in those Nintendo round table meetings is always like "I bet Mario would look great in this game!"

BranKetra
BranKetra moderator moderator

Please make more original video games, Nintendo. You have the potential!


This might have been a multiplayer version of Super Mario Sunshine.

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

Of course they considered making it a Mario game... it's not like there's not already 140 Mario Games out there...

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

New IP is better.  Mario characters make no sense in this context.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

It would have probably raised too many more questions about a Sunshine remake.

pikachudude860
pikachudude860

New IP is the way to go. If this was a Mario games, it wouldn't even be half as exciting.

Let's hope we see more new IPs down the line.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

I'm so F-in sick of Mario and Zelda. Nintendo better consider competing with MS and Sony instead of trying to recycle 30 year old mascots for the thousandth time.

lostn
lostn

I'm actually shocked they didn't make it Mario. Creating new characters is not Nintendo's strength.

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

@fanboy_hunter35 "posted 7 hours ago". If this nonsense were true, the mods would be increbible slow. Looking at your past posts you obviously deserved it

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

LOL I have been "banned" and messages deleted several times and not once did I attack or have posted a comment that should have been deleted, you are right my friend..... they do what they want.....

Barighm
Barighm

@Pewbert I'd rather Miyamoto kept his shirt on, thank you very much.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

@fanboy_hunter75 because Chev you abuse users and troII and add nothing of value ever, that being said I'm reporting you again

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@justinka777 I think it was Platinum that suggested it but still true lol


They'd do a lot better if they started venturing out of their comfort zone some.

jark888
jark888

@BranKetra Well, I guess they can have Mario X Splatoon DLC, and it's better be free.  (>o<)//

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@DiamondDM13 All you have to do is slap Mario on it and it sells decent... The problem is so many spin-offs have created a dislike of the brand when it comes to gamers.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

Won't sell anywhere near 1 million either

Rotondi
Rotondi

@Gravity_Slave You obviously don't like Nintendo.  Why do you think they should compete with MS and Sony?  As long as Nintendo keeps doing what they're doing, they will remain a pile of junk in your eyes and in turn keep making Sony and Microsoft look like they have the best games to play.  


Take my case for example.  I like Nintendo.  I don't want Sony and Microsoft to compete with them.  And when they do, like Microsoft getting Scalebound from Platinum Games, it upsets me because now I have to consider getting BONED.  And, I don't want to get Boned.

Rotondi
Rotondi

@lostn Nintendo has created more new characters than any other developer. 

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

You're right. I don't like Nintendo. But I use to. Back when the NES and Super NES ruled the home game systems. Back when it was new and innovative. Back when it had a game library that was obscenely large. My problem is Nintendo STILL riding the stale success that is Mario.

Have you noticed that the success of the Wii was all front end? Every one you know who still has one has been letting it collect dust on some shelf or in a drawer. The Wii U was and is a flop. Nintendo has been closing down World Headquarters all over. Sales Figures are as dismal as it's gaming library.

Nintendo needs to show it's on top again. And it can't do that putting out weak consoles with a cheesy gimmick. It's not enough.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

@Rotondi because if they don't compete they will leave the console business

xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

@Rotondi @lostn SEGA laughs at this statement, they make more IPs and characters than ANYONE and always have. The only consistent character and IP SEGA usess is Sonic but at the same time they STILL keep creating lots of new stuff no matter the generation of gaming. Even Sony can at this stage laugh at Nintendo since Sony has made so many new IPs compared to Nintendo the past two gens it isn't even funny. Nintendo probably can't even top 2 new IPs a gen at this point where as Sony on PS3 has over 10 easily. It's sad and it majorly turned me off Nintendo to get for the most part, the same old stuff. 

lostn
lostn

@Rotondi @lostn Yeah just for some reason they don't like using these characters names in the title, or face on the box unless it's "Mario" or "Luigi".

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Um no they haven't. Name 3 absolutely new characters "Nintendo" actually came up with that doesn't fall into any of the already used universes. Nintendo hasn't had a fresh idea since 1992. All Nintendo does is recycle Mario, Zelda, Kirby and Metroid year after year, decade after decade. If the plumber isn't driving a Doofy cart for the 9th time, he's swinging a god't dam golf club again.

And it's not even like Nintendo is recycling these tired mascots on a top of the line console to compete with MS and Sony...nope! we get antiquated motion sensor BS that can barely stand up to PS1 technology.

holystriker68
holystriker68

@Rotondi @lostn The operative word here is HAS. They haven't created any worthwhile new characters since the 90's


Rotondi
Rotondi

@b74kd3th @Rotondi They do compete.  They obviously compete with Microsoft and Sony.  I was just asking why Gravity wanted them to compete if he's not a fan of Nintendo.  

savagerodent
savagerodent

@xOmniCloudx Yeah,well SEGA isn't making their own console anymore now are they? I also wonder how well they are doing financially and how well their new IPs did. 

Rotondi
Rotondi

@Gravity_Slave Woah.  Where to begin with you guys.  I didn't say they created the most in the last year.  The fact is Nintendo has created more characters than any other developer in the history of gaming.  And, of course, they've reused the same characters many, many times.  Still doesn't defeat the fact that they've created the most. 


Actually, I would still make the case they've created the most new characters in recent years too.  


Pikmin, Wonderful 101, Sin and Punishment, Animal Crossing, New Pokemon characters every year, new main characters in the Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, then there's Rosalina from Galaxy, etc, etc.  


Even if I was just making the case for all time, what developer has established more main characters than Nintendo even in the last 10 years?

savagerodent
savagerodent

@Gravity_Slave At least Nintendo makes games. Microsoft and Sony just make the console and publish games. They rely on other companies to make games for them. 


And while Nintendo do use the same IPs, they still do new things with them. You can't say Mario Sunshine is the same as Mario Galaxy. While on other platforms, you can pretty much say they are using the same IPs as well. 


Uncharted 1 is essentially the same as 2 and 3, doing very little to change the game and now we have a 4th one coming up. Halo 1 is the same as Halo 2,3,and 4, and 4 is the start of a new trilogy. And supposedly there is another Gears of War game in the works, which should have been done after 3. 


Nintendo has been around longer and it's easier to complain about their IP re-using than other companies. And if consumers like these IPs, then why not continue making new games with them?

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

@Rotondi @b74kd3th they really don't compete, 6 million consoles sold going on 2 years and only 3 1 million sellers in games. Take your fanboy goggles of and look at reality

xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

@savagerodent @xOmniCloudx Making consoles or not making them has nothing to do with making IPs though. Although if it did, it's worth noting that SEGA's console failures came from HORRIBLE hardware management with the constant add-ons which was then made worse with the Saturn's ridiculous cost and over-complicated development process, not IPs. Things so bad that even the Dreamcast which did INSANELY well couldn't save them due to the long term damage as well as image damage done to them by developers and retailers who felt betrayed by their constant bad release decisions. The PS2 and piracy could have been non-factors and it still would have only been a matter of time. Their in house IPs ALWAYS sold well and still do. This is why people are confused when SEGA upper management out of NO WHERE stops support and kills franchises. Just look at Valkyria Chronicles as the most recent example.

Although, seeing as SEGA bought the hell out of Atlus for many millions recently and outbid even Nintendo they seem to be fine enough. Atlus is a company actually successful and can easily handle their issues with localizing and support, they don't have much to worry about it seems. SEGA could have made a console after things got better but chose not to regardless.

In any case, SEGA's problems were always management, not IPs. Nintendo's issue has been steadily growing in BOTH management AND IPs and they very well could be the next SEGA given they have far less to fall back on and are now LOSING money off their GAMING hardware.... Sony's problems have been losing money in their TV business but their console business is stronger than ever and is MAKING money.

Nintendo's console market is a bust and now they're screwing up their handheld market combined with mobile eating into it. 3DS sales are at rates the lowest in Nintendo history barring the Virtua Boy.

Also, I was talking about IPs since the person I responded to made an INACCURATE statement about the amount Nintendo had compared to others. Your comment nor the parts of it I'm replying to have nothing to do with it and it still makes his statement wrong and my comment correct. Although, funny how you ignored the Sony part...

holystriker68
holystriker68

@Rotondi @Gravity_Slave Okay, I'll give you Animal crossing and Pikmin, but piling on pokemon after pokemon doesn't really count. Especially since we were talking about new IPs not just characters.

lostn
lostn

@savagerodent @Gravity_Slave 

"And while Nintendo do use the same IPs, they still do new things with them. You can't say Mario Sunshine is the same as Mario Galaxy. While on other platforms, you can pretty much say they are using the same IPs as well. "

 

When Sony makes a cart racer or platformer or sports game, they aren't using Uncharted in it. Nintendo would use Mario for every genre.

"At least Nintendo makes games. Microsoft and Sony just make the console and publish games. They rely on other companies to make games for them. "


Sony own a bunch of internal studios who make a lot more IPs than Nintendo. Microsoft owns a few as well. To say they don't make games and only make consoles is blatantly false.


"Uncharted 1 is essentially the same as 2 and 3, doing very little to change the game and now we have a 4th one coming up."

Yes, but when they make Uncharted it's going to be a third person shooter. If they make some other game, like a platformer, it's not going to have Uncharted characters in it but a different IP, unlike with Nintendo who reuses the same characters because they're afraid it won't sell if they don't. 

"Nintendo has been around longer and it's easier to complain about their IP re-using than other companies."

Irrelevant. In the entire 7th generation, no new IPs were created, outside of the Wii IP (Wii Fit, Wii Music, Wii sports, etc). How long you've been around has no bearing on how many IPs you are expected to create or reuse.

"And if consumers like these IPs, then why not continue making new games with them?"

What makes you think everyone does? I don't. And from the sales of Wii U, I might not be the only one. I would like to see something new, but I'm resigned to the fact that Nintendo will never do it, either because they aren't willing to take risks, or because they don't have the ability to. They almost made Splatoon a Mario paint game. This counts as the biggest risk they have taken on IPs since Pikmin in 2002. 

holystriker68
holystriker68

@savagerodent @Gravity_Slave Okay, I will address your blasphemies in order.


1. A company that makes the console, and doesn't make games is not a bad thing! Think about it. Sony & Microsoft have to try to keep their products and services current and competitive in order to attract new developers and games. Where as all Nintendo has to do to get games is slap Mario on a boxshot.


2. Uncharted 1, 2, and 3 have the same characters. Yes. However they also have a rich and developing storyline that our little plumber friend could never dream of. The same could be said for Halo. I have my own vices with the Gears series, but they do have they're own unique story.


3. I have heard this excuse so many times before. Basically it boils down to "Don't talk about Nintendo. They're old and get their feelings hurt easily!"


Keep in mind this is all coming from someone who grew up LOVING Mario and Luigi and Nintendo as a whole! It truly pains me to see the road they've gone down, and sincerely hope they get back on track. 

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@b74kd3th They are currently out selling the XB1 world wide... Been doing it all summer actually.


The truth is Nintendo/MS are no competition for Sony right now.

Rotondi
Rotondi

@b74kd3th Woah dude.  Woah.  I'm talking about how Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are competitors.  I'm not talking about total sales numbers here.   Nintendo is in competition with these guys.  They are competing this very second.  Even if the Wii U had sold only 100 consoles, this doesn't mean that all of a sudden Sony is not Nintendo's competition.  They are fighting for living room space.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

All of them were Mario games BTW. 

savagerodent
savagerodent

@xOmniCloudx "seeing as SEGA bought the hell out of Atlus for many millions recently and outbid even Nintendo" 


Implying Nintendo couldn't outbid them. 


"Sony's problems have been losing money in their TV business but their console business is stronger than ever and is MAKING money."


They lost a lot at the beginning of last generation because of their over pricing and having a blue-ray player in the PS3. They're starting to turn around now, and my guess is because of the way Microsoft presented their Xbox One. Bundling it with the Kinect and having the first impression of it having DRM were just terrible ideas. 


"Nintendo's console market is a bust and now they're screwing up their handheld market combined with mobile eating into it. 3DS sales are at rates the lowest in Nintendo history barring the Virtua Boy." 


Yeah the WiiU has been doing poorly, but the 3DS is doing great and has a large library of games. Especially compared to the PS Vita, which I haven't heard anything on in a while. Plus, the 3DS has been out for a while so sales are expected to decline, but I don't think they are that low. 


And why keep making new IPs anyways? The IP gains no value if it doesn't get used, and just using an IP once or a couple times and then tossing it out is kind of a bad use of resources. 

savagerodent
savagerodent

@Gravity_Slave Made games that are "massively poplular" because their games stand up to the popular IPs of Nintendo. And yes, I was ignorant in saying that Sony doesn't make games. Sony rarely makes games compared to Nintendo (and we're talking about Sony, not the other companies they have partnerships with). Nintendo has made a lot more recognizable and memorable games than Sony, especially since I can't think of any right off the bat. i'd have to look up their list of games. 



@lostn "When Sony makes a cart racer or platformer or sports game, they aren't using Uncharted in it. Nintendo would use Mario for every genre."


Sony didn't make Uncharted. And even without that this isn't entirely true. Unless Jak X isn't a game. I will admit it gets ridiculous with Nintendo, but they haven't slapped Mario on anything new in quite a while. Plus, most stuff they do have Mario on are party games. 


"Sony own a bunch of internal studios who make a lot more IPs than Nintendo. Microsoft owns a few as well. To say they don't make games and only make consoles is blatantly false." 


Gee, so does Nintendo. You want me to go get a list? We're talking about games they made, not what their other studios make. 


"Yes, but when they make Uncharted it's going to be a third person shooter. If they make some other game, like a platformer, it's not going to have Uncharted characters in it but a different IP, unlike with Nintendo who reuses the same characters because they're afraid it won't sell if they don't. "


If anything, Nintendo fans want them to revive old IPs. Not saying new IPs aren't welcome, but creativity will start to decrease the more IPs one comes up with. Plus, NIntendo kind of have a thing going on with their IPs, essentially having each IP having its own genre, which I think is kind of neat. 


"What did New Super Mario Bros 2 add over 1? What did the Wii U version add? What did Galaxy 2 add over 1? What have the Zelda games done differently? Same formula still. We can do this with just about every series they've created."


"Irrelevant. In the entire 7th generation, no new IPs were created, outside of the Wii IP (Wii Fit, Wii Music, Wii sports, etc). How long you've been around has no bearing on how many IPs you are expected to create or reuse."


Yeah, those are the exceptions (I was very disappointed with New Super Mario Bros 2), However, Wind Waker is the same as Twilight Princess? TP added motion controls, and Skyward Sword built on that with the motion+. 

Thinking the WiiU added nothing is like saying the PS3 and 360 added nothing. WiiU add HD support and a tablet (honestly thought it was so stupid at first, but it really isn't that bad) for a controller that can really add to a game when utilized correctly. Not only that, but it is still backwards compatible unlike the PS4 and XO. 


Oh, and what did the PS4 and XO add to gaming? Slightly better visuals? Yeah if they can make it to 1080p. Their trying to compete with PC by being PCs when they should just try and be consoles. People on those systems will eventually flock to PC just as I have. The reason I stay with Nintendo is because I enjoy their games and IPs. And most people who are tired of their IPs are already playing on different consoles, so why do those people care. 


And this is the thing I don't get. Once they hit the 5th generation, the amount of actual Mario games slowed down significantly. They're starting to pick up again now, but how can people say they are tired of Mario when their were only 5 (not counting remakes) actual Mario games in the 5th, 6th, and 7th generations? Oh, you could add the Paper Mario games, but those are RPGs and not Mario games.


And Party games are party games. That isn't going to change if you smack a new IP on them. Are they really going to gain a bigger audience by doing that? Does Splatoon interest you more since it's a new IP?


The Wii IP is still a new IP, is it not? At the time they were gaining the interest of the casual market and tried to keep their interests. However the casual market eventually went over to mobile phone games (yuck) and the Xbox Kinect. Hopefully they start focusing more on the hardcore market. 

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@holystriker68 @savagerodent @Gravity_Slave 

I was going to watch the fanboy wars play out and ignore you guys but I have to respond to this part.

2) When did an Indiana Jones rip off become "rich and developing." This is the problem with gaming now days we have bunch of half wits demanding half ***ed stories that quite literally rip off crappy old movies or cable TV... If I wanted to watch a crappy old movie there's cable TV for that(something I don't watch much because just doing so zaps your intelligence). Maybe when they higher some half way decent writers I'll start considering story focused games a good thing.


Chico86_basic
Chico86_basic

@holystriker68 @savagerodent @Gravity_Slave


1. Nintendo needs more than slapping Mario on a boxshot. There are many bad Mario clones that are not even worth a try for free, let alone for 1 or 2 cents and Nintendo knows it!


2. Since when does storyline matters on a platform? If you want a good Mario story and actually have fun try something like the Paper series.


3. The company doesn't need any kind of defense or excuses my friend. It they still exist to this day it's because there's a place in the market for Nintendo products - as simple as that!

savagerodent
savagerodent

@holystriker68 @Gravity_Slave Where your coming from doesn't matter. And the most important thing in a videoGAME is the gameplay. Nobody is going to want a game that has terrible gameplay and a great story. 


So going back to Uncharted, Halo, and Gears, what do they add to the gameplay? Dual wielding weapons, pretty much the same thing as firing a single weapon. Different weapons, that's the same thing as a new power-up in a Mario game. 


You can complain about Nintendo and their re-use of IPs all you want, but don't go defending other companies for doing the same thing. 

lostn
lostn

@savagerodent "So going back to Uncharted, Halo, and Gears, what do they add to the gameplay? Dual wielding weapons, pretty much the same thing as firing a single weapon. Different weapons, that's the same thing as a new power-up in a Mario game. "

What did New Super Mario Bros 2 add over 1? What did the Wii U version add? What did Galaxy 2 add over 1? What have the Zelda games done differently? Same formula still. We can do this with just about every series they've created. 

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

@Rotondi @b74kd3th I'll say it again... NINTENDO ONLY MAKES GAMES,  they don't sell electronic or os systems or tablets and for them to lose focus on the only thing they do and and not dominate and get hardily beat by 2 companies that just add it to their portfolio is ridiculous. That's why the founding family members pulled their stock because they like most of us hang their heads in shame of Nintendo

Rotondi
Rotondi

@b74kd3th Dude.  You are sales crazy.  I liked the Wii, and I tried to get other people to like it too, but not by talking about how it was dominating the market, just how it had cool games.  I really don't know what you're trying to accomplish here.  Convince people that the Wii U is no good because it only has 6.7 million sales?  I mean, anyone can look at numbers dude.  You don't have to instruct everyone.