Nintendo’s newest IP, Splatoon, released back in May with rather positive reviews and has recently sold over 1.5 Million copies worldwide. Alongside this new release, Nintendo changed up their content delivery service drastically. Instead of shipping the complete game with everything available to the player, they instead continuously unlocked content for players every few days culminating in a massive Content Pack in early August. Nintendo’s new approach with this delivery method has kept Splatoon spinning in my Wii U for longer than I honestly expected.
At first, upon release, Splatoon felt rather bare-bones to me. A total of 5 Maps and 1 Mode for $60? It honestly felt like a ripoff. As I adventured my way through the tremendously underrated Single Player campaign and splatted foes online, Nintendo was busy behind the scenes. Just under a week after the launch, the first weapon and map content drop came and it opened up the flood gates from there.
Day after day it seemed like some new weapon, map or piece of gear would be available to pick up. This constantly kept me checking up on Nintendo’s Social Media profiles to see if any new content dropped that day. When it did, I’d hop back on the Mulitplayer shooter to test out the new weapon or try out the new map. This created a cycle where I, and presumably many other players, test out the new content for a few days, put the game down for a few more then jump right back in when more content was unlocked.
It didn’t stop at just maps or weapons though. New modes were introduced, albeit a lot slower, which threw that whole cycle out the window. Spat Zones, Tower Control, Splatfests and now a new Rainmaker mode all add a new twist on the ink-tastic multiplayer game that keeps me coming back. At first I was rather upset at the lackluster amount of content Splatoon started out with but with time it has righted itself.
While most games would cut content with the sole intent of selling it back to the player later, Nintendo has slowly but meticulously given it out to keep players coming back and getting new players interested in it. And the best part about this method is that it’s entirely free. It increases the longevity of the game while keeping it fresh and exciting. While Splatoon is a fun game in it’s own right, it’s created hype for itself well after launch. Similar to Super Smash Bros., the anticipation of wondering what the next Splatfest will be about, which new mode will mix up the formula or what map we can cover with ink next is as addicting as the game itself, which is commendable.
In all, this experimental method of content delivery by Nintendo seemed very shaky upon it’s ititial reveal prior to the games launch but it turned out to be exactly what Splatoon needed. It keeps it relevant and in the news more than any other multiplayer shooter I’ve seen and it’s always exciting to hear about a new map or mode and jumping back into Inkoplois one more time to experience something totally new.
It will be interesting to see if this new method is taken by any other company or franchise as the game industry moves forward. Only time will tell but you’ll have to excuse me, as I think two new weapons have just been added and I need to try them out.
Are you still playing Splatoon? If so, let us know @RestartReplay !
Image sourced from Nintendo
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