Nintendo ‘Hasn’t Decided’ if ‘Splatoon’ Will Support Voice Chat

E3 2014 has come and gone, and with it came a bevy of game announcements from a number of acclaimed developers and publishers. As gamers learned during the event, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months, and the Nintendo Wii U will have a number of titles for gamers to anticipate this year and next.

While obvious fan-favorites likes Super Smash Bros. managed to impress fans during the big event and The Legend of Zelda will ring in gamers when it arrives in 2015, the Big N also revealed a brand new property in the form of a third-person shooter called Splatoon. Turning heads as a result of its original premise, it proved to be a breath of fresh air in a genre that’s traditionally so heavily crowded.

Like any standard multiplayer-centric game, it would be fair to believe that voice chat will have a prominent role. Apparently, the developers responsible for the upcoming shooter are still up in the air on whether or not it’ll be a feature in the forthcoming Wii U title. We were fortunate enough to have a chance to interview Splatoon‘s producer/manager Hisashi Nogami and project lead Tsubasa Sakaguchi during E3 2014, where we asked whether or not voice chat would be included.

As we soon learned, Nogami and his team are currently unsure if Splatoon would support voice chat.

“The core concept of Splatoon is that by looking at the way the ink is being spread around and progressing, you know, you can kind of see what your enemies are doing, what your teammates are doing, and then you’re able to decide what you want to do. And that’s kind of the main thing we’re always thinking about, and we kind of get similar questions about the number of people that can be in a multiplayer match, but for this game it’s really that four-on-four is the best number. With four-on-four, the amount of influence that a single player has is perfectly balanced, but also the speed at which the battle changes, the way the battle is developing changes is also completely perfect.”

“The idea being that the core concept is basically that players look at the way the ink is being spread around, the way it’s being painted around, and decide what to do. If in any way that doesn’t disrupt that balance we’ve created, we’ll definitely consider different ways of communication and introduce that to the game as we go forward with development.”

Splatoon Split Screen Multiplayer

We then quickly followed up in an attempt to confirm one way or another if Splatoon will support the feature in any capacity. Nogami then stated that his team at Nintendo were still debating voice communications online.

“Basically, I haven’t decided.”

This may come as a surprise given how prominent the online aspect of Splatoon has been thus far, but Nogami does have some solid reasoning behind his decisions. Still, voice chat was one feature that was sorely implemented into Mario Kart 8‘s online, which was a drawback we mentioned in our review of the popular racing title, and we imagine it would be just as much of a drawback if Splatoon features a lackluster version of voice communications as well.

Given the co-operative nature of the shooter, it would be odd for Nintendo not to allow friends to chat with one another, but it’s obvious that online communications of that caliber are not a bandwagon Nintendo feels the need to hop on just yet. With Splatoon confirmed to support both local multiplayer and single player modes, maybe the focus on online play will downshift prior to the game’s arrival in 2015. Regardless, this editor can’t help but hope Nintendo includes it in some fashion or another.

Do you want Splatoon to support voice chat with friends online? Are you looking forward to the new I.P.’s arrival on Wii U?


Splatoon will be launching exclusively on Wii U in the first half of 2015.

Follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.

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