Apex is a popular convention for fans of Nintendo's Smash Bros. franchise and other fighting games. The tournament regularly attracts some of the top Smash players every year for competitive play. This year's Apex is set for January 30 and February 1 in Secaucus, New Jersey and will feature the usual games, dominated as always by the entire roster of Smash titles.
But it looks like Nintendo could have another special surprise in store, thanks to some hints that were dropped by a couple of popular Smash commentators. xD1x and LiquidHBox were streaming live during a Smash Bros competition when they made a couple of different comments that seemed to imply that Nintendo's Splatoon may be playable at Apex.
LiquidHBox got the rumor mill going by asking xD1x if he had any special news to spoil about the upcoming tournament. D1 tried to avoid the question, but then Liquid came back with a random comment about "fried squid." One of Splatoon's main gameplay features is the ability to transform into a squid and swim through the ink that players will be dishing out in the game.
At a later stream, D1 once again was talking about Nintendo's upcoming titles before immediately transitioning to Apex. "By the way, do you know what game is going to be at Apex for people to try out?" he said. The question was met by awkward silence from his streaming partner, implying that D1 wasn't supposed to be talking about the game. The duo tried to cover up the mistake by going back to talking about Smash Bros, but it was clear that they had let the cat out of the bag.
These two livestreamed conversations, which you can watch in the above video, led to forum posts popping up all across the Interwebs, including one on Neogaf.
Some Nintendo fans have pointed out that while it's likely the mystery game is Splatoon, there's also a small chance it could be Pokken Tournament. Pokken Tournament is an upcoming fighting game published by Bandai Namco Games which will combine elements from the Tekken series with characters from the Pokemon franchise. Such a title would be a perfect fit for the large number of fighting game fans at Apex.
But the smart money is on the game being Splatoon, with the title being much closer to release and the fact that the "squid" comment from Liquidbox wouldn't make much sense for any other title.
It also makes sense for Nintendo try and hype up Splatoon with the fighting game and eSports community. The game is the closest thing to a competitive shooting game like Call of Duty or Halo that the Big N will likely ever come up with. Nintendo could be trying to create a large, passionate following for its new franchise like what the Smash series of games has enjoyed for years.
Splatoon is tentatively scheduled for release on Wii U in May 2015.