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North American box art
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Group No. 2
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Producer(s) Hisashi Nogami (producer)
Katsuya Eguchi (general producer)
Shigeru Miyamoto (general producer)
Satoru Iwata (executive producer)
Director(s) Yusuke Amano
Tsubasa Sakaguchi
Platform(s) Wii U
Release JP: 28 May 2015
NA & EU: 29 May 2015
AU: 30 May 2015
Genre(s) Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media Wii U optical disc
Digital download (eShop)
Game size(s) 2.9 GB
Age rating(s) JP: All Ages by CERO
EU: 7+ by PEGI
NA: Everyone 10+ by ESRB
AU: Parental Guidance by ACB
StrategyWiki has an article about:
For other things the name "Splatoon" is used for, see Splatoon (disambiguation).
Dive in to color, chaos, and inkin' awesome battles in this squidtastic take on the action shooter.
Splatoon's official website[1]

Splatoon is a third-person shooter developed and published by Nintendo. The game features battles between Inklings, using weaponized ink to cover territory and "splat" opponents. The game was first revealed at the Nintendo E3 2014 Digital Event and was released for the Wii U on 29 May 2015. The game was very popular for the Wii U, selling 4.95 million copies[2] and being the sixth-best selling title on the system.

Splatoon's sequel, named Splatoon 2, was released for the Nintendo Switch on 21 July 2017. It includes brand-new weapons, gear, stages, modes, and also a new story, set two years after the original Splatoon.


An early design of Splatoon featuring blocks of tofu.

Splatoon was first created by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development in late 2013, directed by Yusuke Amano and Tsubasa Sakaguchi, and produced by Hisashi Nogami, longtime director for the Animal Crossing series. The team had thought of over seventy game ideas but eventually decided to focus on a game involving inking turf after playing a concept game by Shintaro Sato.[3] At first, this concept featured black and white blocks of tofu with noses that sprayed ink.[4] The game featured a top-down view, allowing the tofu blocks to blend in with their splattered turf.

A later design of Splatoon featuring rabbits on an early Urchin Underpass. Note the almost-complete Splattershot.

However, these characters presented a variety of problems, so development began on a different character that was vaguely humanoid in shape. A rabbit was chosen as the design because its floppy ears would indicate what direction it was traveling when viewed from above. Many EAD developers criticized this idea, so ideas such as Mario,[5] robots and macho men were considered. The rabbits were later scrapped in favor of a squid because the team wanted a character that made sense in regards to the environment and gameplay mechanics. The squids at this stage appeared to be squid-human hybrids, but it was decided that instead of this design, the game would feature humanoid Inklings with the ability to transform into squids.

The E3 2014 Splatoon demo was shown in-person in Los Angeles in June 2014, with local Turf War matches available to play as part of an early version of the game.

A few weeks before release, the Splatoon Global Testfire application, a limited Splatoon demo, was released for the Wii U. Players could download it and play on 8 and 9 May 2015, at 3:00, 11:00 and 19:00 UTC, for one hour at a time. A second Testfire event happened on the 23 May 2015, at 22:00 UTC. Due to complications, the event was extended to run for two hours instead of one.[6]

There are three versions of the game: Japanese, North American, and European/Oceanian. The purpose of the three versions is to separate region-based content such as Splatfests, especially ones containing advertisements. Each version has its own translations of the games, even with several differences between the North American and European/Oceanian versions' English, French, and Spanish translations. For the European/Oceanian version, the game was also localized to German and Italian.

Online shutdown

An unusually long online downtime took place in 2023, with implications for the future of Splatoon's online play. Splatoon was taken offline starting on 3 March 2023 at 04:30 UTC,[7] leaving players with single-player and local co-op functionality only. The game was finally back online on 3 August 2023 at 01:00 UTC, requiring players to download Version 2.12.1 - the first Splatoon update in almost seven years and the first since the release of its sequels.[8] Nintendo went as far as stating: "If further issues occur which make it difficult to continue supporting online play, we may have to discontinue the online play service for the Wii U games Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 at short notice."[9] It was later announced that all online services for Wii U would end on 8 April 2024 at 23:00 UTC at the latest,[10] rendering all game functions besides Octo Valley, the Battle Dojo, amiibo challenges, and the arcade machine permanently unplayable.

At 23:00 UTC, the Splatoon servers stopped communicating with players, preventing access to the Lobby. Players that had remained within games and the matchmaking lobby over this cutoff were able to remain for two more hours, at which point the game automatically booted players out for the Inkopolis News to announce stage changes. For some players, they could not connect to the servers, which instead produced an error message and a boot-out to Inkopolis Plaza, preventing online play permanently. For other players, they were able to enter the Lobby and join new matches.


The single-player Octo Valley mode tells the main story of the game. Many years after the great Turf War, with the hope of invading the Inklings' world, the Octarians built an underground facility known as Octo Valley. After the disappearance of the Zapfish from the Inklings' world, the protagonist, wearing the Hero Suit, must infiltrate the base and rescue all the Zapfish.


Splatoon is a third-person shooter game focused on online multiplayer battles, in which eight players are divided into two teams of four. In the game mode Turf War, teams fight to cover the arena in as much ink of their team's color as possible. In Splat Zones, they try to control certain zones for a set amount of time by covering the Splat Zone(s) in ink. Players have two main forms and may switch between the two at will: their humanoid form, in which they can use weapons to spread ink and splatter opponents, and their squid form, which they can use to swim through ink at great speed and up walls, recharge the player's ink tank faster (while in their ink) and hide in their team's ink. Players can also utilize sub weapons, such as Splat Bombs, and special weapons, such as Inkzookas.

In the primary game mode, Turf War, players are awarded points based on the amount of land they cover in their team's ink—the team that covers the most territory within three minutes wins the match.

Splatoon also features a single-player Octo Valley mode, which sees the player travel to Octo Valley and traverse levels based on 3D platforming and puzzle-solving.

Since its initial launch, Splatoon received many updates to introduce new stages, weapons, and wholly new gameplay modes to the game's multiplayer mode. Also, Nintendo announced and hosted semi-regular community events called Splatfests, where players could pick a team to side with and play Turf Wars against each other for prizes and glory. Both upcoming updates, as well as upcoming Splatfest information, can be read about on the game's official Tumblr page, named Squid Research Lab.


Splatoon has a native resolution of 720p; selecting an output resolution other than 720p in the Wii U system settings will cause the game's 720p image to be scaled to the selected display resolution. Splatoon runs at 60 frames per second, with the exception of the main hub area, Inkopolis Plaza, which runs at 30 frames per second. Performance of Splatoon is generally very stable, with frames only being noticeably dropped in particularly hectic moments.[11] The game features Dynamic Resolution Scaling to momentarily decrease render resolution during high GPU load to avoid frame drops. Imagery viewed through transparent surfaces such as glass or water appear blurry as they are rendered at half-resolution.


Main article: Character





Main article: Mode

Multiplayer stages

Main article: Stage
Multiplayer stages in Splatoon

Ancho-V Games

Arowana Mall

Blackbelly Skatepark

Bluefin Depot

Camp Triggerfish

Flounder Heights

Hammerhead Bridge

Kelp Dome

Mahi-Mahi Resort

Moray Towers

Museum d'Alfonsino

Piranha Pit

Port Mackerel

Saltspray Rig

Urchin Underpass

Walleye Warehouse

Manga series

Main article: Splatoon (manga)

In June 2015, a Splatoon manga was released by Sankichi to celebrate its release in Japan. However, this was a fan-made one-shot, and the official version was released in December 2015 as a one-shot type until April 2016.


Image linking to the gallery page
View the gallery

Unused content

Main article: Unused content in Splatoon


Splatoon shown as the most requested game on Nintendo eShop.
  • Splatoon is a portmanteau of "splat" and "platoon."
  • The Inklings' squid form shares strong similarities with Bloopers from the Super Mario series.
  • In the single-player trailer from the November 2014 Nintendo Direct, a frame of artwork consists of Bloopers from the Super Mario series and Octoroks from The Legend of Zelda series.
  • According to an email sent by Nintendo, Splatoon was listed as the top wish-listed game in Nintendo's eShop over the summer it was released.
  • Despite the Nintendo Network servers shutting down on April 9th, 2024, Twitter user @Lcd101 was still connected and posting the ongoing rotations in a Twitter thread for 22 days, albeit connected through a Wii U emulator running on a Steam Deck, rather than on legitimate Wii U hardware.[12][13]

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese スプラトゥーン

See also

External links