Splatoon is a multimedia franchise based around a series of third-person shooter video games developed by Nintendo.
At E3 2014, Nintendo announced Splatoon, the culmination of experiments dating back over a year, to be released in 2015. After an extensive marketing campaign, the game launched for the Wii U on 28 May 2015 and continued to be actively supported until late 2016. The series immediately saw success upon the launch of its initial game, selling extremely well across all regions and spawning a franchise across multiple other media.
On 20 October 2016, only one month after the final update to Splatoon, Nintendo's reveal trailer for the Nintendo Switch teased new content in the series for the console. The January 2017 Nintendo Switch Presentation officially revealed it as Splatoon 2 for a release that summer and eventually launched on 21 July 2017. A sequel to the first game, it introduced new weapons, modes, locations and characters to the Splatoon universe and sold multiple times more copies than the original. The game continues to be supported as of December of 2023.
The March 2018 Nintendo Direct revealed that the series' first paid DLC, titled the Octo Expansion, would be released for Splatoon 2 that summer. It was released on 14 June 2018 and added new playable characters and an expansive new single-player campaign to the game.
Splatoon 3 was revealed during the February 2021 Nintendo Direct, and was released on the Nintendo Switch on 9 September 2022. It features new weapons, a new single-player story, and takes place in a new location, the Splatlands.
The February 2023 Nintendo Direct revealed that Splatoon 3 would receive a two part DLC named the Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass where players can revisit inkopolis from Splatoon, with Wave 1 - Inkopolis slated for that spring, and Wave 2 - Side Order slated for the future. Later Wave 1 - Inkopolis was released 28 February 2023
The September 2023 Nintendo Direct announced more information about Wave 2 - Side Order, said to feature replayable gameplay and take place in a version of Inkopolis Square from Splatoon 2, with a release window of Spring 2024.
In 2016, a manga series was officially published in Japan. It follows Team Blue, consisting of Goggles, Specs, Bobble Hat and Headphones, as they compete against various rival teams in Turf War cups and Ranked Battles. It began to be localized in 2017 and continues to be published into 2023. In 2017, two episodes of the manga got animated and published on YouTube and on a DVD disc.
A second manga series, Splatoon: Squid Kids Comedy Show, debuted in Japan in 2017. It is a gag manga series of four-panel jokes based on Splatoon 2 and began to be localized in 2020. This series also continues to be published into 2023.
- Main article: Merchandise
Plot, themes, and characters
In both Splatoon and Splatoon 2, the player is a new arrival in Inkopolis, a city inhabited mainly by squid-like creatures called Inklings, as well as other sea creatures that have adapted to live on land. Here, they compete in ink battles - a sport that involves splattering ink on the ground and at opponents to carry out various objectives - in order to earn popularity and cash which they can use to buy gear and weapons.
In the original Splatoon, the player arrives at Inkopolis Plaza, where they soon find that the Great Zapfish that powers the city has been stolen by the Octarian forces. In order to get it back, they head to Octo Valley through a manhole found in the plaza. Once there, the player meets Cap'n Cuttlefish, an elderly Inkling who is trying to track down the Great Zapfish. The player then joins forces with him, becoming Agent 3 of the New Squidbeak Splatoon, and is tasked with venturing through various locations in Octo Valley to locate and reclaim the Great Zapfish.
In Splatoon 2, the player arrives at Inkopolis Square two years after the events of the first game, where they learn that Callie from the Squid Sisters pop idol group has gone missing, along with the Great Zapfish. The player then spots Marie, Callie's cousin, stood on top of a manhole in the corner of Inkopolis Square and follows her to Octo Canyon. Here, Marie asks the player for help in her search for both the Great Zapfish and Callie. After agreeing to her request, the player then becomes Agent 4 and travels through Octo Canyon to track them down.
In the Octo Expansion, the player is an Octoling nicknamed Agent 8, who is trapped in the Deepsea Metro subway system. They soon meet up with Cap'n Cuttlefish and explore further into the subway where they find a telephone. The Telephone tasks them with passing a series of tests in order to collect four Thangs which will allow them to leave the subway and go to the "promised land". During the tests, Agent 8 receives advice from Pearl and Marina, who help them to escape the subway.
- Main article: Locations
|A city inhabited by Inklings, Octolings, and other sea-dwelling creatures that have adapted to live on land.
|A barren region far away from Inkopolis. The intense sun and harsh environment has had a profound effect on its inhabitants. Trendsetting Inklings have been drawn here in recent years.
|An area of Inkopolis that serves as the main hub in Splatoon. Inklings can enter Inkopolis Tower to take part in battles, or go shopping for gear and weapons at Booyah Base. There is also a manhole in the northeastern corner of the Plaza that connects it to Octo Valley.
|An area of Inkopolis that serves as the main hub in Splatoon 2. Inklings and Octolings can access the Deca Tower to join battles or buy gear and weapons from the Galleria. A shady organization known as Grizzco Industries can be found west of Deca Tower that allows an Inkling or Octoling to participate in a Salmon Run for unique rewards. A manhole south of the Grizzco building connects the Square to Octo Canyon.
|A newly discovered city dubbed the "City of Chaos". This city is located far away from the city of Inkopolis, and is situated in a broader region called the Splatlands. This area serves as the main hub in Splatoon 3.
|A wide variety of places in and around Inkopolis, the Splatlands, and their surrounding areas that are popularly used for ink battles on top of their normal purposes. A different selection appears in each game, with some in multiple.
|A valley located somewhere close to Inkopolis, the Octo Valley single-player campaign takes place here in Splatoon. It is home to the Octarian civilization.
|A canyon located somewhere close to Inkopolis, the Octo Canyon single-player campaign takes place here in Splatoon 2. The Octarian civilization lives here.
|A mysterious subway system deep beneath Inkopolis, this acts as the base for the Kamabo Corporation and home to the denizens of the deep. The main setting of the Octo Expansion.
|The location of Splatoon 3's single-player campaign. It is an underground area made up of multiple islands surrounding the Alterna Space Center.
Players use various weapons to spray ink to claim territory and damage opponents. Players can remain in humanoid form to attack, and switch to cephalopod form to submerge in ink. While submerged in ink the player can refill their ink tank, swim to move faster than in humanoid form, or stay still to hide from opponents.
Names in other languages
sī pǔ lā dùn
- Prior to the official localization of Splatoon 3, the series was referred to locally with titles such as 喷射战士 (roughly "Spraying Warriors"), 喷色卡通 (roughly "Spray Color Cartoon"), and 漆彈大作戰 (roughly "Paintball Battle"). Officially, Nintendo would write "Splatoon" in Latin letters and use either English or Japanese names for specific game-related terms.