News Article

Don't Worry, Splatoon Will Have A Local Multiplayer Mode Too

Posted by Damien McFerran

Expect a full-price retail release in the "first half" of 2015

Splatoon impressed pretty much everybody who saw it at this year's E3, and has become one of the most eagerly-awaiting titles of 2015. However, some questions have been raised regarding the game's offline potential; given the Wii U's social focus, the idea of a game which can only be played against people online seems a little odd.

However, project lead Tsubasa Sakaguchi has been speaking to GameRant and reveals that Nintendo is aiming to include local play options in the game — although he also stresses that this element of Splatoon is still very much in development:

First of all, our plan is to release this as a full retail packaged software in 2015… the first half of 2015. And because we’re releasing this as a full software title, we of course plan to include a single-player mode but then also a one-on-one multiplayer mode that can be played without connecting to the Internet.

What we can tell you about the one-on-one, at least, is that one player will be using the GamePad, one player will be using the Pro Controller. And we’re actually thinking of having that one-on-one mode be something kinda completely different from the four-on-four one where it’ll be, you know, kind of a lot more stalking and hiding in the ink. It’ll be much more like a quiet mode in a sense.

And, you know, we’ve progressed [in development] at least to that point, but in terms of what we’re going to do with the screens – whether we’re going to have one person on the TV and one person on the GamePad – we’re not sure yet.

It's good to see that Sakaguchi and his team are thinking of local play options as well as refining what already looks like a fantastic online experience. Does this make you even more excited about playing Splatoon? Were you expecting it to be an eShop release rather than a full-price retail game? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to check out our impressions of the game when we played it at E3.

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube


From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (71)



Shepdawg1 said:

What I think they can do to make this game better than what I'm expecting right now:

4-player split screen local play
2-player online play like in Mario Kart 8

Do those two things and all my hesitations about this game will be gone. Either way, I'll probably end up buying it.

I will say, though, that I was expecting this to be an eShop exclusive, not a full-price retail game. Oh well, quality content demands a quality price, I suppose.



erv said:

I'd love an additional 5 player local, but I think we need to really press on the ability to talk to each other and easily mute all but one of the people, etc.

I'd love to be able to talk to my friends instead of skyping them on the side. Use that gamepad properly



Kirk said:

This is one of those times where I'm reminded that having the ability to use four GamePads at once could [imo should] have been truly brilliant and potentially generation winning. Realizing the idea of the GamePad to it's full potential as I see it by allowing up to four to be used at any one time for local play is how Nintendo really could [imo should] have blown people out the water.

Note: It's 4 rather than 2 or 20 or whatever because historically (since the N64 and even before it in a few cases) 4 player local multi-player has actually been a 'thing' that many games and consoles have widely/fully supported and so it would have made sense to support up to 4 GamePads in this case too imo. It's just the right number in so many ways. At the very least however, the ability to use 2 GamePads should have been there from day one with a few games that actually support this feature available right out the gate too imo.

Imagine a 4 player local multiplayer game of Madden with each person making their own private play calls on the GamePad while the main game is shown on the TV screen... Imagine a 4 player game of Splatoon with each person able to play on their own private screen and the map/score/etc screen is displayed on the TV... Imagine a 4 player game of something like GoldenEye with each player playing on their own private GamePad screen (no screen watching here)... Imagine a 4 player game of Poker with each player being able to see their own cards privately on the GamePad screen and the main cards and table shown on the TV screen... Imagine a 4 player game of Scrabble with each player seeing their letters privately on the GamePad and the main board shown on the TV... That's just a few simple and obvious implementations that immediately popped into my mind but the potential for something like that could [imo should] have been truly mind boggling.

Alas...Not happening because like so many of Nintendo's potentially brilliant ideas in the last few generations it had the idea but didn't really see it all the way through to it's full and natural conclusion and realize it's full potential imo.

Still, I think the Splatoon devs are going to do a great job with whatever they decide to do for this game given the limitations.

Note: Don't concern yourself with trying to imagine the logistics of how it might have been possible or not to get 4 GamePads working on the Wii U or even how it could have been made practical and affordable etc because unless you take more than a few minutes to think about it in great depth (coming at it from fresh angles and ways of thinking etc) you'll just come up with ill-conceived stale reasons for why it simply couldn't happen, based solely on your current understanding of the situation and circumstances and little more, but rather just imagine what could [imo should] have been if it had actually happened...



Bensei said:

Hmmm... if they add the Gamecube Controller adapter... couldn't they support like up to 9 players?



Kirk said:


Well there's obviously a reason they're not supporting more than two players locally already in this game, probably to do with normally having to use the GamePad screen to do things like check the paint coverage or jump directly to your teammate's position etc which is not possible [in the same way at least] unless they support more than one GamePad at a time, so I very much doubt that's even remotely on the cards. Right now they're obviously coming up with some form of asymmetric* gameplay solution for this new 1 on 1 local multi-player that they are talking about. If they'd actually designed the Wii U with support for up to 4 GamePads from the get-go however then something pretty special could have been happening right about now in living rooms across the world...

*"Asymmetric"...Which imo really just translates into "We didn't design/create a way for you to use multiple (up to four) GamePads at once [still can't even use two yet] so we've ended up having to create asymmetric solutions to local multi-player instead any time it might involve using the GamePad in any way and now we're going to market that as it's own USP". Even though they still could have had "asymmetric" gameplay even if the Wii U had actually been able to support up to 4 GamePads at once of course.



Shambo said:

Well, if it's sneaky local play they're going for, OF COURSE make each player use a separate screen! Who wants "screen watchers" anyway?



Dreamz said:


While I agree that it would have been amazing, it's unfortunately not feasible either monetarily (most sources still say that Nintendo is paying ~$100 per gamepad, and the vast majority of people aren't going to fork over ~$300 for additional controllers) or in terms of hardware capability - the Wii U's GPU has to render the gamepad video separately . In order to be able to render five separate video streams simultaneously, the Wii U would need to be at minimum 3x more powerful than it currently is.



Kirk said:


What did I specifically say above at the bottom/end of my first post...?

PS. Roughly how much more powerful than Wii U do you reckon the likes of PS4 and Xbox One are for example...?

For example: and

Note: I'm just using this tiny example to reiterate the point I made at the bottom of my first post and it's not to be taken literally or in isolation as the be all and end all proof for how this could have been done but more to show that if you just think of things exactly as they currently are then of course it wouldn't be possible. I'm not debating what is now but what could [imo should] have been if Nintendo had actually decided to take this concept to it's full and natural conclusion and realize it's full potential as I see it from the get-go. Let's not apply false limitations here when we clearly haven't thought about this for more than a couple of seconds or done any research whatsoever into the real worl possibilities and limitations to know any better about what actually could have been possible if the Wii U and everything around it (including GamePad costs etc too) had been designed with this capability and functionality in mind from day one.



HopeNForever said:

I cannot wait to see what Nintendo has in store for the final version of this game! I bet by next year it won't be recognised the same way as people experienced it at the E3 show floor.



Jazzer94 said:

Yeah IGN confirmed this with the developers at E3 there seemed to be a lot of confusion with people about if this was another Titanfall.



Xaessya said:

What about online voice chat?
I think that would be important to add for teamwork



onex said:

@Kirk Dream all you want, but unless YOU are coming up with a solution, you'll only end up disappointing yourself instead of appreciating what's readily available. Anyone can make these wild notions as to what 4 gamepads can do. However, a game such as Splatoon, in its current situation, could be released with one GP supported. Then if or when Nintendo decides to allow multiple GP support, the developers could always go back and patch additional GP play into the finished product, if the game remains interesting by then of course.



Kirk said:


Hey, if I actually worked for Nintendo I would have been coming up with that solution before the console ever launched but I don't.

Why do we have to keep looking at Nintendo's products, games and services and keep having to think "Well, MAYBE it will add/fix/do that in the future..." because I see that a lot.

The whole problem I have with Nintendo of late is that this is exactly what most of us are doing most of the time, imagining how it MIGHT add/fix/do stuff in the future, even though for some reason it seems obvious to most of us NOW (so you'd imagine it MUST have been obvious to Nintendo even before we ever got to see it and yet it still never got added/done), when in reality it very rarely actually happens.

If you guys are free to keep imagining all the stuff Nintendo MIGHT eventually get around to doing in some ideal future scenario, yet most likely won't in most of the cases, then I'm going to feel perfectly comfortable imagining what it COULD and imo SHOULD have done right out the gate in my own ideal scenario.



ricklongo said:

Wooooo, single-player mode? That's amazing to hear, as the lack of single-player was my one qualm about what has been shown to us so far. Super excited!



Ralek85 said:

@Tsuzura I agree, I made the same comment on basically every occasion this game came up. Nintendo really has to overcome it's inhibitions on the issue if this game is intended to be competitor in the crowded online shooter market. I may be cute, but it still looks plenty tactical to me (actually in many ways more so than the likes of Halo/Titanfall/Cod/BF and so on). I hope I can convince four buddies to tag along, get a WiiU and form a team but since it's a WiiU ..... well let's say arguments come up about graphics, already owning X1/PS4 and Nintendo being childsplay. ^^ So far I was not overly successfull with one exception. If we get a Team going we'll just use vent/ts/skype or something for voice and all will be fine. If not I would definitely prefer a voice chat in "public" games to be available (even if it is locked away behind some kind of parental controls which would be fine by me).
The other point of concern is the controls. I recently got an X1 and spent quite a bit of time playing Titanfall which had excellent controls, tight and responsive. Destiny Alpha also wasn't half bad at this. I hope Splatoon will not be hindered by fiddly or imprecise controls. I am always doubtful when it comes to gyrocontrols, so far they were never something I found to even remotely precise. Maybe the mix of stick and gyro controls will work just fine. We will see, I have faith in Ninty and more than anything I want this game to succeed in 2015. It is right up there with the likes of The Division for my most anticipated game of 2015! Make it happen!



MrGawain said:

At the moment the game is a really an exciting concept to me that deserves to be observed. Local multiplayer and single player campaign have increased my interest 10 fold, and I'm sure if we see some different maps and power ups, it'll flesh out the game even more. But it's still very early to make any solid predictions about HOW good this could be.

I really want this game to grow because the Wii U needs another game with a different play style.



RedYoshi999 said:

It makes sense to be a full retail title. If it wants to make an impact, it needs a strong retail presence, something that can't be achieved from an eShop only release.



0utburst said:

Didn't you think Nintendo considered 2 or more gamepads support before they've finalized the product? It's impossible they didn't. It's just not feasible. Most of us Wii U owners and even non-WiiU owners have thought or wondered about it at some point about having 2 gamepads. It's a no-brainer it could have been more expensive. There are a lot to consider than by just including multiple gamepads support. Any console maker will aim to sell their consoles as cheaper as possible to attract buyers even selling it at a lost. We all know that.
Two gamepads are still possible on the Wii U. But I'm betting next gen will surely support it if they are still including the gamepad on their vision on the next console.



Link506 said:

@Shepdawg1 Are you kidding me? You WANT split screens? The day I tried playing with my sister on the gamepad (Which she loves using) and I was one the Tv, I fell in love with idea. Both players het a full screen, allowing them to use this stealth technique. With split screens, this wouldn't be possible. This form of multiplayer always works well for us it fits my wants of a big screen, and her's of a personal screen.



Gerbwmu said:

I thought it would be a full retail with some sort of single player, but obviously the star of the game is online multi-player.



Kirk said:


I think they absolutely considered it and then...didn't do it.

IMO they should have figured out a way to make it happen (and imo it would have been absolutely possible if they REALLY wanted to make it happen) because right now I'm sitting here thinking 4 player GamePad support (along with a few other things) could have been the difference between flopping right now and being the clear winner this gen and potentially a truly revolutionary current-gen system.

Nintendo has a recent habit of coming up with these potentially brilliant ideas and then gimping them for whatever reasons and to me that's one of the core reasons why so many people like me simply can't get excited about it's systems because all we see is half-*ssed implementations of ideas that could have been truly brilliant but instead are just slightly disappointing and frustrating.

I would have most likely bought a Wii U by now if it were as powerful as Xbox One and PS4, supported up to 4 GamePads, had a bigger hard drive, had a proper unified account system that allowed us to buy one copy of a game and play it on either Wii U or 3DS where possible (mostly VC and some eShop games), where the VC prices were around half the current price across the board permanently, allowed me to download an OPTIONAL patch to enable CD/DVD/MP4/AVI and Blu-Ray (if possible) playback, had a greatly expanded version of something like Mario Maker built directly into the system at a firmware level (but more like Little Big Planet so you could basically create just about anything and share it will all the other Wii U owners out there) and it would have been the PERFECT day one showcase for the GamePad too...

I very sure FAR more than 6-7 million other people would have done so also by now if that were the case.

Note: All that stuff I listed above is things I listed before the Wii U was even released and in some cases before even the Wii was released, like the creation software that I thought should have come built into the console day one for everyone to use to create and share content etc, so it's not like Nintendo couldn't have resolved most of this stuff before the Wii U even came out.



rjejr said:

Full reratil release - or packed in w/ a $99 Gamepad for dual Gamepad play



Kirk said:


I'd say that's just one of the things that backs up my whole argument from day one that the Wii U was/is under-powered. It means things like this are now basically impossible even if Nintendo did eventually decide it actually wanted to do it.

Consider the following for example: or and then consider what might have been possible if Nintendo had not decided to make a console that was basically comparable in power to last-gen consoles and maybe actually decided to make something that was technically competitive with the other current-gen systems...

I'd say that I never suggested they add it to the current Wii U design exactly as it is. It would have actually required changing probably quite a few things with the Wii U as we know it to make it possible in the first place, like maybe making it more powerful from the get-go (probably as powerful as the other current-gen systems) as just one example.

I'm saying this should have been a feature of the Wii U system since day one and that means I also saying Nintendo should have resolved all the issues associated with implementing such a thing, like requiring more power for example, day -100.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

@Kirk I agree for the most part, but I think the WiiU could already handle up to 4 GamePads at once through smart coding and a slight change to the streaming limitations.

@Gunit1099 It would if we think of the conventional way the GamePad works. It receives video signal from the WiiU while sending input back to it via Bluetooth (or at least a very similar substitute; my friend can see what is on the GamePad with his smartphone).
When a second GamePad is connected, the WiiU creates another separate video stream to it. That's the sole reason dual GamePad Mode draws so much power.

The solution would be to stream an entire splitscreen on a single signal to all GamePads, but configure them through their internal flash memory to only display the screen your character is on. That would eliminate most issues and even allow for 4 players with GamePads.




0utburst said:

@Kirk regarding the unified account system.

I think Nintendo wanted it to be tied to one console only to avoid piracy or others making a profit selling Wii Us at a higher price filled with digitally downloaded games from one source account.

I think it's good to buy digitally now with NNID already in place. I have high hopes that our purchased Nintendo published games on the eShop will carry over to the successor of the Wii U provided we are using the same Nintendo Network ID. It could still be tied to one system by then.



Nik-Davies said:

When they mean single-player mode, does that mean a campaign?
An emotional journey about two opposing races who differ only by the colour of their ink, the Alpha Splatoon (voiced by Morgan Freeman) helps them settle their differences?



Kirk said:


Someone thinking outside the box for once.


Note: I'm not saying that's THEE solution (it may or may not be, or might have been, or even just part of it) but it's just about thinking about things from a slightly different perspective rather than saying it's impossible (instantly going into Nintendo defender mode) without basically having a clue either way.



Kirk said:


Well, Nintendo will probably [hopefully] get it all sorted for their next system but this really should be available now on Wii U. At this point I'm not accepting any excuses that Nintendo throws my way (or anyone else for that matter) for why it's not on Wii U right now because Sony has it implemented now (as do companies like Apple and Samsung etc basically) which means so could everyone else. Nintendo's just being slow and doing things slightly half-*ssed, as has become the norm for the company these days when it comes to things like this imo.



gamerphil07 said:

If I'm paying for a full release, I'd really like a single player mode of some sort. I mean, I'm buying this regardless, but I just think that would be a good addition.



sinalefa said:

Single player sells me on this. I never played Team Fortress 2 more than an hour because of that.

For local play one Gamepad should be enough. That player could be like the General of sorts, so other players could ask to be transferred around the map, or he/she could give orders and coordinate strategies. Since it is local, they can discuss and agree.



Savino said:

Still waiting until I know more about the in game progress.

As it is looks fun for some party gaming session, but not for an extended amout of gameplay!
They talk nothing about character progression, weapons that you can use, itens, maps....

The game looks cool, but without more info, I am out of the hype!



Dpishere said:

I want to be able to get this game, but seeing as my internet isn't that great since I live in a small town I really would have to think about it, considering that even Mario Kart 8 is far from optimal online. Hopefully the single player mode is good enough that it would still be worth it. Bots for local would be great too!



Gorlokk said:

Ohh, I'm actually really glad it's gonna be a full retail release, because that means there's tons of modes and content to experience, which means more details on the way in later Nintendo Directs!



Mrclaycoat said:

I'm shocked this is going to be retail! I can't imagine what content they will supply to justify a $50-$60 purchase in all honesty. I really loved the footage they showed but I expected $19.99 tops.



jjmesa16 said:

@Shepdawg1 I agree. I hope that they make it 4 player split screen but it doesn't sound like that's going to happen. 2 player online would also be great and I think that it is still a possibility.

I'm a bit surprised that this will be a full priced retail game. I was expecting this would be an eShop with a price around $19.99-$29.99.

@Dphishere I feel your pain. The internet in my town is pretty horrible too. I live in a town with about 150-200 people. We have to have satellite internet and the highest speed I've seen is around 2 Mbps.



xerneas said:

I still feel like this is a bit over hyped :/ I mean of course it's terrific fun and well made, but there's only one game mode... doesn't it get pretty repetitive? In the same way Mario Kart does over time.



vonseux said:

They plan to sell this at 60$? They must be really confident after the success at e3. Lets hope for $40 retail release. And stop theese multiple gamepad talkin already.



Mega719 said:

This was pretty obvious they didn't say it was online exclusive. Maybe you can bring your friend online with you



AVahne said:

Yeah I ain't paying full price for what seems to be a multiplayer-only title without mechs, especially if local is only 1 vs 1.
Since the game is still in development, I guess I SHOULD reserve judgement, but for now I'm going to have to take this off my buy list.
EDIT: Whoops, missed the part where he says there will be single player... Still not putting it back on my list though.



ToastyYogurt said:

Retail? Huh, I thought it would be an eShop game, considering its focus on online arena-style multiplayer. Oh well, still excited for this. 1v1 should givew the Gamepad less need to be used, since it's used to jump to teammates or across the map from spawn. Don't give the option to teleport at all (I think 1v1 would be more fun that way), give each player their own screen (GP player on GP and non-GP player on TV, of course) and put a map on each screen, and I think that could work.

Would be nice if we could get 4 player support for some 2v2 games, though, or even battle royale. Maybe just not use the gamepad, in that case? It would be nice if a 3DS could be used as a controller, it has a gyroscope in it which means it could be used in a similar way to the gamepad, though the touch screen might be too small for quick finger taps. 3DS XL could possibly work, though since the maps are designed to fill a widescreen, I dunno. They could potentially put the full map on the top screen and force scrolling around on the bottom screen, but that might be too sluggish.

They probably won't do 3DS as a control option, but I at least hope that Wiimote and Nunchuck will be an option for local play. I hate aiming exclusively with a control stick.



Inkling said:

@ToastyYogurt I was thinking of a 3DS E-Shop partner game that has the multiplayer mode and it works with the Wii U version, but it is very limited compared to the Wii U version so people still get it on Wii U



Shadow_Chad6982 said:

Wait full-price retail release? Not sure I really want to get it now. I was expecting this to be a $15-$20 eShop game



Zach777 said:

It will release June 30, 2015. Calling it now. (It's still the first half of 2015)



ToastyYogurt said:

@Splatom I'd like that. A 3DS eShop version that could do local multiplayer against both Wii U and 3DS players, while single player would be limited to matches against the CPU. If that was a reality I'd still hope that the Wii U version has a Download Play option to use 3DSs as controllers, just in case any of the players didn't buy the 3DS version.



GraveLordXD said:

@Kirk completely agree with you about the whole gamepad situation
The first thing I thought when I first seen the Wii u revealed was how cool 2-5 local co-op (no split screen) games would be
And now it doesn't look like this will happen anytime soon if at all. This is where I would have to say the Wii u is under powered because its not used to its full potential not because it can't keep up with Sony or Microsoft



Nebnosneh said:

@mizumaru I second this, they need a wii mote + nunchuck option or I won't be able to play it. A local LAN option would be cool too, but I'm just dreaming there!



Kaze_Memaryu said:

@Kirk Sadly, I have no idea if they thought about it as well. And if not, I can't forward it to Nintendo, anyway, so we're left hanging right nowanyway...

@LDXD I wouldn't say it's underpowered until Nintendo rules out the option of multiple GamePads. Right now, they're simply not willing to support 2 or more because of the production costs - and by extension, the necessary price tag -
for one separately sold GamePad.
If my memory serves me well (which often isn't the case), Iwata said he'd bring separate GamePads once they can offer them for less than 100$.
Until then, we can only hope Nintendo sees the potential behind multiple GamePads and tweaks the current implementation to support it at some point.



Wonky_Kong said:

@Bensei hahaha, because 9 players on one screen would work either, i'm fine with the fact there's a single player and local multiplayer mode, multiplayer is where I get ny moneys worth out of a shooter



AshFoxX said:

@Guybrush20X6 LAN would be amazing for this game!

As for local multiplayer, I was really hoping for at least 4 player local since I don't tend to play online all that much, but the fact that it has any at all is nice.



Lord said:

Online multiplayer but this needs chat otherwise it's gonna flounder in its own paintrails



PeterZucksy said:

Ok, I know this article is old, but I just wanted to say that 2 vs 2 local multiplayer turf war would be awesome! What a lost opportunity...

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...