Update [Fri 26th May, 2023 09:00 BST]: Developer Strange Scaffold has confirmed that Sunshine Shuffle will now launch on the North American eShop on May 31st, 2023.
Seems like the confusion over child gambling has been cleared up!
Original Article [Wed 24th May, 2023 14:45 BST]:
Well, this is one we're almost sure we haven't seen before. Indie developer Strange Scaffold has revealed that its 'narrative poker adventure' game Sunshine Shuffle has been blocked from the Switch eShop in North America due to concerns over child gambling.
According to Xalavier Nelson Jr., the game was supposed to launch on the eShop today (May 24th, 2023) but his own media campaign about the game not teaching children to gamble has seemingly convinced Nintendo that it is indeed about child gambling. Whoops.
The game is available as planned in the UK and Europe for the price of £8.50 / €9.75, but searching for it on the North American eShop currently yields no results. It's unknown at this time whether Nintendo of America will reverse its decision, but it definitely seems like there's been some confusion over what the game is actually about.
Here's a look at the key features from the UK eShop page:
- A fusion of poker and narrative adventure, with a story that unfolds as you play!
- Deep neo-noir story told with style, care, and the pain of hindsight.
- Unlockable conversations that further reveal the story of the Morning Shift, and their lives before and after forming the infamous heist crew.
- Rewards for careful strategy that let you decorate the S.S. Sunshine your way; with plastic skeletons and fish bowls and a dice-themed carpet; as the universe intended.
- Original ska soundtrack from acclaimed musicians Skatune Network and RJ Lake!
- A seadog with an eyepatch named Fidelius.
We won't lie, this sounds like a proper good time! Hopefully, Nintendo of America will release the game onto the NA eShop in due course, but in the meantime, you'll have to visit another region's eShop if you're looking to purchase Sunshine Shuffle.
What do you make of this whole debacle? Leave a comment with your thoughts down below.
Nintendo. Damn. It's just a kids game.
Yo, they got Jer/Skatune Network on the soundtrack?? That’s cool.
Removed - inappropriate
So cosmetic/PTW lootboxes are completely fine but this? heck no apparanetly. I'm in the UK (thankfully) so I already picked it up this morning.
Should be blocked for being a shameless Animal Crossing visual style ripoff mixed with shovelware game mechanics. I'm sure throwing a tantrum online will help.
A game about kids playing a game?
It looks like a poker simulation with the characters discussing their recent bank robbery and calling each other "motherf#$%'". What was the dev expecting to get - an "everyone" rating? I'd say this should be a teen rating at best, despite the Animal Crossing presentation.
@Teksetter I was about to comment the same thing... or something similar! They're worried about kids gambling but not about kids robbing banks? Or swearing at each other? Doesn't make sense!
Heh. Kind of like an Animal Crossing take on those Poker Night games with Brock Samson & whatnot in them.
If you check the listing on the Nintendo UK site, you'll find this game is rated PEGI 18 due to "Simulated Gambling".
Under PEGI's rating system, all titles featuring simulated gambling published after 2020 will automatically be rated PEGI 18. This isn't retroactive, so titles like the 3DS virtual console releases of Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal which feature slot machines still carry a rating of PEGI 12.
@Coalescence "I don't like the look of it so it should be blocked for anyone to play!!!" There's far worse games releasing on the Switch eshop so however you swing it, this is dumb logic.
It's an 18 rated game designed to look like a kids game, I'd say its perfectly reasonable for Nintendo to be cautious.
FYI, he drops the f-bomb in that TikTok. NSFW.
That, plus the dev seems to be poking a lot of fun at the situation, with the "Goofed too close to the sun" line and then doubling down on the bit. It's a silly situation, and one that's pretty unfortunate to happen right before your game is set to launch, but they're treating it in good humor.
Kinda reeks of projection for @coalescence to characterize it as a "Tantrum". But hey I'm sure they've played the game and can identify these "shovelware mechanics" they're complaining about, right?
On the plus side, I probably wouldn't have known about the game if this hadn't happened haha. Hope they get it sorted out quickly!
Ah yes, because the switch eShop is otherwise such a carefully cultivated garden of quality…
Oh my god people on this site go outside. Learn what fun is. Get a life.
Ohhhhh. Another non standard poker game? Dance of Cards was disappointing but is still promising. I'm definitely interested in this if the poker aspect is good.
@LavaTwilight Not sure how kids swearing is a real issue but alright
@RupeeClock Yet FIFA is PEGI 3.
@mjharper The common F-Bomb or the British Tobacco one?
I don't like poker, but I got sold on the ska soundtrack. Hope this releases.
Ummm ... what?
I think this developer is making stuff up to cover up some more mundane mistake on his part.
First he blames Nintendo for pulling his game from the US e-store, a thing they have no involvement with. Sure, it's splitting hairs in a comment section, but communicating to people who want to buy your game, you want to be clear about when you mean Nintendo and when you mean NOA. This is even more true when the game seems to be coming out in the UK and EU, meaning Nintendo of Europe listed it, NOA didn't, and Nintendo wasn't even asked to.
Second, nether NOA or Nintendo search the internet for videos or MEME's and make decision about what individual games can and can't be on the e-shop based on that. You get the game rated by the ESRB. If it doesn't come back as "M", or contain a key word that raises a flag, then the game is listed. If it has a flagged keyword, you have a window to address that issue. This is generally a pretty quick e-mail, something like "Hey, the ESRB says this game has drug use. Can you please confirm no one using drugs is under the age of 18?".
t's an automated process. Even the e-mail is autogenerated and you answer it by going to a website. It would be extremely cost prohibitive to add any additional manual process.
So what actually happened? He messed up his submission to the ESRB, didn't answer an e-mail, or put the request in too late. As such, the game has been rated by PEGI and can be sold outside of NA, but isn't rated by the ESRB.
Now he is trying to turn his own completely unprofessional screw up into a marketing stunt by assuming people are so stupid they will actually believe NOA care enough about his budget indie game to not only watch his promotional videos but to take action, while also assuming his story will get traction with game media without any of them taking a second to point out how crazy his version of events is and ask for a comment, resulting in free press for his game.
Sadly, looks like he's at least half right.
@Manxman64 it's enough of an issue for a concerned parent. And how old are we talking here? 16 to me is still a child but I'm less concerned about them picking up swear-words than a 6 year old.
@HeadPirate Agreed. It's a minor bureaucratic bump in the road that he's milking for promotion. Nintendolife naturally picked up the story. You could say that everyone is acting rationally, in a frustrating cynical way.
PSA, the steam reviews are pretty hilarious for this.
This is the sort of thing that's right up this gamblin' fool's alley. Hadn't heard of it 'til now.
Shame about this Switch debacle, but I'd prefer it on Steam anyway, and now it's on my wishlist.
@LavaTwilight if you are driving a car, you are not a child.
@zgillet couldn't agree more. If you're captaining a fishing vessel you're not a child either... sorry I don't see the connection between driving a car and not being a child, did I miss something?
"16 to me is still a child"
That's driving age where I live.
@zgillet oh ok... it's not where I am. I understand now, thanks for clarifying. I guess it's different everywhere and what really counts is maturity.
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