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Is Nintendo courting an eSports audience with Splatoon?

"Splatoon allows for adaptive playstyles, the game has elements of a sport, and with all the thought we’ve put into the things we've mentioned so far, I think it will appeal to eSports players.
"And in that way, that Splatoon allows for adaptive playstyles, the game has elements of a sport, and with all the thought we’ve put into the things we've mentioned so far, I think it will appeal to eSports players."

- Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami

In a new interview with USGamer, Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami shows that Nintendo isn't completely immune to shifting times -- saying that the company's new team-based shooter should "appeal to eSports players."

In the quote above, "the things we've mentioned so far," by the way, allude to Nogami's statements like this one -- that the game "would be satisfying for players who are used to ranking up and rising up levels and unlocking new types of things."

The goal of the game is to "widen the scope" of players that can enjoy it -- from novices to the hardcore.

Of course, it's easy to assume that Nogami is paying lip-service to the eSports concept, and it's hard to imagine that pro shooter players will flock to the game. However, this isn't the first game this generation that the company has tweaked to cater to a competitive, hardcore audience.

The latest iteration of Smash Bros. is split into two modes for online play: For Fun and For Glory, with the latter adhering to common tournament rules and featuring a persistent ladder ranking. The game will be featured in the next Evo fighting game tournament (alongside earlier iteration of the franchise, Super Smash Bros. Melee.)

Though Nintendo is known for family-friendly game design, its games generally cater to both novice and advanced players at the same time. For more on how the company designs its games, check out this interview with Super Mario 3D Land director Koichi Hayashida.

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