Splatoon, Nintendo's upcoming shooter for Wii U that uses guns that shoot ink and playable characters who can transform into squid-like creatures, won't have a feature common in other online shooters: voice chat. But that's by design, according to one of its creators, because the chatter in online shooters is often so negative, he says.
In the new issues of Edge magazine, Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano says that based on his own experiences with online multiplayer games, voice chat can have an adverse effect on the player's enjoyment.
"When I played online games, I didn't like the negativity I got and people telling me, ‘You're crap. Go away,'" Amano said. So we wanted to focus on the positive aspects of online gaming."
"I don't want you to misunderstand — I'm not denying having chat in an online game does contribute to fun. But, as we've said, we want to grab new people."
While Nintendo doesn't seem to be too interested in matching other online shooters feature for feature with Splatoon, the company has enabled voice chat in a variety of games over the years. Nintendo DS games like Advance Wars: Days of Ruin and first-person shooter Metroid Prime Hunters both supported voice chat. Nintendo also released Wii Speak, a Wii accessory dedicate to online voice chat, but only supported in a handful of its own games, like Animal Crossing: City Folk and Endless Ocean 2.
For Splatoon, it sounds like serious players will have to turn to other solutions, like Skype calls, if they want to chat with friends.
Splatoon is coming to Wii U on May 29.