Nintendo has a summer's worth of new maps, modes, and other updates planned for Splatoon. You can get a quick feel for all the impending extras in the gallery above, but read on for more details.
Splatoon will release with five stages for the main 4-on-4 Turf Wars mode: Urchin Underpass, Saltspray Rig, Walleye Warehouse, Blackbelly Skatepark, and Arowana Mall - you'll only be able to choose from two maps at a time, though the selection will rotate every four hours. Nintendo plans to add new stages which will cater to more experienced players "every few weeks."
Turf Wars will be the only online mode at launch, but once enough players reach level 10, Ranked Battles will open up with king-of-the-hill style Splat Zones. Soon after, another update will add Tower Control as an option for ranked matches. It looks a bit like Team Fortress 2's Payload, but instead of escorting a bomb-laden minecart across the map, Inklings must risk exposure on top of the tower to keep it rolling into enemy territory.
Splatoon's arsenal will also expand over time, starting off with the Inkbrush weapon, which lets you quickly trace a thin trail of ink all across the map. Plenty of new hats, tops, and shoes will make their way into the game as well, offering new fashion and ability-boosting options.
A "major game update event" planned for August will add another Ranked Battle mode called Rainmaker, support for faceoffs between pre-made teams of four, and private 8-player matches. Keep in mind that all these updates are free - Nintendo hasn't yet said if or how it will release any paid DLC for Splatoon. Keep reading for more insight from our earlier interview with Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami.
According to Nogami, Nintendo plans to keep players interested in the multiplayer ink-blasting shooterlong past its May release date - up to and including another game, if all goes well.
"We can't go into a lot of detail on that today, but we do have some plans to follow up with content to keep interest in the game post-launch," Nogami said.
"We on the development team are thinking of the launch as a first step of sorts. We hope to add to that in terms of content, and even to the degree that we're hoping that this will become a franchise that Nintendo can be proud of."
That's all Nogami had to say about keeping Splatoon fresh after launch. You may be able to make a few predictions based on how Nintendo handled DLC for Mario Kart 8, another online-multiplayer-enabled Wii U exclusive: new vehicles, tracks, customization options, and racers in two paid packs, as well as a 200cc engine mode and some sponsored content for free.