Is Nintendo making a full-blown horror game? Because it sure looks like it in this surprisingly creepy teaser trailer flagged for "disturbing" content

Emio - YouTube Emio - YouTube
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Nintendo is creeping everyone out with a teaser trailer for what appears to be a full-blown M-rated horror game, and it looks like it could be a first-party release.

On Wednesday, Nintendo dropped a teaser trailer for a game called Emio, warning "This video contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised." What follows is a genuinely unnerving shot of a person standing and wearing a bag over their head scrawled with a primitive smiling face as spooky piano music plays in the background. The shutters of an old film projector can be heard as the film grain video jump cuts through a few different perspectives of its subject before cutting to the Japanese logo for the game.

This is weird for several reasons. Chiefly, the tone of the teaser is simply uncharacteristic for what appears to be a first-party project. It hasn't been confirmed that Nintendo is developing this in-house, but the teaser has only been released on official Nintendo social channels and not on any associated with a third-party studio as far as I can tell, and the game even has its own dedicated webpage referencing a "smiling man." 

The YouTube video includes the hashtag #WhoIsEmio?, implying that the smiling man in the teaser is this Emio, but otherwise the character is a complete mystery and doesn't seem to be connected to any existing IP.

It's also a bit out of the ordinary for Nintendo to randomly drop an announcement teaser outside of any pre-planned event like a Nintendo Direct and with zero context either in the video's description or on social media.

Whatever's going on here, I am highly intrigued. If Nintendo really is making a first-party horror game, it would technically be its first ever. We've had second-party horror games like Eternal Darkness and Resident Evil, and we've had spooky but also very cute games like Luigi's Mansion, but a full-blown M-rated horror game from a first-party Nintendo studio would be a first for the legendary video game developer.

Since we've never seen one before, there's no way to know what in the world a Nintendo horror game would look like. With that delicious M-rating, the shackles of Nintendo's historically family friendly nature have been cast off, but just how dark will the company behind Carby and Waddle Dee go? Probably not all that dark compared to games like Alan Wake 2 and The Last of Us, but who knows? Again, we have literally zero precedent for this, so my imagination will be running hog wild until we learn more about this incredibly interesting mystery.

In the meantime, here are the best horror games to play with the lights out.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.