Splatoon ditched voice chat to avoid online negativity

Sick of potty-mouthed tweens insulting your every move during a game of online multiplayer? Well, you’re not the only one. Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano says his encounters with micced-up trolls has had a major influence on how players will communicate in his latest project.

“This is coming from personal experience,” he comments in an interview in the latest issue of Edge. “When I played online games, I didn't like the negativity got and people telling me, ‘You’re crap. Go away.’ So we wanted to focus on the positive aspects of online gaming.”

Amano admits that some of the fun involved in working as a team may be lost with the omission of online chat, but reassures fans the cartoonish shooter will feature a phrase system to bolster multiplayer communication. “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.”

The decision to lose voice chat may seem odd, but Amano and his team have made it clear from the very start that Splatoon will be far from conventional, with even Miyamoto initially unconvinced the concept would work. “We wanted to make a shooter that was different and could allow people who aren't so used to the traditional types of shooters to come in.”

Find out about Splatoon's development in the exclusive feature in the new Edge magazine out now. Downoad it here or subscribe to future issues.

Splatoon splashes its way onto Nintendo Wii U on 29 May.

Dom has been a freelance journalist for many years, covering everything from video games to gaming peripherals. Dom has been playing games longer than he'd like to admit, but that hasn't stopped him amassing a small ego's worth of knowledge on all things Tekken, Yakuza and Assassin's Creed.