Splatoon Almost Didn’t Have Squids

Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto recently revealed in an interview with Time that the upcoming Wii U exclusive Splatoon almost didn’t feature its brilliantly unique squid-like protagonists. Miyamoto explained:

“At one point during development, we held a small internal review of the game. We had found that the ink-battle play mechanic was fun, and the team was working very hard to brush up on that aspect at that time, but we were losing the freshness of the game the more the team worked on it. The thing which concerned us most was the main character. It looked as if it could be found in any game and lacked uniqueness. So, I told the game’s producer and the director to even consider using Mario if we could not find the right character. I also explained to them why I was providing such a suggestion.”

“A few weeks later, they gingerly approached me with the squid-like character, and we decided on that direction right on the spot. The director and others who nervously brought the squid character to me must have been surprised with my positive reaction, but at the time, I didn’t accept it for lack of better options. I actually thought, ‘This must be it!’ It’s fun to nurture something so unique, and I’m glad that they were able to experience bringing it to fruition.”

It’s always fun to get a peek behind the development curtain, but it’s especially interesting when it comes to Nintendo. The Japanese company approaches game development in a fashion unlike any of its peers, and while it often produces incredible titles it’s reassuring to hear Miyamoto supporting the ideas of Nintendo’s younger developers as well.

Splatoon is set to release this May, exclusively on Wii U.