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Splatoon 3 Becomes Best-Selling Game in Japan

Step aside, Elden Ring, Splatoon 3 is taking over

Splatoon 3 became the best-selling title in Japan in 2022, with around 4 million copies sold in Japan, combining retail and digital sales. Of these 4 million, at least 3 million copies are physical. The game also became the fastest-selling game ever in Japan, a record previously held by Animal Crossing New horizons. The game also made a strong debut in the UK.

A hyped-up marketing campaign plus an anticipated release were big factors in making the game a success, especially as fans believe the game has lived up to the hype, reflected in the impressive sales numbers.

Surprisingly, Splatoon 3’s main competitor for the title isn’t Elden Ring, rather, it’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, set to be released on November 12. 

Splatoon has always been a popular game in Japan, with its predecessor, Splatoon 2, selling around a million copies in 2017. Some of the new features of Splatoon 3 include the return of fan-favorite weapons, like the Octobrush and Clash Blaster. Reviewers and casual players stated the game weapons feel more balanced, and the maps feel tighter and more open.

The single-player aspect of the game was usually left in the dust, given the higher relevance to the multiplayer in a first-person shooter. It was present, but not exactly important.

splatoon 3

© Splatoon 3

Most of the previous Splatoon entries’ missions were simple “get to the goal” quests. This time, some missions have you dodging shockwaves until you survived the timer. You receive a weapon, with the quirkier weapons getting you a higher reward.

Splatoon 3 also features Return of the Mammalians, with more cutscenes, more variety in its mission structure, and a more fleshed-out plot. Return of the Mammalians has been praised for enhancing the Salmon Run mode.

In Salmon Run, players team up to defeat waves of Salmonids and boss Salmonid varieties, similar to the zombie modes in may popular first-person shooters.

There’s also a frequent number of Splatfest events giving players all the reasons to keep playing the game, including a Pokémon Scarlet and Violet-themed Splatfest to keep players hyped for the next big entry in the Pokémon mainline family.

The two major new weapons are the Splatana, an ink Katana with a wide horizontal attack mode and a vertical strike mode, and the Tri-Stringer, a bow that shoots smaller ink balls in sets of three.

It can fire three smaller explosives that can surprise enemies at a distance after charging.

The Crab Tank is a new special weapon, which turns players into a crab-like vehicle that can snipe enemies from medium to long distances.

There are new maps, new hubs, and a tricolor turf war that starts with one traditional team of four and two separate teams of two.

The game is available for $59.95 digitally and on retail.

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