Nintendo might be killing Splatoon 3 support with “Final Splatfest”

Screenshot of Splatoon 3

Data miners claim to have found details suggesting Splatoon 3’s next Splatfest event may be its last, leading to fears that the game may be dead. 

With Nintendo so focused on its landmark franchises like Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda, it was refreshing for fans when it introduced Splatoon in 2015. Since its debut, the series has amassed 28 million units sold and boasts a dedicated fanbase. The latest entry, Splatoon 3, expanded on everything people loved from the first two games.

New weapons, larger hubs, new lore, and a focus on competitive play made Splatoon 3 a solid experience for franchise fans. The game also holds the record for the fastest-selling Switch game in Japan. Still, every good thing must end, and data miners believe the next update could be its last.

When is the “Final Splatfest” happening in Splatoon 3?

Nintendo has not confirmed a date for the Final Splatfest in Splatoon 3. Speculation states that the next Splatfest will happen close to or around September 9, 2024, the franchise’s anniversary.

Nintendo hasn’t confirmed that the next Splatfest will be the last for the game, but data miners found information potentially linked to the next Splatfest. In the 8.0.0. update, a new Splatfest under the codename “Sand” was found. 

Still, the event will feature some exciting content for fans. All three idol groups in the Splatoon universe may perform simultaneously for the first time during the “Sand” Splatfest, adding credence to the idea that this is the Final Splatfest and that Splatoon 3 may be left for dead by Nintendo.

Further corroborating this is Nintendo’s own marketing for the game. Nintendo’s post-launch outlook for Splatoon 3 included updates staggered across two years. 2024 marks the second anniversary of the game’s release and the 9th anniversary of the franchise as a whole. All this suggests that Splatoon 3’s free updates may start slowing down soon. All this is before considering the idea of the Nintendo 2 and a possible new Splatoon game.

Whether this is just an extra-special Splatfest or the last one ever, fans will no doubt take part in the celebrations. 

Is Splatoon 3 dead?

Splatoon 3 is not dead yet, even if updates cease after the so-called Final Splatfest.

Players won’t have a hard time finding matches, as the fandom remains active. While player counts are unknown, games can still readily be found.

Splatoon 3 is also in a better position than its forerunners. A major story surrounding Nintendo shutting down multiplayer servers for the Wii U and 3DS was a group of Splatoon 2 players staying logged in for as long as possible. This kept the game alive for a while longer, but they were eventually kicked and the servers shut down.

The good news is that Nintendo Switch servers will likely be maintained for a while longer. Nintendo Wii U servers were operational for 11 years and the Switch is much more successful. This should see Splatoon 3 kept operational until 2028, and maybe beyond.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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