Splatoon, during E3 this year, we compared its charm to Super Mario 3D World or Mario Kart 8 – and according to Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, that was more on the nose than even we knew. Splatoon was nearly a Mario game, Miyamoto told Edge (via MCV).
"There were heated debates over who the main character should be," Miyamoto said. "Whether it should be Mario, or the squid. When we talked about the possibility of it being Mario, of course we could think of the advantages: Anybody would be willing to touch it as soon as we announced that we had a new Mario game. But at the same time, we had some worries. If it were Mario, we wouldn't be able to create a new IP."
Splatoon stars a series of squid kids with ink guns, battling in contained areas to not only hit other players, but to paint the map in their team's color. The kids turn into squids to swim through their team's paint and fill up their ink supply, or to out-maneuver rival players.