Foamstars is the upcoming competitive online shooter from Square Enix that a lot of people and publications (Kotaku included) have referred to as a Splatoon clone or Splatoon-like. Apparently, Square Enix is bored of all of us comparing its foam-shooter with Nintendo’s popular ink-shooter.
Announced last summer, Foamstars is a PlayStation 5 exclusive online shooter that pits two teams of four against each other as they shoot pink and teal foam (depending on their team affiliation) at one another until a character is completely trapped and then bounced off the stage. When it was revealed, everyone had the same thought: Oh, that looks a lot like Splatoon! While Splatoon features ink and Foamstars uses foam, the idea of an online shooter not built around shotguns and headshots, but spreading colorful material around a map using odd “goo guns” seemed pretty dang Splatoon-y. But after months of hearing the comparisons, Square Enix seems to be over it.
In an interview with VGC, Foamstars producer Kosuke Okatani was asked if he’s bored of people comparing the two games. According to the outlet, Okatani laughed and responded: “First of all, yes!“
“There have been many comparisons on the internet,” said Okatani, “But also, we saw on social media that the people who actually played it saw that it’s a completely different game.”
The producer further explained that he believed “the mechanic of having the things you shoot stay” around in the arena during the match is “very unique. He also told VGC that it would be an honor if fans of Foamstars and Splatoon eventually created a nickname for the odd genre.
When Square Enix was asked by the outlet to actually provide a genre name they finally offered: “online party shooter.” Good enough, I guess. I’d prefer something like Inkfoamers or Foamsplatters.
Will Foamstars find a playerbase?
Elsewhere in the interview, Okatani acknowledged that the biggest risk for Foamstars isn’t being compared to Splatoon or people making too many bodily fluid jokes, but instead, that it’s a PvP game that needs a lot of people playing it all the time to succeed. And that’s not easy to pull off in an era where Fortnite, Warzone, and other free-to-play shooters are topping the charts. To help Foamstars succeed, Square Enix is taking the Rocket League/Fall Guys approach and launching on PS Plus as a free game for one month.
Square Enix’s executive director of publishing strategy, Rich Briggs, told VGC that he hoped the PS Plus deal would help the game rapidly build up a community and playerbase.
“It’s a big part of how we can build that Foamstars community right out of the gate – making sure that we can have the entire PS Plus install base have access to the game for free for a full month, and you can keep it as long as you’ve got a valid subscription,” said Briggs. “When we get those players experiencing it, that becomes our community for the long-term. Having that really big launch just felt like an easy win.”
It’s also an easy way to get a lot of people to try your shooter and stop making Splatoon and cum jokes about it. The question is: Will people actually stick around and keep playing the game after it launches on PS5 via PS Plus on February 6? That remains to be seen.