The makers of Splatoon 2 don’t really think players need voice chat to enjoy the game. Having dumped a ton of hours into the original without the ability to talk to others, I can agree.
Speaking with Game Informer, Producer Hisashi Nogami indicated that they think visual cues are more important than voice chat when it comes to playing Splatoon.
First off, I think it’s appropriate to say that we think that voice chat is a type of communication that’s not necessarily required for players to enjoy the game. At its core in the multiplayer gameplay, we think the most important thing is to be constantly paying attention to the conditions on the ground in the stage you’re playing and to think about what your teammates are doing and what might the opponents be doing. That’s sort of a core gameplay element.
The good news for fans and more dedicated gamers is that the developers didn’t simply stop there this time around. They decided to add voice chat to appease gamers with different needs and wants.
Here’s Nogami again:
But, it’s true that in the development of its community, there have appeared a number of high-level players and players who want to take the game more seriously. For players like that who want to take their communication and coordination to the next level, we wanted to answer their expectations by including something like voice chat.
It’s also natural that talking to your friends is fun. So even for the players who are serious minded, we’ve realized that being able to share the experience via voice chat is fun and we wanted to make that possible for them. We wanted to include voice chat as an option for voice chat in Splatoon 2 without giving people the feeling that you need voice chat in order to play Splatoon 2.
You’ll be able to chat with friends in Splatoon 2; though, how that will work with the Nintendo smartphone application and whatever else is required remains to be seen.
Splatoon 2 will release for the Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2017.