Splatoon Rainmaker
Two Splatoon teams surround the Rainmaker.Nintendo

Splatoon is getting a new ranked battle mode called Rainmaker, and it's arriving as a free update for the hit Wii U shooter early on 14 August at 3AM BST, and 13 August in North America (7pm PT, 10pm ET). The mode is the third to join ranked battles in the game.

As Splatoon's co-director Tsubasa Sakaguchi explains in an introduction to the new mode: "The two teams have to fight over control of the Rainmaker, and try to take it all the way to the other team's base. While one player is carrying the Rainmaker, the other plays will need to protect them. It's vital that you work together as a team."

The free update is the first since the huge update which launched last week, introducing 40 new pieces of gear, two maps, two matchmaking modes, new weapon types and raised the level cap from level 20 to level 50.

To date two game modes have been introduced to Splatoon in addition to the vanilla game type which sees opposing teams compete to cover as much of any given map's surface area in their team's ink as they can before the timer runs out. Splat Zones sees teams fighting for control of specific parts of each map, and Tower Controls sees them fighting for control of a moving tower which they must get to their base.

Splatoon has proved a big success for Nintendo both in terms of meeting and exceeding expectations, sales and their post-release strategy, which has seen the game endure in the public gaming consciousness far longer than anyone would have predicted.

Free content has been released on pretty much a weekly basis since release, and more has been promised until sometime in the Autumn.

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