Have you ever made an innocent joke that had an effect you never expected? If you answered in the affirmative, then you can relate to the curious case of Sunshine Shuffle, a game that received a ban for a harmless joke that got out of hand.
First, a bit of context. Sunshine Shuffle is a narrative video game where players will be able to learn the story of a cute group of animals that are actually criminals who robbed a bank. The interesting thing is that the plot takes place in a boat during a poker game. Of course, its visual style reminiscent of a children’s game contrasts with its narrative.
Due to their limited budget, studio Strange Scaffold was unable to afford a traditional marketing campaign, so they took to social media to promote the project. This strategy was also very helpful in overcoming production difficulties, as the developers could talk about the game online without the need to show actual footage.
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Nintendo Bans Sunshine Shuffle For A Harmless Prank
Then Xalavier Nelson Jr., head of the studio, pulled a prank on TikTok that cost him dearly. “I had to find a way to talk about this game that we care about and do it in a way that doesn’t depend on capturing perfect images,” he told Digital Trends.
Due to the childish art style and poker theme, some people accused the game of teaching and encouraging children to participate in gambling. Aware of these accusations, Xalavier Nelson Jr. decided to joke about it and published a video where he sarcastically suggests that the game teaches children to bet.
Of course, it is a joke that makes fun of user criticism. After all, Sunshine Shuffle doesn’t have loot boxes or real microtransactions, it’s a narrative experience. However, it seems that Nintendo took the joke literally and banned the Nintendo Switch version from being released.
Sunshine Shuffle arrived a few days ago on PC via Steam and Itch.io. However, the version for Nintendo Switch was conspicuous by its absence due to the prohibition of the Japanese company. Developer Xalavier Nelson Jr explained the situation in a video on Twitter, stating that it “flew too close to the sun.”
While he took the incident with humor, the Strange Scaffold director told Polygon that it was “one of the most stressful things” of his career. Interestingly, the game was also banned in South Korea on all platforms a couple of hours before the official release.
SUNSHINE SHUFFLE IS SUPPOSED TO COME OUT TOMORROW ON SWITCH AND PC
KEYWORD BEING “SUPPOSED TO”
APPARENTLY, MY SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN ABOUT THE GAME NOT TEACHING CHILDREN TO GAMBLE HAS UH
CONVINCED NINTENDO THAT THE GAME IS ABOUT CHILD GAMBLING pic.twitter.com/B8YY2zo0x0
— Xalavier Nelson Jr. (@WritNelson) May 23, 2023
Luckily, the misunderstanding was clarified and Nintendo reversed its decision, so Sunshine Shuffle arrived today, May 31, on the hybrid console of the big N. Of course, the title is still banned in South Korea. Hopefully, the incident will get more players interested in this proposition.
But tell us, what do you think of this case? Let us read you in the comments.
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