Nintendo Delays Selling Indie Poker Game After Misunderstanding Sarcasm

The launch of "Sunshine Shuffle" has been delayed

Poker hand
The launch of a new poker-related video game hasn't gone as planned.
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Last week saw the release of Sunshine Shuffle, a video game from Strange Scaffold games, run by game designer Xalavier Nelson, Jr. The Gamer’s review of Sunshine Shuffle noted its use of “character building by way of poker” and praised the game for its “darker, more involved story.” In other words, this is a game in which you play poker with a group of characters who have done something bad — in this case, robbing a bank.

Also, all of the characters are adorable anthropomorphic animals. (The game’s page on notes the presence of “[a] seadog with an eyepatch named Fidelius.” It’s not hard to see the appeal of a game that blends virtual poker with aspects of a crime drama — and has a capybara as one of its main characters.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking to buy the game for your Nintendo Switch, you might not be able to do so. Writing at Polygon, Joshua Rivera got to the bottom of why — and it turns out Nintendo did not react well to a comment Nelson made online. Or as Nelson himself said on a video posted to Twitter, “I have goofed too close to the sun this time.”

As Polygon reports, Nelson apparently made a recurring joke that the game would get kids into gambling, in part to defuse potential criticism from people who might believe that it would do such a thing. Nintendo took this seriously enough to put a hold on its release for the Switch.

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Given that we live in a moment in history when bad-faith interpretations of just about anything are commonplace, it’s not hard to see why Nelson tried to minimize incorrect interpretations of this game before its release. But it’s also bizarre that Nintendo is still blocking the sale of it on its platforms. Currently, the game does have a page on the Nintendo eShop, but without any way to purchase it for the Switch — though Polygon’s article notes that it will be available there later this month.

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