Splatoon is highly unusual as a multiplayer shooter because you always get funnelled into the same large pool of players, who are pit against each other from the two maps that are currently in rotation at the time. On the Wii U, this made some sense- after all, Nintendo was putting out a new IP, highly dependant on an online population, on a console that simply had not sold enough.
For all Nintendo knew, Splatoon would bomb, and have minimal player numbers. In that case, splitting the userbase further by playlist or mode would have completely killed the game. Of course, that didn’t happen, and more to the point, Splatoon 2 is launching on a highly successful system. But Nintendo will be keeping the map rotation system in place in the new game, too.
The good news here is that the cycle has been reduced to 2 hours from 4- so if your favorite stage is not currently in the rotation, you just have to wait a couple of hours before it will be.
Splatoon 2 producer Hisashi Nogami explained the reasoning behind this decision in an interview with EDGE. “We feel that part of the gameplay is actually selecting which weapons would be best for that combination of two maps. In Splatoon 2, the maps rotate every two hours, so it’ll be a much faster cycle than the previous game.”
Splatoon 2 is due out exclusively on the Nintendo Switch this July.