In a surprise announcement from Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct, Tetris 99 was revealed to be new take on the classic Tetris formula and is available now through the Nintendo Switch’s eShop.
The battle royale genre has spread to every possible platform and shown up in some unlikely places, but Tetris is perhaps one of the most surprising places it’s landed. Still, that’s exactly what Nintendo Switch owners have now with the new Tetris 99 pitting 99 players against one another to see who will be the last one standing.
“The iconic puzzle game arrives with an online experience like no other,” Nintendo said during the Direct. “Nintendo Switch Online members can battle for dominance in this free-to-download game. If you’re attacked with garbage, attack back to defeat the other 98 players and become the sole survivor.”
The iconic puzzle game #Tetris arrives, but with an online experience like no other–99 players enter, but only one reigns supreme! #Tetris99 is available to download now, exclusively for #NintendoSwitchOnline Members. pic.twitter.com/iLWG08pmIi— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 13, 2019
Tetris 99 is a game that’s free to download as Nintendo explained during its Direct, but you’ll have to be a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber to download it. Most Nintendo Switch owners who’ve been active in online games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate likely already have a subscription anyway, so they can get this game as a bonus.
Though Tetris 99 doesn’t exactly sound like it’ll be a console buyer, the release of the game does fall in line with Nintendo’s recent commitments to incentivize Nintendo Switch Online users into extending their subscription. Several days ago, it was revealed during Nintendo’s earnings call that a “growing percentage” of Nintendo Switch Online subscribers were opting for shorter plans rather than subscribing for a full year. Nintendo’s president said that, in light of that data, the company was “planning ways to boost the appeal of the service on a yearly basis.” Nintendo said it had more details to announce soon, so while more is expected to come, it’s likely this Tetris 99 release was part of that initiative.
A large focus of the Nintendo Direct was put on Fire Emblem: Three Houses, a game which now has a release date. Nintendo also revealed it would be remaking The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Nintendo Switch.