Even though the developers were nervous about them, motion controls in Splatoon have caught on with a lot of players. Director of the game Tsubasa Sakaguchi has revealed that a vast majority of players use its optional motion controls when playing the game.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Sakaguchi said that 70-80 percent of all Splatoon players use the game's gyro controls. The gyro effectively replaces the right stick, letting you aim and look around by moving the Wii U's GamePad around. The game doesn't force players to use the motion controls, either. They are fully optional, and players can easily switch to more traditional shooter controls.
Sakaguchi stated that the high number of players using the gyro could be due to its precision. "From our point of view, we think that the gyro controls are the best way to play Splatoon, the reason being there are two main movements you need for a shooter," he explained. "One is moving the body, the other is aiming where you're shooting. In that sense, we think for Splatoon the gyro gives that subtle movement and more precise actions to be able to really experience the game in a much better way."
But this doesn't mean that the developer was completely confident in the motion controls. Sakaguchi was worried that the gyro would prove too challenging to master, and players would opt for the traditional controls. "We were slightly concerned about whether users might feel the gyro controls were a little bit difficult," he said. "But I like to use the analogy of riding a bicycle. You need a lot of practice, but once you've learned [it], the bicycle becomes one with your body and it opens the whole world to you. In that sense, we're really happy that many users have learned to ride the bicycle!"