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Nintendo’s baffling M-rated teaser scared the crap out of me

Published Jul 10th, 2024 2:57PM EDT
Emio is a new M-rated game from Nintendo.
Image: Nintendo

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When you think of Nintendo, cute and cuddly characters like Kirby, Yoshi, and Pikachu probably come to mind. That’s why I was completely taken off guard by a new teaser trailer the company shared on its YouTube channel earlier today.

Nintendo uploaded a 15-second video on YouTube titled Emio this week. The video features a person with a paper bag over their head. The paper bag has a smiley face on it, and a distinctly creepy music box melody is playing in the background. We also see the ESRB’s M rating. At the end of the teaser, three Japanese characters appear on the screen, which translates to “Smiling Man” in English (h/t ZombiePyroNinja on Reddit).

Other than the trailer, all we have to go on is a page on Nintendo’s Japanese website.

The last thing I expected from Nintendo on a random Wednesday in July was a terrifying trailer for a horror game. I genuinely can’t remember the last time that Nintendo was this cryptic about a game. Neither the video nor the website features any logos for other developers or publishers, which seems to imply that Nintendo is publishing this game as well.

One possibility is that this is a collaboration with Bloober Team, the developer of Layers of Fear, Observer, and The Medium. In February 2023, Bloober Team announced that it was working on a new title codenamed Project M:

Here’s what Bloober Team CEO Piotr Babieno said about Project M in an interview with Poland’s national news agency earlier this week:

Project M, although its budget is significantly smaller than the games we are working on at Bloober Team, is extremely important due to our long-term plans. In addition, we are working on it in cooperation with the world’s best game creators for Nintendo platforms, so we cannot afford to create just a decent game. […] The first announcements of Project M will appear later this year, and the title itself will open our second-party portfolio under the Broken Mirror Games brand.

Broken Mirror Games seemingly created a Twitter account in January of this year, and their only tweet so far is congratulating Nintendo on selling 140 million Switch consoles:

We still don’t know for sure if Project M and Emio are one and the same, but mark me down as super suspicious. We will be keeping an eye out for more news in the coming days—Nintendo typically doesn’t keep fans hanging for too long.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.