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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

With Nintendo Deciding Smash Ultimate DLC Characters, Will Fortnite Get In?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Reminder of Nintendo's priorities.

Apparently in the past, character selection in the Super Smash Bros. franchise was just up to the series director, Masahiro Sakurai.

I'll get to my thoughts on a certain new character that appeared in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct at the beginning of the month in a later article (I'm thinking tomorrow), but right now I want to address the five unannounced DLC characters that the Fighters Pass will comprise of:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass those who are confident in its value should purchase it
Only those who are confident in its value should purchase the Fighters Pass.
If Nintendo is calling all the shots for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC, what do you think Nintendo's decision criteria is? And by Nintendo, think the executive-level team. Well, Nintendo just put out a commercial two weeks ago that should illuminate their thinking:

Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Mario Party Fortnite Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu Eevee Labo Kart 8 Deluxe
For the Nintendo Switch, they're currently prioritising the likes of Fortnite, Nintendo Labo, and Pokémon: Let's Go.

Other major Nintendo priorities (aside from celebrating Fortnite with its ~50% attach rate, plus Nintendo Labo, and Pokémon: Let's Go) right now are Nintendo Switch Online (I'm not sure how they pick a character from this), their mobile games like Dragalia Lost, and upcoming games such as Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Switch. Some of those don't make much sense for character inspiration (...not another Animal Crossing character, right?) but Nintendo is much more likely to stick to their priorities than give us characters that don't represent big revenue potential. You know, they won't go for niche third party characters like Phoenix Wright (Ace Attorney) or Travis Touchdown (No More Heroes), or anyone from a dead franchise like Advance Wars.

You can bet that Nintendo will go with calculated decision-making that matches business needs, rather than whatever process Sakurai would go through. Getting a character, a stage, and music in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a great honour and a big recognition/advertisement opportunity for the recipient. I'm sure there are many game franchises you got introduced to because they were in a Super Smash Bros. game. It's in Nintendo's interest to maximise that effect for revenue.

That might also include using a DLC spot or two to further a relationship with a business partner or third party. You know, a “I put your character in Super Smash Bros. and you develop or port your game to the Switch.” quid pro quo. That might be why Cloud got into Super Smash Bros. 4 to begin with! And now Square Enix is porting a bunch of Final Fantasy games onto the Switch.

I wouldn't want to go anywhere near that Fighters Pass. The five fighters might just be some dancing Fortnite avatar, a Nintendo Labo, Eevee, an anime-looking character from Dragalia Lost, and an ugly protagonist from Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

No thanks. I'm pretty happy with the roster as it is.

Though, given history, one of those DLC fighters will turn out to be the best character in the game.

Ludwig finds what Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is doing with its DLC practice to be despicable and he's not sure why anyone would defend paying for things without knowing what's in it. It's the ObamaCare of videogames. Let Ludwig know in the comments section if you disagree!

Here's the article about Piranha Plant.


  1. Eevee is on the list of Poké Ball Pokemon so you are safe from having it as playable.

  2. You made quite an apt comparison in the footnote. I would also say it is similar to purchasing loot boxes since you never know what you are going to get. While it will take months before knowing all the details, I would rather be patient so I do not end up wasting $25 over characters and stages that I could not care less about.

    1. Yes, I do think my comparison is brilliant. You need to pass it to find out what's in it!


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