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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

FAKE NEWS on Nintendo Directs... and Stage Builder?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Time for yet another lesson on how to not do journalism.

I personally dislike writing about rumours and fake information on KoopaTV. It goes against this site's “truth and levity” mantra. However, I'm happy to trash what some people may consider my competition, and I enjoy taking irresponsible media outlets to task. Today we have two topics, one more egregious than the other, but both relating to recent Nintendo-related “leaks.”

Nintendo Direct and FAKE NEWS Journalism

There is this mediocre website out there called Gaming INTEL that self-proclaims to be “an independent video gaming news website founded in 2016.” They focus in having “a wide range of inside sources including data miners, allowing us to publish exclusive leaks and rumours about unannounced game details.” and promise “the most accurate information with the deepest insight into the gaming industry.”

Put another way, they're just another FAKE NEWS website with mediocre material appealing to the lowest common denominator of Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Apex Legends fans. For whatever reason, some Nintendo fans browsing this crappy website saw an article about a “LEAK” from an “inside source” (pluralised as “sources” in the headline) with a track record of being “correct on several occasions in the past” that there would be a Nintendo Direct occurring tomorrow, April 11. As of publishing the night of April 10, Nintendo hasn't announced a Direct, and they typically announce them the day before at the latest. It's safe to say this inside source, or multiple sources, or whatever, is just a pile of FAKE NEWS.

People believed them because, hey, the previous Nintendo Direct in February said that Version 3.0 in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would be coming out in April... why not showcase that in a Nintendo Direct for April right before the update launches? And so the article spread without any independent verification, with everyone believing the anonymous source from this garbage website. This particular website also claimed that a LEAK revealed a Nintendo Direct in January, which... never happened. (Europe doing a terrible indie presentation isn't a Nintendo Direct, contrary to their congratulatory patting on the back, and it wasn't the topic matter or date they suggested. I thought these guys said they had the most accurate information... or is that just a buzzword to them?)

And then other outlets picked up on it, believing that Gaming INTEL is a credible site to source from, rather than employing critical thinking or doing their own investigation. Gotta get some extra, sensational clicks with minimal effort by just relaying what a garbage site says. (And yet they won't cover Phoenix Wright's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate announcement trailer announced at an official event in a public venue!)

If you actually compare their awful journalism and what I've been saying so far to my How To Be A Good Consumer of Media guide from 2016, you'll notice it aligns perfectly. Read and understand that guide and you won't find yourself falling for FAKE NEWS.

Stage Builder in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn't “Confirmed”

While this issue isn't blatant FAKE NEWS and journalistic malpractice, the reporting on this still isn't quite the truth and it degrades journalistic integrity.

Take a gander at this Nintendo commercial, released yesterday. Not because I'm trying to sell you a Nintendo Switch, but because there's something in here that shouldn't be:

It's in the first two seconds. This commercial has gone “trending” with far more views than equivalent commercials in the Nintendo Switch My Way advertisements because it shows a Stage Builder option in the menu of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Stage Builder is not an option in the menu of the latest version of the game as of writing, 2.0.2.

(And for good reason, the Stage Builder sucks.) 

Stage Builder Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Switch My Way commercial
Left: The commercial portraying Stage Builder. (And Challengers Approach.)
Right: Version 2.0.2 right now. No Stage Builder. (And no Challengers Approach because I approached them all already.)

There are actually three possibilities, but the vast majority of viewers and media outlets are only considering the first one:
  1. Nintendo's marketing has access to Version 3.0, which introduces a Stage Builder mode. They accidentally (or purposefully, depending on how conspiratorial you are) included it in their footage for this commercial
  2. Nintendo's marketing is deprived of Challengers Approaching stock footage since it's an optional and niche limited-time mode, and all they have is this clip from a pre-release version of the game with Stage Builder mode, which was cut from the final release of the game. They accidentally included it in their footage for this commercial
  3. Both of the above are simultaneously correct. Stage Builder was cut content, but it's being re-introduced as new content for a post-launch update
I thought of the second option because I take my own advice and have my thinking heavily influenced by the Ace Attorney series, which encourages looking at situations from different perspectives to find the truth. I guess game journalists and media outlets don't tend to do that. That's why you see headlines like STAGE BUILDER CONFIRMED FOR VERSION 3.0!

Thinking that it's actually a pre-release build is not an impossible option. But in order to believe the first option that it's upcoming content, you'll also have to accept these two premises:
  1. Nintendo would rather rename “Mii Fighters” mode to “Mii Fighter” mode than find alternative ways to have three mode buttons fit in that space, despite the game encouraging people to make multiple Mii Fighters via in-game achievement
  2. Nintendo's marketing has access to Version 3.0, but not to Challenger Pack 1 with Joker and his stage, as seen by the lack of Joker's stage here: 
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stage selection Version 1 2 Nintendo Switch My Way
Notice at the top left of the commercial how it's an empty black space beneath Windy Hill Zone.
There probably should be a thumbnail of the new Persona stage there.

Usually, if development likes marketing enough to give them an advance copy of a new version, they get full powers to do what they want with it. That'd mean the Joker and Persona content wouldn't be locked. (Reminder that Joker and his stage come with Version 3.0... you just can't access it in playable form without paying up.)

Here's my point. It's probably likely (if you put options 1 and 3 at equal weights) that it's Version 3.0 footage, and there's a Stage Builder coming. But it's not confirmed or fool-proof.

Suggesting it is in your article is irresponsible.

I will say it's notable that the commercial hasn't been deleted/reuploaded yet, however. They want us to see that...

Ludwig is obviously jealous that low-effort sites can amass huge amounts of popularity in much less time than KoopaTV has been around. Either way, Gaming INTEL has deservedly been added to KoopaTV's list of sources to stay away from. Ludwig wishes Nintendo would announce their Directs far in advance to make scheduling and planning far easier. If the Direct slips the date, they could always blame a natural disaster.

Ludwig tried this devil's advocacy position before with arguing that Super Smash Bros. on the Switch could be a port. That didn't age well.
The Stage Builder was released and confirmed by Nintendo to be in 3.0.
There's FAKE NEWS even worse than this. The ultimate FAKE NEWS story, in fact.


  1. I am VERY conspiratorial, I'll have you know. And in the spirit of turning around one's way of thinking, what if the REAL conspiracy is, regardless of which of those 3 options were correct to begin with, to attempt to influence Nintendo to include a Stage Builder feature in a future build whether they intended to or not at the time of the commercial?

    OH! Or it could even be that Nintendo put it there on purpose to GAUGE INTEREST in the inclusion of a Stage Builder in future builds! We can't even say who is manipulating who, here! HOW DEEP DOES THIS GO?!

    1. HOLD IT!

      Uh... You're suggesting Nintendo's marketing is trying to influence Sakurai to include a Stage Builder mode by subtly faking one in a commercial?

      If Nintendo doesn't take fan petitions into account (and they do not as said by Reggie Fils-Aime, who is still president for a few days), why would they gauge interest like this?!

  2. Hey, I said I was being conspiratorial. As in, paranoid and loony. :P But since you ask, it could be that Sakurai doesn't want to bother with making the stage builder mode unless there's interest, but he does if there is. So maybe he secretly slipped in that fake mode option himself somehow. That'd mean it wasn't NINTENDO and their policies on gauging interest doing this, but Sakurai or heck, I dunno, SOMEONE being sneaky.

    So, whoever this mastermind is, they are, as true masterminds should, playing and using everyone and everything else on the board as their pawns. If they exist at all of course, which I don't seriously believe--this is just me having a bit of fun.

    1. I'm obviously conspiratorial and I consider myself perfectly sane!

      I can think of several reasons why Stage Builder would get removed during development. Maybe it wouldn't work with Stage Morph. Maybe it'd screw up the ink left behind by Inkling's Roller, which Sakurai noted was a challenge during development to make that work.

      (I don't think Sakurai would personally work on a Nintendo of America Switch commercial, even if you're a conspiratorial lunatic. Dude's gonna have his IV drip on the plane to the West Coast USA.)

      Glad you're having a bit of fun with your commentary though!

  3. And now you have to retract a claim from this article.

    1. "(And for good reason, the Stage Builder sucks.)"

      You can make giraffe stages then and now you can make giraffe stages even better looking.

    2. I will not retract my claim that the Stage Builder sucks, and making sucky stages slightly prettier doesn't change their suckiness.

      More details tomorrow.


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