Nintendo has ignored fans’ requests for Smash Ultimate DLC characters. That might seem negative, but it’s better for the game long-term.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of the biggest pieces of fan service ever to be released. What began as a Nintendo crossover fighting game has evolved into a title that includes some of gaming’s most recognizable faces, like Final Fantasy 7‘s Cloud and Sephiroth. The addition of third-party fighters has led fans to hope that Nintendo would pay attention to their most-requests character picks. Instead, the company has consistently ignored player demands and only released DLC characters it believes would make a good fit for the title, which has actually been positive for the series.
Although fans have loathed the number of Fire Emblem characters added to Smash Bros. over the years, leaving fighter choices up to Nintendo will make for better quality gameplay and make things simpler for developers moving forward. Gamers have long-requested famed franchise protagonists, like Kingdom Hearts‘ Sora and Dragon Ball‘s Goku, to be included in the cast. While both of those characters would be undeniably exciting to see in Smash Ultimate, consistently adhering to fan requests would result in fighters who feel shoehorned in the game and slower updates.
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Only adding the most-requested characters into Smash Ultimate would culminate in hordes of fans feeling left out of the decision-making process, even more so than now, and that’s not even the worst part. Developers would be forced to create fighters even if they don’t believe that the character would make a good fit for the title. That’s one aspect of development that Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai won’t budge on.
Smash Ultimate: Ignoring Fan Requests Is Smart
Sakurai revealed that the development of Smash prioritizes gameplay above all else during the livestream showcase of DLC character Terry Bogard from the Fatal Fury series (via NintendoLife). Listening to fans would eventually result in the team having to concede what they believe would make a solid fighter, resulting in awkward move set designs and unbalanced characters. Here’s Sakurai’s full statement.
Whether or not the character is fun to play as is more important than whether the character is new or old, or whether the character is recognizable to everyone.
To top it off, always appeasing fans would force Nintendo to gain approval from many intellectual property holders. That could substantially slow down DLC releases and even run-of-the-mill updates. Sakurai revealed that simply adding Smash Ultimate‘s Small Battlefield stage required every IP holder with music in the game to re-approve their respective deals because it wasn’t in their original agreements. That problem becomes exponentially worse the more third-party titles are introduced, so leaving the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character choices to Nintendo is for the best.
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