Just when we were starting to get excited for the next chapter in Smash Bros Ultimate DLC, with a total six DLC fighters set to come to the Nintendo Switch game in the coming year, it looks like there may be a spanner (plumber?) in the works.
Game director Sakurai has spoken out about difficulties with development for the next wave of Smash Bros Ultimate DLC characters, detailing how a presentation on a new fighter was canceled amid travel restrictions implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The comments below are a translation from the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu – via NintendoEverything – so wording should be taken as approximate, but it doesn’t bode well for Smash Bros fans chain-chomping at the bit for more fighters to play with.
Sakurai is quoted as saying: “Restrictions are also being put on business travel. It’s particularly difficult to meet with partners who are faraway. For example, Nintendo is headquartered in Kyoto, right? In this regard, it’s quite difficult for us to visit other companies.
“In my case, specifically, I was scheduled to give a presentation to a publisher on our plans for a certain new fighter; however the key parties were not able to get together, so it’s been postponed indefinitely.”
Sakurai also notes that, “if we were to find out someone in the office has the virus, I presume all of our buildings would be shut down. If that happens, development would have to be halted entirely. There’s a high probability of development not proceeding as scheduled, even if a new fighter were tentatively announced.”
A cold winter for Smash Bros DLC
We had expected the next fighter announcement quite soon, given the last Fighters Pass schedule was seasonal and saw a character dropped every 3 or so months.
While Sakurai’s comments pertain to one specific fighter, there’s certainly a knock-on effect, and it’s possible that the next planned DLC character being delayed would lead to the whole season of DLC being pushed back several months, if not longer.
There’s certainly enough fighters to be getting on with, after the base 74 fighters and additional five DLC characters making a total of 79.
We’re not entirely sure how exciting the new Fighters Pass will end up being, either, after Nintendo and Bandai Namco put out the relatively un-remembered Terry Bogart from Fatal Fury and yet another Fire Emblem character (Byleth). Is Smash Bros DLC really scraping the barrel so soon?
There are plenty of good characters waiting to be added into the game – even if Cuphead was cruelly relegated to a Mii Fighter costume rather than an entry in its own right. We do know that the lineup has been decided, though, so even Covid-19 won't change whatever plans that Nintendo has in place – likely another six Fire Emblem characters, if history has taught us anything.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.