Nintendo has understandably promoted the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a multiplayer-centric game, but the recent Nintendo Direct video presentation for it culminated with a dazzling tease of its single-player mode, World of Light. Fils-Aime described the single-player mode as “exceptionally strong” and a way to get a story and unlock some characters, but in answering how extensive it might be for those not interested in multiplayer, he reiterated what the game’s primary appeal is: “Smash Bros. is best as, whether it’s couch [multiplayer] or internet-based [multiplayer] the fighting aspect really is what sets it apart.”
Last week, Smash director Masahiro Sakurai Tweeted about how the game’s post-release downloadable character line-up was “now complete” in terms of roster selection. In a pair of Tweets he noted that “this time the selection was made entirely by Nintendo” and he discouraged people from “flooding” Twitter replies with wishes for fans’ favorite characters when the developers aren’t asking for such feedback.
For the previous Smash games released on Wii U and 3DS in 2014, Nintendo ran a poll that encouraged fans to vote for who they wanted to see added to the game as downloadable content. It’s unclear how much impact the vote had, though the added character Bayonetta was revealed to have received a lot of votes. Sakurai’s new Tweets seemed to suggest there wouldn’t be any fan vote this time.
“I haven’t talked to him,” Fils-Aime said of Sakurai and his Tweets, “but I believe he was working hard to communicate two things: One, that the characters have been decided on. Second, that he is well in development on this, so please be patient. My interpretation is that there will be no fan polls, [and that] no independent poll trying to push Waluigi, as an example, will not influence the decisions that have already been made.”
Hey, he brought Waluigi up, not me. I had to ask: “Do we know? Do you know if Waluigi is or isn’t in the roster?”
“We’re not here to discuss that at this point in time,” Fils-Aime said.
He reiterated that the plan is for post-release characters to be sold bundled with new stages and music after release but said there weren’t plans for any other microtransactions for the game.
In terms of competitive gaming for the new Smash, Fils-Aime said Nintendo would continue to “work with the existing events that are in place, make the product available, encourage the community.” He said that Nintendo may create some events of their own but that the Activision-Blizzard model of creating their own leagues for Smash or any other game is “not an approach that we believe makes sense for our content.”
Post-Release Content For Nintendo Games Seems Here To Stay
It’s become more common than not for Nintendo, a company that long released games and didn’t add to them, to now offer lots of free and/or paid downloadable content for their games. Even the largely offline Kirby Star Allies is in the midst of a significant flow of free add-on characters and modes in the seven months since it came out. Fils-Aime called post-release content a “critical tactic” for the company, noting that “our developers understand that smart post-release content can drive ongoing engagement both with that particular game and to the platform.”
He mentioned that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s paid expansion “has done exceptionally well in our marketplace.”