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Official DLC Speculation Discussion Volume II

Evil Trapezium

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I mean, I kinda don't really care much for Streets of Rage... but I'm also absolutely that guy though when it comes to SEGA stuff:

We talk about Sonic: IT'S GAME TIME!
View attachment 313670



We talk about SEGA stuff that isn't Sonic... yawn
View attachment 313671
Then play some Streets of Rage 2 or I'm taking away all your Sonic games. Then play some Vectorman 1 & 2, Eswat, Alien Storm, Phantasy Star 1 - 4, gaining ground, Altered Beast, Bonanza Bros, Dynamite Headdy, Comix Zone, Shinobi 3, Space Harrier, Yakuza 0, Shenmue, Ecco the Dolphin, Ristar, Monster World, Fantasy Zone, Alien Soldier, Gunstar Heroes, Kid Chameleon, Shining Force 1 - 2, Golden Axe 1 - 3, Toejam & Earl, etc.

Like damn dude, the Sega Mega Drive Classics bundle is 91% off on Steam and you proclaim "you're absolutely that guy when it comes to Sega stuff"? Yet fall asleep when no one brings up Sonic? You clearly ain't in game time! You're stuck in green hill zone, just like Sonic Team.
 

SNEKeater

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I guess the problem here for Nintendo was Samus appearing in other platforms beyond Nintendo. Maybe having her shooting everyone, doing silly dances and all was a problem, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that if she didn't make it it was because Nintendo wasn't into the idea of Samus appearing on Xbox/Playstation/PC.

Kratos and Master Chief are available as skins in any platform, so I guess Samus would be the same.
 

Paraster

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I got a new topic: Since SOOOOOOO many characters' Classic Mode bosses are the Hands (which everyone's been getting tired of), if there were an Ultimate Deluxe or even an update to Ultimate where some chars' bosses are changed, what changes would you make to the Classic routes? My picks:
  • "New" Bosses
    • Bring back Rayquaza (turns into Mega Rayquaza as a phase 2)
    • Bring back Porky
  • Routes
    • Pikachu: boss is Rayquaza
    • Ness: boss is Porky
    • Peach: boss is Giga Bowser
    • Ice Climbers: route is themed around gradually increasing altitude (represented by the stages)
    • Falco: route is themed around opponents capable of flight; boss is Rayquaza
    • Mewtwo: boss is Porky
    • Pokemon Trainer: boss is Rayquaza
    • Lucas: boss is Porky
    • Sonic: boss is Porky
    • Greninja: boss is Rayquaza
    • Palutena: boss is Rayquaza or Dracula
    • Shulk: boss is Porky or Galleom
    • Bowser Jr.: route is themed around fighting protagonists from the Mario series (and DK/Yoshi subseries)
    • Banjo & Kazooie: route is themed around characters who have starred in platforming games
Does anyone else find it stupid that three different fighters have Classic Modes with a "duo/pair" theme?
 
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SNEKeater

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I think we're missing out on the real big question here...

Would it be Zero Suit or Power Suit Samus?
Probably Power Suit Samus, since is the most iconic one.

Having a cannon instead of a hand in one of her arms shouldn't be a problem, I think there are already a few characters/skins with only one hand.

Personally I really hope it will happen, maybe Nintendo wanted to do it but not now, and they want the skin to be announced/released close to potential Metroid news (2D Metroid, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Prime 4, whatever). Probably not, but hey, just a thought.

I don't care about Fortnite but Samus there would really helpful in terms of exposure, even within Nintendo's audience.
 

Ayumi Tachibana

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Messages
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Since you mentioned Diablo, I'd like to know from one of the people in Japan (tagging A Ayumi Tachibana ): how popular is Diablo there? I know it gets a few references in japanese games every once in a blue moon, but I'm curious about how popular it actually is.
I can't say Diablo was crazy popular like APEX or Fortnite today, but had/has some decent number of followers. But only in PC gamer crowd tho which wasn't that big until recently.
 

7NATOR

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I will say that regardless of whether the characters on the List will happen or not, It's nice to know that Fortnite has been talking to Japanese Based companies

Every other crossover in Fortnite is either based of a Western Company, or a Western branch of a Mainly Japanese Company (in the Case of Street Fighter and Tomb Raider)

I think we're missing out on the real big question here...

Would it be Zero Suit or Power Suit Samus?
Both

You REALLY want Shadow, don't you?
Yes. He's the only character I really want in the game that's realistic, and he's on the top of the list anyway even taking Realism out of the equation.

With that being said, I wouldn't be talking about Shadow as much as I do now, If I didn't think he could get into FP2. I largely stopped talking about Shadow until Extra DLC was announced, So I know when to quit. I'm not being biased when I make these speculation

Come sit on Papa Choco's lap and I'll tell you...

(Wait, that sounded less creepy in my head).

Euden would be our first representative from Nintendo's mobile market, which they have been trying pretty hard to get into. Not only that, he would be repping Dragalia Lost, Nintendo's first original IP on mobile, which STILL has no content in Smash whatsoever. Admittedly, Euden himself may be a bit samey, being another fire sword user. However, he could potentially come with a Dragon Shifting mechanic where he can turn into Midgardsormr, arguably the most iconic Dragon in the game. Think Pyra's transformation mechanic, except the two characters play completely differently, with Midgardsormr being a wind-based Dragon. I've also seen people suggest some sort of summoning mechanic to reference Dragalia Lost being a gacha, though admittedly I can't really imagine that working...

As for the content, the music is a definite plus, being something that everybody agrees is one of the best parts of the game. Granted, some songs may have potential issues due to being performed by actual Japanese singers (such as DAOKO and Mad Kid), but hey, we managed to get FF7 music eventually. Also, while I don't know how likely it would be, there is a chance they could include content from other CyGames properties, as similar to SNK, their games have been known to crossover with each other. In this case, content from Rage of Bahamut, Princess Connect!: Re:Dive, and maybe Granblue Fantasy should be on the table.

If it helps you any, here's a video making the case for Euden in Smash. I know I'm not the best at explaining things...

I actually think there's a likely chance for Cygames to get a character. Unlike many other potential characters, you could actually argue for them using only Ingame evidence and some Sakurai Quotes

I don't know if it would be Euden though
 

BlondeLombax

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I don't care about Fortnite but Samus there would really helpful in terms of exposure, even within Nintendo's audience.
I'm indifferent, too, but the sheer scale of the crossover aspect is amazing. You've got Street Fighter and the X-Men back together again, Marvel VS. DC (utterly impossible under normal circumstances), the goddamn Master Chief... I have to give massive kudos to the crossover alone.
 

PeridotGX

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As an amendment, I think we should also allow responses to gameplay pitches (Movesets, stages, Spirits, etc.) to be exempt from the question limits; Those would only apply to questions that start the conversation. In addition, responses to the answers should be fine if they're continuing that topic. However, you can't say "Another question, so-and-so..." unless you've waited the required time before posting.
(quoting this post because I want to add to the idea)

I think a book-club style thing would be an interesting addition to this. We choose a game to play, and discuss it for a week or so. Actually playing a game can help with getting interested in an idea - I couldn't have cared less about Megaman X before playing his games, now he's one of my most wanteds. It would also help more niche characters.

Obviously there are some obstacles to this - not everyone owns the same systems, cost might be an issue and not everyone is ok with less-legal means of acquiring games, but i think it would be neat.
 

Rie Sonomura

always on the outside, through a window looking in
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I can't say Diablo was crazy popular like APEX or Fortnite today, but had/has some decent number of followers. But only in PC gamer crowd tho which wasn't that big until recently.
I wonder, how popular IS Apex Legends in Japan?
 

SharkLord

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(quoting this post because I want to add to the idea)

I think a book-club style thing would be an interesting addition to this. We choose a game to play, and discuss it for a week or so. Actually playing a game can help with getting interested in an idea - I couldn't have cared less about Megaman X before playing his games, now he's one of my most wanteds. It would also help more niche characters.

Obviously there are some obstacles to this - not everyone owns the same systems, cost might be an issue and not everyone is ok with less-legal means of acquiring games, but i think it would be neat.
Hmm... Could be interesting, but on the other hand, I'm not sure how willing people would be to just immediately buy a game, especially if they don't know much about it or aren't a big fan of the genre. That might make things a bit tricky.

In other news, I've gone to the big SB questions thread and asked about how the pinned threads work. I think a general but organized thread like the Character Exploration Thread pitch would be something that should be pinned up there like with RTC and the Echo voting thread (Which is dead, unfortunately), but I don't know the critieria for all this and so I went to there to ask about it.
 
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Then play some Streets of Rage 2 or I'm taking away all your Sonic games. Then play some Vectorman 1 & 2, Eswat, Alien Storm, Phantasy Star 1 - 4, gaining ground, Altered Beast, Bonanza Bros, Dynamite Headdy, Comix Zone, Shinobi 3, Space Harrier, Yakuza 0, Shenmue, Ecco the Dolphin, Ristar, Monster World, Fantasy Zone, Alien Soldier, Gunstar Heroes, Kid Chameleon, Shining Force 1 - 2, Golden Axe 1 - 3, Toejam & Earl, etc.

Like damn dude, the Sega Mega Drive Classics bundle is 91% off on Steam and you proclaim "you're absolutely that guy when it comes to Sega stuff"? Yet fall asleep when no one brings up Sonic? You clearly ain't in game time! You're stuck in green hill zone, just like Sonic Team.

WHOA!

Settle down my dude, I was going for a joke. Memes and all that. Vidya gamez ain’t worth getting worked up over
 

Perkilator

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Then play some Streets of Rage 2 or I'm taking away all your Sonic games. Then play some Vectorman 1 & 2, Eswat, Alien Storm, Phantasy Star 1 - 4, gaining ground, Altered Beast, Bonanza Bros, Dynamite Headdy, Comix Zone, Shinobi 3, Space Harrier, Yakuza 0, Shenmue, Ecco the Dolphin, Ristar, Monster World, Fantasy Zone, Alien Soldier, Gunstar Heroes, Kid Chameleon, Shining Force 1 - 2, Golden Axe 1 - 3, Toejam & Earl, etc.
Don't forget games like House of the Dead and Sakura Wars, just to name a couple
 

Ayumi Tachibana

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I wonder, how popular IS Apex Legends in Japan?
Literally to the point every Streamer is playing for views. Even Smash pros are getting pretty deep into it.
For a game like this, highjacking Shibuya billboards is pretty remarkable to say the least.
 

PSIGuy

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Well, not every Earthbound fan wants Porky as playable, some prefer other characters or are fine with Ness and Lucas (and are content with him as a boss).
It's funny, I've been going through a bunch of my old stuff that my dad brought down. Lots of EarthBound merchandise I ordered when Fangamer was started, my first print Mother 3 Handbook, tons of pins and miscellaneous stuff. These games were huge parts of my life especially in the 2000s and early 2010s. Rereading the Mother 3 Handbook in particular reminds me how I followed the translation closely - it used to be two separate projects that merged, for instance.

But when it comes to Porky in Smash I couldn't care less. I love these games, but I discovered them through Smash originally and I'd rather discover more new things through Smash than retread old ground over and over. Every game in the series has a stage, multiple music tracks, most recurring game elements are in. There's more than enough things to get someone into the series.



also porky kinda sucks even if we needed a third Mother character, gimme

FLINT
 
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Gazorpazorpfield

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Literally to the point every Streamer is playing for views. Even Smash pros are getting pretty deep into it.
For a game like this, highjacking Shibuya billboards is pretty remarkable to say the least.
Surprising that the first Western Shooter game to make it big in Japan is Apex. Though didn't Fortnite have some legit popularity before it? At any rate, maybe DOOM and the Boomer-Shooter crew are too PC-centric for them, whereas Halo is locked to Xbox. I'm a big FPS guy, so I'm glad they're seeing some of the appeal, even if I don't care for the Battle Royale format.
 

Mushroomguy12

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I guess the problem here for Nintendo was Samus appearing in other platforms beyond Nintendo. Maybe having her shooting everyone, doing silly dances and all was a problem, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that if she didn't make it it was because Nintendo wasn't into the idea of Samus appearing on Xbox/Playstation/PC.

Kratos and Master Chief are available as skins in any platform, so I guess Samus would be the same.
Yup, considering the Bowser and DK Skylander figures don't work on any of the non Nintendo versions of Skylanders and you can't use the Mario Minecraft skins on any non Nintendo version of Minecraft (and you can't even use them in cross play), you're probably right.
 
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Yup, considering the Bowser and DK Skylander figures don't work on any of the non Nintendo versions of Skylanders and you can't use the Mario Minecraft skins on any non Nintendo version of Minecraft (and you can't even use them in cross play), you're probably right.

Am I incorrect in believing that one of the older Marvel Ultimate Alliance games wanted Samus and Link in it and it ended up not happening?
 

PSIGuy

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Am I incorrect in believing that one of the older Marvel Ultimate Alliance games wanted Samus and Link in it and it ended up not happening?
I think they showed it off on a PS2 (while their intention was it'd only be on Gamecube - the PS2 was just used for testing) but Nintendo didn't like seeing their characters on a Sony console.
 
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I think they showed it off on a PS2 (while their intention was it'd only be on Gamecube) but Nintendo didn't like seeing their characters on a Sony console.

AH HA! I KNEW I was COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! And I still am :) SO cool. And so right, too.

Samus getting kicked out of non-Smash crossovers again and again. No new Metroid games currently announced. Eventually Samus's next adventure will be "Samus Gives Up Bounty Hunting and Just Goes to Burger King Instead".

I bet she likes Original Chicken Sandwich with the Diet Cherry Doctor Pepper
 
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SKX31

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Hmm... Could be interesting, but on the other hand, I'm not sure how willing people would be to just immediately buy a game, especially if they don't know much about it or aren't a big fan of the genre. That might make things a bit tricky.
The solution is, of course, F2P. :4pacman:

Surprising that the first Western Shooter game to make it big in Japan is Apex. Though didn't Fortnite have some legit popularity before it? At any rate, maybe DOOM and the Boomer-Shooter crew are too PC-centric for them, whereas Halo is locked to Xbox. I'm a big FPS guy, so I'm glad they're seeing some of the appeal, even if I don't care for the Battle Royale format.
IIRC Fortnite has gained a strong foothold in Japan, but it took a couple years for it to get there. Not entirely sure if it's the biggest BR in the country (that might go to Apex / PUBG Mobile I believe? / the mobile Knives Out game still), but it's far from obscure.

Edit: Changed around wording because I came across this CoroCoro survey where Japanese kids (younger than the target audience for Shonen, as the article notes) voted - which Fortnite topped.

also porky kinda sucks even if we needed a third Mother character, gimme

FLINT
Wait. Oh god I never realized back then that this animation and this "Flint" guy was the Mother 3 character. Back then I thought that this guy was an OC or something obscure (technically, he kinda... is? Well, shouldn't have said that.).

Gets nostalgic flashbacks to ca. 2007-2009.
 
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also porky kinda sucks even if we needed a third Mother character, gimme

FLINT

Lord in heaven I remember this little doodle show. SO MANY UNREASONABLY VIOLENT ARGUMENTS about Smash Bros Brawl prior to release, but not as bad as it was for 3DS/Wii U. Ultimate, people seemed to be more cool, but there have been some uncool people lately. But yeah hahahaha seeing this blasted thing made me think of one of the first 4Chan type leaks that I ever saw, trying to convince us that Hell itself was gonna be a stage in the new Super Smash Bros... we were young and dumb enough to believe it for a bit, 4chan leaks weren't the "dime a dozen" thing they are now. Very clearly, the Super Smash Bros have not gone to Hell so it was false. I seem to remember it prior to Brawl's announcement. And how all encompassing Brawl's announcement was, finding my friend back then (he's a jackamule now we don't talk) and telling him that Solid Snake was in the new MGS and there was some other doodle cartoon show of some kind showing Snake running around snapping their necks and such and we watched that and giggled. I believe that was also around the time that the MGS4 trailer showed it as an FPS game saying "Nowhere to hide.... it may be FPS, but it's still MGS"


DUDE! You've awakened SO MANY MEMORIES! WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING?!
 

chocolatejr9

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Literally to the point every Streamer is playing for views. Even Smash pros are getting pretty deep into it.
For a game like this, highjacking Shibuya billboards is pretty remarkable to say the least.
I don't think that's the EA rep people wanted... whoever they end up picking from Apex...

Seriously, who would they even pick?
 

DanganZilla5

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I saw some people discussing Streets of Rage! That would be a very solid choice for Smash. Personally I see Axel Stone as a darkhorse pick though I can understand why many people don't see him as likely due to the series' very long hiatus and little fan support but man he would be a great choice. Streets of Rage is one of the first games you think of when you hear the term beat em up and is a staple of the genre. I would love for the genre to get a rep and Streets of Rage definitely deserves it in my eyes.

I don't think that's the EA rep people wanted... whoever they end up picking from Apex...

Seriously, who would they even pick?
Assuming that you are talking about EA as a whole and not just a character from Apex (Since I know jack **** about Apex), I think the clear choice is Plants vs Zombies. The original is a beloved classic that did get a DS port and the series s getting a new game soon. Personally I see Crazy Dave as their frontrunner. I could also maybe see Battlefield, Mass Effect or Dead Space but I don't think those are happening for multiple reasons. But it's not like EA in general is super likely with them only supporting the Switch in very recent times.
 

Pacack

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So, I wanted to write something up simply to discuss my perspective on the direction Smash speculation has gone on these forums recently. I went through a long period simply not engaging in speculation, and when I came back some very significant changes had happened in regards to what characters started to be discussed frequently.

On the one hand, there are perfectly plausible characters that people overlooked for a long time which are now incredibly common topics of speculation. With new information coming to light and people readjusting their priors, it's only natural that we would start to consider some options that make perfect sense. I'm thinking characters like Eggman, Ryu Hayabusa, and even Master Chief. Third parties from companies with preexisting ties to Smash who were overlooked because of one reason or another, but who have undeniable places in gaming history.

On the other hand, some characters that used to be popularly discussed have fallen out of mainstream speculation. Rayman is easily the most significant third party example off the top of my head (I'm shocked that he's not mentioned more often.) But the vast majority of these characters are first parties like Paper Mario, Captain Toad, Dixie Kong, Impa, and Bandana Dee to a lesser extent. (I do still see his supporters around.) They do all have some dedicated fans and see occasional discussion, but not with anywhere near the frequency they used to see on these forums. (I would single out a Pokemon if there was a clear frontrunner, but Pokemon generally has received a lot less attention as of late as well.)

I figure that this is just a matter of there being a lot of excitement over the possibility of new third party characters. But I do think it would be a mistake to write them off. I'd go as far to say that there are some first party characters who should be discussed which have never inspired much discussion. I've believed since the success of New Horizons that Tom Nook deserved more serious consideration, for example. (New Horizons is the second best selling Switch title, behind only Mario Kart.) Maybe I've just been gone for the periods when these discussions happened, but it's odd to me to see so few people discussing first party possibilities that used to be synonymous with character speculation.

Then there's the opposite end of the spectrum to consider. While it's easily explained as a result of Sephiroth catching everyone off-guard, I've seen lots of discussion of third parties who weren't on anyone's radar because of very legitimate concerns. Namely, third parties whose companies have no existing connection to Smash or who aren't recognized by a wide swath of people. Alternatively, characters from very popular franchises in the West that have next to no popularity in Japan.

I honestly and truly do not mean for this to come across as flaming any particular character or their supporters. I totally understand loving a franchise or character and wanting to see them included.

That said, I feel like people have forgotten what Sakurai is on record as saying regarding third party inclusions in particular.
Sakurai said:
While it’s true that we’ve added characters from other companies, It’s not going to be anyone and everyone.

Smash is a game that’s made from everyone’s effort. Both companies have to want the character to join the battle. I need them to let me take charge of the character. In order to fit the character into the world of Smash, I need them to allow me some artistic license.

The character must carry game history with them. Besides that, it might be something like a courtesy to include a character who has the experience of being on a Nintendo platform.
I also consider Sakurai's actions regarding third party characters as giving insight into what those qualifications he lays out mean in practical terms. Consider the sales for the third party franchises in Smash:
  • Metal Gear (1987) - 56.9 million
  • Sonic (1991) - 144.91 million
  • Mega Man (1987) - 36 million
  • Pac-Man (1980) - 44.581 million (Original Pac-Man's arcade revenue is $16.47 billion dollars given 2021 inflation.)
  • Street Fighter (1987) - 45 million (Street Fighter II's arcade revenue is $10.33 billion dollars given 2021 inflation.)
  • Final Fantasy (1987) - 159 million
  • Bayonetta (2009) - difficult to pin down sales numbers, but a notable outlier, likely around 2 million. That said, Nintendo's funding of the series makes her a strange case. Critical reviews were also very good for the game.
  • Castlevania (1987) - at least 20 million, likely higher
  • Megami Tensei (1987) - 22.2 million
    • Persona (1996) - 15 million
  • Dragon Quest (1986) - 82 million
  • Banjo-Kazooie (1998) - difficult to pin down, but the N64 games sold 6.65 million. Also an outlier and strange case given Rare's previous second-party status.
  • Fatal Fury/King of Fighters (1991) - I genuinely cannot find sales data or revenue numbers for the arcade games.
  • Minecraft (2009/2011) - 200 million
Averaging those numbers together, the average sales of third party franchises represented in Smash Bros is 67.67 million units. This implies that, while not the singular factor, sales absolutely do matter.

Also of note, the most recent of these franchises is the best selling, while the second youngest is published by Nintendo. This implies to me that the "game history" requirement is taken quite seriously, and franchises aren't going to be added to Smash unless they're either long-running or significant in some other way.

Of the thirteen third parties in Smash, only two (Banjo-Kazooie and Minecraft) are owned by a non-Japanese company, and in both cases, they're owned by Microsoft. Both of these cases are also exceptional, with Banjo-Kazooie previously being a second-party franchise and Minecraft being the best selling game of all time. This implies to me that, for whatever reason, Japanese franchises are significantly more likely to be in Smash than non-Japanese ones.

Also worth noting is that these thirteen third party franchises are only owned by seven companies, and only two of these companies have just a single character (SNK and Bandai Namco). Personally, I take that to imply that it's easier to negotiate for a second or third character from the same company than it is to negotiate with an entirely new one.

Finally, breaking down the genres of the third party franchises in Smash, four are platformers, three are JRPGs, two are fighting games, one is stealth, one is a hack-n-slash, and one is an open-world sand-box. While I don't think too much can be read into this, I do think that characters from platformers or fighting games are particularly easy to implement given Smash's nature as a platform fighting game, which may be a point in their favor.

All of this is a long-winded way of me saying that...maybe we should still assume that third party characters have to have exceptional qualifications to be added to Smash.


tl;dr: Speculation has changed a lot since I was following it regularly, in both positive and negative ways. My main point is to caution that third party inclusions are still the exception, not the norm. There are requirements that we know third party inclusions have to meet. When characters catch us off-guard, it's good to adjust our priors, but we need to be careful not to overcompensate too much. Hype responsibly.
 
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JOJONumber691

Smash Lord
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
1,002
So, I wanted to write something up simply to discuss my perspective on the direction Smash speculation has gone on these forums recently. I went through a long period simply not engaging in speculation, and when I came back some very significant changes had happened in regards to what characters started to be discussed frequently.

On the one hand, there are perfectly plausible characters that people overlooked for a long time which are now incredibly common topics of speculation. With new information coming to light and people readjusting their priors, it's only natural that we would start to consider some options that make perfect sense. I'm thinking characters like Eggman, Ryu Hayabusa, and even Master Chief. Third parties from companies with preexisting ties to Smash who were overlooked because of one reason or another, but who have undeniable places in gaming history.

On the other hand, some characters that used to be popularly discussed have fallen out of mainstream speculation. Rayman is easily the most significant third party example off the top of my head (I'm shocked that he's not mentioned more often.) But the vast majority of these characters are first parties like Paper Mario, Captain Toad, Dixie Kong, Impa, and Bandana Dee to a lesser extent. (I do still see his supporters around.) They do all have some dedicated fans and see occasional discussion, but not with anywhere near the frequency they used to see on these forums. (I would single out a Pokemon if there was a clear frontrunner, but Pokemon generally has received a lot less attention as of late as well.)

I figure that this is just a matter of there being a lot of excitement over the possibility of new third party characters. But I do think it would be a mistake to write them off. I'd go as far to say that I think there are some first party characters that should be discussed which have never inspired much discussion that I've been there for. I've believed since the success of New Horizons that Tom Nook deserved more serious consideration, for example. (New Horizons is the second best selling Switch title, behind only Mario Kart.) Maybe I've just been gone for the periods when these discussions happened, but it's odd to me to see so few people discussing first party possibilities that used to be synonymous with character speculation.

Then there's the opposite end of the spectrum to consider. While it's easily explained as a result of Sephiroth catching everyone off-guard, I've seen lots of discussion of third parties who weren't on anyone's radar because of very legitimate concerns. Namely, third parties whose companies have no existing connection to Smash or who aren't recognized by a wide swath of people. Alternatively, characters from very popular franchises in the West that have next to no popularity in Japan.

I honestly and truly do not mean for this to come across as flaming any particular character or their supporters. I totally understand loving a franchise or character and wanting to see them included.

That said, I feel like people have forgotten what Sakurai is on record as saying regarding third party inclusions in particular.

I also consider Sakurai's actions regarding third party characters as giving insight into what those qualifications he lays out mean in practical terms. Consider the sales for the third party franchises in Smash:
  • Metal Gear (1987) - 56.9 million
  • Sonic (1991) - 144.91 million
  • Mega Man (1987) - 36 million
  • Pac-Man (1980) - 44.581 million (Original Pac-Man's arcade revenue is $16.47 billion dollars given 2021 inflation.)
  • Street Fighter (1987) - 45 million (Street Fighter II's arcade revenue is $10.33 billion dollars given 2021 inflation.)
  • Final Fantasy (1987) - 159 million
  • Bayonetta (2009) - difficult to pin down sales numbers, but a notable outlier, likely around 2 million. That said, Nintendo's funding of the series makes her a strange case. Critical reviews were also very good for the game.
  • Castlevania (1987) - at least 20 million, likely higher
  • Megami Tensei (1987) - 22.2 million
    • Persona (1996) - 15 million
  • Dragon Quest (1986) - 82 million
  • Banjo-Kazooie (1998) - difficult to pin down, but the N64 games sold 6.65 million. Also an outlier and strange case given Rare's previous second-party status.
  • Fatal Fury/King of Fighters (1991) - I genuinely cannot find sales data or revenue numbers for the arcade games.
  • Minecraft (2009/2011) - 200 million
Averaging those numbers together, the average sales of third party franchises represented in Smash Bros is 67.67 million units. This implies that, while not the singular factor, sales absolutely do matter.

Also of note, the most recent of these franchises is the best selling, while the second youngest is published by Nintendo. This implies to me that the "game history" requirement is taken quite seriously, and franchises aren't going to be added to Smash unless they're either long-running or significant in some other way.

Of the thirteen third parties in Smash, only two (Banjo-Kazooie and Minecraft) are owned by a non-Japanese company, and in both cases, they're owned by Microsoft. Both of these cases are also exceptional, with Banjo-Kazooie previously being a second-party franchise and Minecraft being the best selling came of all time. This implies to me that, for whatever reason, Japanese franchises are significantly more likely to be in Smash than non-Japanese ones.

Also worth noting is that these thirteen third party franchises are only owned by seven companies, and only two of these companies have just a single character (SNK and Bandai Namco). Personally, I take that to imply that it's easier to negotiate for a second or third character from the same company than it is to negotiate with an entirely new one.

Finally, breaking down the genres of the third party franchises in Smash, four are platformers, three are JRPGs, two are fighting games, one is stealth, one is a hack-n-slash, and one is an open-world sand-box. While I don't think too much can be read into this, I do think that characters from platformers or fighting games are particularly easy to implement given Smash's nature as a platform fighting game, which may be a point in their favor.

All of this is a long-winded way of me saying that...maybe we should still assume that third party characters still have to have exceptional qualifications to be added to Smash.


tl;dr: Speculation has changed a lot since I was following it regularly, in both positive and negative ways. My main point is to caution that third party inclusions are still the exception, not the norm. There are requirements that we know third party inclusions have to meet. When characters catch us off-guard, it's good to adjust our priors, but we need to be careful not to overcompensate too much. Hype responsibly.
Amen.
 

SharkLord

Smash Hero
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So, I wanted to write something up simply to discuss my perspective on the direction Smash speculation has gone on these forums recently. I went through a long period simply not engaging in speculation, and when I came back some very significant changes had happened in regards to what characters started to be discussed frequently.

On the one hand, there are perfectly plausible characters that people overlooked for a long time which are now incredibly common topics of speculation. With new information coming to light and people readjusting their priors, it's only natural that we would start to consider some options that make perfect sense. I'm thinking characters like Eggman, Ryu Hayabusa, and even Master Chief. Third parties from companies with preexisting ties to Smash who were overlooked because of one reason or another, but who have undeniable places in gaming history.

On the other hand, some characters that used to be popularly discussed have fallen out of mainstream speculation. Rayman is easily the most significant third party example off the top of my head (I'm shocked that he's not mentioned more often.) But the vast majority of these characters are first parties like Paper Mario, Captain Toad, Dixie Kong, Impa, and Bandana Dee to a lesser extent. (I do still see his supporters around.) They do all have some dedicated fans and see occasional discussion, but not with anywhere near the frequency they used to see on these forums. (I would single out a Pokemon if there was a clear frontrunner, but Pokemon generally has received a lot less attention as of late as well.)

I figure that this is just a matter of there being a lot of excitement over the possibility of new third party characters. But I do think it would be a mistake to write them off. I'd go as far to say that I think there are some first party characters that should be discussed which have never inspired much discussion that I've been there for. I've believed since the success of New Horizons that Tom Nook deserved more serious consideration, for example. (New Horizons is the second best selling Switch title, behind only Mario Kart.) Maybe I've just been gone for the periods when these discussions happened, but it's odd to me to see so few people discussing first party possibilities that used to be synonymous with character speculation.

Then there's the opposite end of the spectrum to consider. While it's easily explained as a result of Sephiroth catching everyone off-guard, I've seen lots of discussion of third parties who weren't on anyone's radar because of very legitimate concerns. Namely, third parties whose companies have no existing connection to Smash or who aren't recognized by a wide swath of people. Alternatively, characters from very popular franchises in the West that have next to no popularity in Japan.

I honestly and truly do not mean for this to come across as flaming any particular character or their supporters. I totally understand loving a franchise or character and wanting to see them included.

That said, I feel like people have forgotten what Sakurai is on record as saying regarding third party inclusions in particular.

I also consider Sakurai's actions regarding third party characters as giving insight into what those qualifications he lays out mean in practical terms. Consider the sales for the third party franchises in Smash:
  • Metal Gear (1987) - 56.9 million
  • Sonic (1991) - 144.91 million
  • Mega Man (1987) - 36 million
  • Pac-Man (1980) - 44.581 million (Original Pac-Man's arcade revenue is $16.47 billion dollars given 2021 inflation.)
  • Street Fighter (1987) - 45 million (Street Fighter II's arcade revenue is $10.33 billion dollars given 2021 inflation.)
  • Final Fantasy (1987) - 159 million
  • Bayonetta (2009) - difficult to pin down sales numbers, but a notable outlier, likely around 2 million. That said, Nintendo's funding of the series makes her a strange case. Critical reviews were also very good for the game.
  • Castlevania (1987) - at least 20 million, likely higher
  • Megami Tensei (1987) - 22.2 million
    • Persona (1996) - 15 million
  • Dragon Quest (1986) - 82 million
  • Banjo-Kazooie (1998) - difficult to pin down, but the N64 games sold 6.65 million. Also an outlier and strange case given Rare's previous second-party status.
  • Fatal Fury/King of Fighters (1991) - I genuinely cannot find sales data or revenue numbers for the arcade games.
  • Minecraft (2009/2011) - 200 million
Averaging those numbers together, the average sales of third party franchises represented in Smash Bros is 67.67 million units. This implies that, while not the singular factor, sales absolutely do matter.

Also of note, the most recent of these franchises is the best selling, while the second youngest is published by Nintendo. This implies to me that the "game history" requirement is taken quite seriously, and franchises aren't going to be added to Smash unless they're either long-running or significant in some other way.

Of the thirteen third parties in Smash, only two (Banjo-Kazooie and Minecraft) are owned by a non-Japanese company, and in both cases, they're owned by Microsoft. Both of these cases are also exceptional, with Banjo-Kazooie previously being a second-party franchise and Minecraft being the best selling came of all time. This implies to me that, for whatever reason, Japanese franchises are significantly more likely to be in Smash than non-Japanese ones.

Also worth noting is that these thirteen third party franchises are only owned by seven companies, and only two of these companies have just a single character (SNK and Bandai Namco). Personally, I take that to imply that it's easier to negotiate for a second or third character from the same company than it is to negotiate with an entirely new one.

Finally, breaking down the genres of the third party franchises in Smash, four are platformers, three are JRPGs, two are fighting games, one is stealth, one is a hack-n-slash, and one is an open-world sand-box. While I don't think too much can be read into this, I do think that characters from platformers or fighting games are particularly easy to implement given Smash's nature as a platform fighting game, which may be a point in their favor.

All of this is a long-winded way of me saying that...maybe we should still assume that third party characters still have to have exceptional qualifications to be added to Smash.


tl;dr: Speculation has changed a lot since I was following it regularly, in both positive and negative ways. My main point is to caution that third party inclusions are still the exception, not the norm. There are requirements that we know third party inclusions have to meet. When characters catch us off-guard, it's good to adjust our priors, but we need to be careful not to overcompensate too much. Hype responsibly.
I think Rayman kinda dropped off because he's just not as active as a franchise compared to the Smash 4 days. He's not exactly dormant, seeing as he still has that mobile game, but he hasn't had a real mainline game in a while and so he's just not in the spotlight anymore.

First-parties in general have dropped off due to a variety of reasons. The DLC doesn't seem to favor settings with a fighter already - The sole exception thus far being Sephiroth, from an infamously poorly-repped series - And a lot of the recent Nintendo releases have been given Spirit Events. All the DLC packs have had all the content from that series all in once place, at least in terms of the pass. The one exception are the Tockle Spirits, which are a gift for getting DQXI or it's port. General agreement is that Spirits indicate that a game or series won't get a fighter; This includes New Horizons, and either way the pass was decided long before Nintendo could know about it's success.

Regarding the widened breadth of third-parties, that's largely because third-parties have been the norm throughout SSBU's DLC cycle, and also made up the majority of newcomers back in Smash 4's DLC. As such, most attention is directed towards the third-parties.

It should also be noted that we've had to adjust our priors a lot throughout the DLC cycle. Expectations were immediately blown out of the water with Joker, who only had a single Nintendo appearance to his name at that point. Smaller third-parties were dismissed until we got Terry. Everyone though FP1 would be entirely third-party up until Byleth's addition. Many doubted third-party series could get a second original fighter, and then we got Sephiroth. A lot of people have just lowered the bar in advance, because if there's any consistent pattern in Smash, it's patterns getting broken.

I'll also say that Sakurai's comment isn't really able to determine much. "Owners must allow it" - Everyone and their mom wants their games in Smash. "Must be able to put them in Smash" - This is the guy who redid every stage in the game for Steve Minecraft. "Must have game history" - Vague and subjective. It's just too vague to take at face value.
 
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