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Official Next Smash - Speculation & Discussion Thread

TheQuester

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If we end up having a bigger newcomer list like Brawl and Smash 4, this is my prediction:
1. Waluigi (Super Mario)
2. Octoling (Splatoon) [Easy clone of Inkling]
3. DJ Octavio (Splatoon)
4. Tom Nook (Animal Crossing) [Pseudo-Clone (think of Luigi, Lucas or Wolf) of Villager]
5. Mio (Xenoblade Chronicles 3)
6. Meowscarada (Pokemon Scarlet and Violet)
7. Ring Fit Trainee (Ring Fit Adventure)
8. Officer Howard (Astral Chain)
9. Isaac (Golden Sun) [This game regular retro rep in a way]
10. Super Obscure retro rep like for example: Tomato Adventure, Kaeru no Tame or Magical Starsing [This game's WTF character in a way, probably won't happen, tho, but i want some wild guess in my list.]
11. Rauru or Prince Sidon (Zelda) [I feel like this is the right time for Zelda to get a newcomer]
12. Bandana Dee or Magolor (Kirby) [Having a new kirby rep feels right with the success of FL]
13. Oatchi (Pikmin)
14. Obligatory 3RD PARTY character, my guesses begin Sans, Lloyd Irving, Yuri Lowell or Doomguy.

12 completely unique, 1 pseudo-clone (Toom Nook) and 1 full clone (Octoling)

I'll try to have this list bookmarked and see how many i get right (and wrong) when Smash 6 comes along.
 
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LiveStudioAudience

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Any retro characters that have improved chances since ultimate?
In general I think the different remakes/collections made by various third parties have provided a little boost for older figures in some ways and they're all great characters from solid games whose spotlight maybe could get them into Smash. It's not like they're releasing collections for dubious franchises after all...








Oh god damn it.
 
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RodNutTakin

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Alright everyone, I want to try something based off of one of the recent topics here.
I'd like for as many of you as possible to give me a precise, exact number that you're guessing will be the number of fighters present at launch for the next game. And from there, I would like you to specify the exact numbers you have in mind for veterans, newcomers, and echoes (returning and new) within that total count.
After enough responses, I'm going to use your guys' estimates to try and construct my definitive roster prediction for the next game, now that Nintendo's 2024 lineup is more or less fully shown, and since the next game's project plan has likely been finalized or close to finalized.
 

TheQuester

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Alright everyone, I want to try something based off of one of the recent topics here.
I'd like for as many of you as possible to give me a precise, exact number that you're guessing will be the number of fighters present at launch for the next game. And from there, I would like you to specify the exact numbers you have in mind for veterans, newcomers, and echoes (returning and new) within that total count.
After enough responses, I'm going to use your guys' estimates to try and construct my definitive roster prediction for the next game, now that Nintendo's 2024 lineup is more or less fully shown, and since the next game's project plan has likely been finalized or close to finalized.
Total Base Roster: 64 + 7 echoes
Newcomers: 13
Veterans: 51
Newcomer echoes: 1
Veteran Echoes: 6
 

HyperSomari64

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I think in general I think the various remakes/collections made by various third parties have provided a little boost for older figures in some ways and they're all great characters from solid games whose spotlight maybe could get them into Smash. It's not like they're releasing collections for dubious franchises after all...


Oh god damn it.
I love that Limited Run repeat the same thing.
They did the same with Gex.
 

Will

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Look, I'm just saying. If you're looking into overlooked Nintendo characters from unrepresented franchises, you could always go for a character whose series just got a revival this year, when they may be making the project plan...



Doesn’t she have psychic powers or something? I’m blanking on the name of her and her game.
 

SPEN18

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I agree newcomers are essential, but I think the point of diminishing returns on the commercial effectiveness to character count happens earlier than you. Because even with fewer characters, I don't think this game is going to have any problem selling - it's Smash Bros - and therefore I think the powers at be will decide on the course in which base, which is a fixed price regardless of character count, will receive more newcomers than Ultimate but still towards the smaller end, and focus just as heavily on the subsequent rollout where you'll make more if you offer more. I think the establishing of a permanent Smash team that won't shrink after launch also shows them looking intently at a more ongoing model.

And I wouldn't base estimates on non-EiH Smash games, because those happened in an era either before Smash games were planned to have DLC when they started (or at all), in a time where receiving substantial ongoing updates was less commonplace, especially for Nintendo games.

But also, given how the landscape has changed, people now know that the characters they get in base aren't going to be the end... they know if they buy Smash they're going to get a few more years' worth of additions - so they go into the purchase with a valid expectation of more to come. Even knowing they will have to pay on top of what they've already paid. People didn't buy SF6 thinking this roster is all there's going to be.


I think you may be overselling the importance of Nintendo characters in Smash translating to palpable sales of their series. With your examples of Pikmin and Zelda, those series have remained fairly static since Brawl in terms of fighters, yet flourished as of recently, commercially. Or look at Kirby, who is in a very similar boat.

These also show that, though it happens with the promo series and occasionally with others, Smash is also perfectly content to not give series characters just to give them another character.

Pokemon didn't get a Gen 8 or 9 character, and yet those are two of the highest selling gens. Likewise, Xenoblade's commercial peak was a game that at the time didn't have roster representation.

Fire Emblem got localized in part due to Smash, but then continued to perform worse and worse, despite growing in Smash prominence, only recovering based on a game that wasn't yet represented in the series. Kid Icarus on the 3DS didn't sell any better than Kid Icarus on the NES. I'm sure some of Uprising's sales were owing to Smash, but... I don't think it sold quite what Nintendo was hoping for. Star Fox kept getting characters as the series continued to sell worse title over title.

If you look at these examples, clearly it's the system's install base that matters far more.

Plus if you had even a limited handful of new first-party characters some of the series you mentioned would be likely to expand. It's not going to just be like... Waluigi, Ring Fit and a Pokemon.


But thinking it's going to be hard to sell the base game is kinda ridiculous. That thing will move millions upon millions just by being Smash, having its staple faces, and throwing in some new characters of appeal. People act like Smash is lucky to sell, like if they don't hit x character count the game will bomb... but this is a very mainstream series. The primary indicator of its sales potential is again, the install base of the console over anything else.

I mean, they cut the Pokedex basically in half. And sure, some people were very mad, but... look at the numbers. These huge series aren't as fragile as they're cast around here. The next Mario Kart will undoubtably have much less content at launch than how much MK8D has chalked up over time.

Also, DLC does sell the base game. It's not where the bulk of sales come from, but clearly the goal with a lot of those inclusions is to lure in other fanbases towards Smash. That's why we get a disparate selection of often non-Nintendo-oriented third-parties of global appeal. They're purposefully casting a wide net.
Yes, the success of the next system and the climate in which the next game releases will be by far the greatest determining factors in their success. I don't dispute that, though we don't get to parlay that into deemphasizing the importance of the base roster direction wholesale. It's not as simple as "just put out whatever Smash game so we can start making DLC for it." The base game is still by far the main event.

And when it comes to people going in with the knowledge that more content is coming...yeah, I'm not convinced the average Nintendo consumer thinks quite like that. Especially when these later content additions definitely aren't going to be free. I really don't think they're at the point with the casual core of their audience where they can rely very heavily on that.

I also agree that they will survive cuts being a thing again. But idk, going with a lower newcomer count and more cuts than ever before at the same time probably isn't the best combination, no matter what might be waiting in post-game content. Especially given how Brawl and 4 established a large number of newcomers as a norm; I recognize the roster won't be able to just continue to grow roughly linearly forever, but at this particular juncture, I feel like deemphasizing lost content by placing a focus on new content is a good way to go.

As for establishing a more permanent team, I feel that may just as well be about easing the transition from game to game. I personally don't think Smash-as-a-service is on the immediate horizon.

And as for the impact of Smash representation on the health of various first party series, once again, I don't dispute that, broadly, the games are going to sell what they're going to sell in whatever market niche and context they're put out into. The actual degree of the "Smash effect" on these series is a mixed bag at best. But, like, that clearly hasn't stopped them lol. It goes back to what I said above, that, yes, the overall success of various series is going to be what it's going to be, but we don't get to parlay that into saying that all effort to boost them is worthless. They don't say, "well, next Pikmin is only going to do between 2 and 4 mil regardless, so no point in adding Oatchi." I don't think they're foolishly overestimating the impact of, say, adding Min Min to represent ARMS like 3 years after the fact and with no sequel on the immediate horizon. But clearly they found value in doing so anyway.

Not that boosting sales and helping out the marketing departments are the only reasons for extending on existing series (or adding new ones) anyway. Increasing roster diversity, bringing fresh playstyles and interesting mechanics into the fold, ensuring the roster is up-to-date and fleshed out with characters that new and old consumers are likely to recognize, and celebrating the company's accomplishments are all a part of it, too, to varying extents.
I guess a good way to put it is that it's as much or more about what these franchises can offer Smash as it is about what Smash can offer other franchises. And, as I explained, in the wake of the Switch and the circumstances of Ult's base roster there are a lot of strong and obvious candidates on the board to fill those roles.
(I realize my original argument focused more on the promotional aspect. Which is a part of it as I explained above, but the rest of this is important, too.)
 

Opossum

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Doesn’t she have psychic powers or something? I’m blanking on the name of her and her game.
That's Ashley Robins from Another Code. I haven't finished Recollection yet because my JoyCon needs to be repaired lmao, but she doesn't have psychic powers...or, at least not yet in the story, but in general she's more of a survivor type. She is friends with a ghost, though!
 

SPEN18

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Anyway, to touch on DK. In addition to Retro having their hands (apparently more than) full, they may have been content to coast on porting Tropical Freeze from Wii U to an extent. That port still did a pretty respectable number for them, after all. Definitely could have eased the urge to rush DK to another developer while Retro was working through their struggles.
 

BritishGuy54

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Alright everyone, I want to try something based off of one of the recent topics here.
I'd like for as many of you as possible to give me a precise, exact number that you're guessing will be the number of fighters present at launch for the next game. And from there, I would like you to specify the exact numbers you have in mind for veterans, newcomers, and echoes (returning and new) within that total count.
After enough responses, I'm going to use your guys' estimates to try and construct my definitive roster prediction for the next game, now that Nintendo's 2024 lineup is more or less fully shown, and since the next game's project plan has likely been finalized or close to finalized.
Base roster:
Unique Veterans: 54
Unique Newcomers: 13
Total Unique Slots: 67

New Echo Fighters: 3
Veteran Echo Fighters: 3
Total Base Game Slots: 73

DLC:
DLC Veterans: 5-6
DLC Newcomers: 9-10
 

TheFirstPoppyBro

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This is kind of a random thing to bring up but with Luigi's Mansion 2 HD coming out in like a week, I'm wondering if Gooigi will have a role somewhere in it, especially since E. Gadd sent him back in time to the 3DS version of the original before he was even formally introduced in Luigi's Mansion 3 a year later.

I also kind of hope, since he was pretty late to Ultimate--Luigi's Mansion on 3DS came out like two months before Ultimate did--that in the next Smash we'll end up getting a Gooigi alt or something.
 

SPEN18

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I understand that the dial is flexible, that any game can become "retro" with time, but I still have difficulty thinking of someone who debuted on GBA as a character in this vein. It may be more productive to just start calling these Arcade / NES characters - and even so, while Sakurai often puts aside space for a "surprise" character, he hasn't acknowledged a "retro" character slot being a real thing. It just happens that a lot of these old school NES games are foundational parts of Nintendo history that always stay relevant one way or another.
Personally I like to clarify by using "NES retro" or, more broadly, "80s retro" and then allow "retro" to mean anything like multiple generations old.
But yeah, I feel to a certain extent that by using "retro" on its own to refer to specifically 80s stuff we do a little disservice to other older, inactive franchises they could pull from. Because of early additions from inactive franchises being 80s stuff like Ice Climbers and Kid Icarus, the fanbase kind of got it into its head that the 80s are where to look for potential legacy reps.
 

Hadokeyblade

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Look, I'm just saying. If you're looking into overlooked Nintendo characters from unrepresented franchises, you could always go for a character whose series just got a revival this year, when they may be making the project plan...

If were going with Adventure game protags i think Phoenix or Layton would be better options.
 

Hydreigonfan01

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So... Mario RPGs are in the best place they've ever been. Do you think that will be reflected in Smash?

What content do you think we could get from Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi in a new Smash game?
Geno is the likely frontrunner for playable characters, but I could see Rougeport getting a stage, and potentially Paper Mario as a playable character as he's 1st party instead of 3rd party. I doubt Mario & Luigi will get anything tbh, the best chance of Mario & Luigi getting a character was in Brawl or Smash 4 as Fawful was a very popular character.
 

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If were going with Adventure game protags i think Phoenix or Layton would be better options.
I mean...there's nothing stopping others from also getting in. But at the same time, Nintendo-owned series are easier to add as base game additions for obvious reasons.

One getting in doesn't stop the entire rest of the genre from getting a character.
 

Noipoi

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and Splatoon 4.
I will note that Splatoon 3 is about to have its final fest, which could mean that 4 isn’t too far away. Giving the new system its own Splatoon in its first year isn’t exactly new territory.

But the transition era from the Wii U to the Switch were strange times, Nintendo couldn’t get out of there soon enough. So I wouldn’t count on history repeating exactly. Still though, Splatoon is a big franchise and a new one is a safe bet.
 

SharkLord

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I mean...there's nothing stopping others from also getting in. But at the same time, Nintendo-owned series are easier to add as base game additions for obvious reasons.

One getting in doesn't stop the entire rest of the genre from getting a character.
Iconic status and recognizability are big factors in terms of priority, but in the end Nintendo and Sakurai are not trying to go down a checklist of "best representatives of a genre." They're just going through whoever's notable at the time that they can get their hands on. In Ashley's case, her games got a remaster on the Switch and Nintendo owns her series, so sure, she might just fit the bill. Phoenix and Layton might come later on their own merits.
 

superprincess

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When people predict that Smash "will be announced in 2025 for a 2026 release" I can't help but smile and remember the times when it was normal for Nintendo to announce games and release them years later.

It still happens occasionally, MP4 being the most recent example of course. But Smash would surely be a holiday release, so announcing it the year prior means that people would have to wait through the remainder of 2025 & almost the entirety of 2026 before release. I feel like that's too long of a prerelease cycle (by today's standards).
 
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Noipoi

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When people predict that Smash "will be announced in 2025 for a 2026 release" I can't help but smile and remember the times when it was normal for Nintendo to announce games and release them years later.

It still happens occasionally, MP4 being the most recent example of course. But Smash would surely be a holiday release, so announcing it the year prior means that people would have to wait through the remainder of 2025 & almost the entirety of 2026 before release. I feel like that's too long of a prerelease cycle (by today's standards).
Maybe the thought process here is that it’ll be “soft announced” in 2025, like they’ll mention in a direct or at a press conference that a new Smash is in development. But then in early 2026 we’ll get a full reveal, and it’ll drop by the end of the year.

I don’t necessarily think that’ll happen, but maybe that’s the logic.
 

TheFirstPoppyBro

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When people predict that Smash "will be announced in 2025 for a 2026 release" I can't help but smile and remember the times when it was normal for Nintendo to announce games and release them years later.

It still happens occasionally, MP4 being the most recent example of course. But Smash would surely be a holiday release, so announcing it the year prior means that people would have to wait through the remainder of 2025 & almost the entirety of 2026 before release. I feel like that's too long of a prerelease cycle (by today's standards).
That's fair, but I feel like this Smash would go back to a slightly more slow burn approach like the Dojo, probably with more frequent updates (should stress I mean bigger updates like veterans and things, since TECHNICALLY Smash 4 updated every day lol) than Smash 4's "nothing for a month after announcing the game and then revealing Olimar" deal due to having a bigger roster than 4.

I feel like Ultimate's was only as short as it was because Everyone is Here means you knock out the veterans + Inkling (plus Ridley was at the end of that presentation) in pretty much one fell swoop minus the teaser, and then you only have to worry about showing off like 6 more characters and a handful of Echoes, so it makes sense to have a pretty short March/June-December prerelease since Everyone is Here and the official unveiling of the game's name already showed like 95% of the roster.
 
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NonSpecificGuy

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I have a feeling that the next Smash has been in development for a little while already. Consider that Sora released in October of 2021 and let’s say that Sakurai took a break whole year off to focus on his YouTube, which seems unlikely knowing him, if they started up in October of 2022 that would mean the new Smash would have been in development for two years come this October.

We know Sakurai stated he was indeed still working on games in one of his videos and is not retired. The Studio 2 & Studio S rebranding last year. I’m not saying it’s likely, or that I’m anticipating it, but 2025 or 2026 is a REAL possibility.
 

Speed Weed

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Incidentally Forever Entertainment (of Panzer Dragoon and House of the Dead remake/remaster fame) is handling the job for the DKC Returns Switch version which does line up with Nintendo utilizing these smaller companies for these kinds of ports.
This is branching off but honestly I'd just like to talk about how insane it is that Forever Entertainment, a studio with a batting average of virtually zero, just keeps landing gigs from major players in the industry. Their stuff consistently sucks, and oftentimes has to be repeatedly patched due to how many issues it has, and despite that they're still constantly getting a bunch of projects on old franchises. It's especially wild that Japanese companies keep calling them up for this stuff when their games have had a long history of godawful Japanese translations - and now they're somehow in bed with ****ing Nintendo, who, it has been recently brought to my attention, made a deal with them a couple years back and would be giving them "significant financial support". It amazes me that a studio with such a consistent history of incredibly sloppily-done releases is still getting so much work from major companies, moving up so much in the industry, and is still one of the go-to devs for retro revival stuff - all seemingly off the back of that bad Panzer Dragoon remake selling well thanks to people being in denial. How did we let this happen. How.
 
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cashregister9

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This is branching off but honestly I'd just like to talk about how insane it is that Forever Entertainment, a studio with a batting average of virtually zero, just keeps landing gigs from major players in the industry. Their stuff consistently sucks, and oftentimes has to be repeatedly patched due to how many issues it has, and despite that they're still constantly getting a bunch of projects on old franchises. It's especially wild that Japanese companies keep calling them up for this stuff when their games have had a long history of godawful Japanese translations - and now they're somehow in bed with ****ing Nintendo, who, it has been recently brought to my attention, made a deal with them a couple years back and would be giving them "significant financial support". It amazes me that a studio with such a consistent history of incredibly sloppily-done releases is still getting so much work from major companies, moving up so much in the industry, and is still one of the go-to devs for retro revival stuff - all seemingly off the back of that bad Panzer Dragoon remake selling well thanks to people being in denial. How did we let this happen. How.
Literally the only explanation I can think of is that they go up to these companies, beg, and proceed to charge basically nothing for the rights to do it.

Or they have Blackmail, obviously the only other logical explanation.
 

LiveStudioAudience

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A lot of this is rooted in so many games being not available for so long that even... (let's be generous and call them) hit and miss efforts to get them on modern platforms stand out and get such companies more work.

If gaming preservation and the industry of studio remakes/ports were stronger than FE likely isn't getting that many opportunities, but the scene is still so patchy and still not market efficient that stuff like semi-competent versions of Front Mission 1 & 2 basically constitute good enough for the big companies.
 
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NonSpecificGuy

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This is branching off but honestly I'd just like to talk about how insane it is that Forever Entertainment, a studio with a batting average of virtually zero, just keeps landing gigs from major players in the industry. Their stuff consistently sucks, and oftentimes has to be repeatedly patched due to how many issues it has, and despite that they're still constantly getting a bunch of projects on old franchises. It's especially wild that Japanese companies keep calling them up for this stuff when their games have had a long history of godawful Japanese translations - and now they're somehow in bed with ****ing Nintendo, who, it has been recently brought to my attention, made a deal with them a couple years back and would be giving them "significant financial support". It amazes me that a studio with such a consistent history of incredibly sloppily-done releases is still getting so much work from major companies, moving up so much in the industry, and is still one of the go-to devs for retro revival stuff - all seemingly off the back of that bad Panzer Dragoon remake selling well thanks to people being in denial. How did we let this happen. How.
Saying The House of the Dead Remake, or Panzer Dragoon Remake suck is fighting words honestly. The games are solid. They’re fun. That’s really all people could ask for out of these franchises that Sega had no care for.

Im not sure anyone these days really remembers what a AA developer looks like but Forever definitely fits that bill. They’re not top of the line games and that’s fine. The games are fine. Saying they suck because these $40 Remakes have issues at launch is disingenuous when the rest of the industry is content at selling you half a game that doesn’t even work for $70.
 

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I will admit, I... was hoping you wouldn't notice that slip. The others were talking about Kraid and size relation, so I saw that and thought you were bringing the Kirby bosses up for that reason. I realized your actual point too late to fix it.

...that said, why argue for both noteworthiness and importance in Kirby or Metroid inclusions? You realize very few characters have anything near having both types of roles in either franchise? If being a prominent boss alone doesn't qualify the criteria, then currently Kirby's Bandana Dee is the only one who has any good argument to get in, between the two series. That's extremely limiting.
I mean, yeah. I actually don't think Metroid should get a newcomer. And of Kirby characters, I think Bandana Dee is far and away the one who should be playable next
 

superprincess

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I have a feeling that the next Smash has been in development for a little while already. Consider that Sora released in October of 2021 and let’s say that Sakurai took a break whole year off to focus on his YouTube, which seems unlikely knowing him, if they started up in October of 2022 that would mean the new Smash would have been in development for two years come this October.

We know Sakurai stated he was indeed still working on games in one of his videos and is not retired. The Studio 2 & Studio S rebranding last year. I’m not saying it’s likely, or that I’m anticipating it, but 2025 or 2026 is a REAL possibility.
I don't think a new Smash game has any chance to be released within the first year of the Switch 2. Hyper-focusing on Smash during year 1 would overshadow smaller titles that usually get released close to a system's release. 2026 is a lot more likely, both for the announcement and the release of a new Smash game.

Smash is kind of... greedy as a franchise. It's like Nintendo's spoiled "gifted" child. When it enters the scene, it takes all the attention. 2018 was basically the year of Ultimate, they had no other games planned because they just know Smash can carry an entire year. So...

With Metroid Prime 4, Pokémon Legends ZA, and the rumored 3D Mario game that's rumored to be a launch (?) title for the next system, 2025 is looking pretty packed already. I don't think a formal Smash reveal could fit anywhere. Maybe a tease, to imply that Smash is on the horizon... but eh. I don't expect anything throughout all of 2025.
 

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Iconic status and recognizability are big factors in terms of priority, but in the end Nintendo and Sakurai are not trying to go down a checklist of "best representatives of a genre." They're just going through whoever's notable at the time that they can get their hands on. In Ashley's case, her games got a remaster on the Switch and Nintendo owns her series, so sure, she might just fit the bill. Phoenix and Layton might come later on their own merits.
I think the thing that also helps is that like, adventure games have a lot of characters who could be really fun in Smash if given the chance. Like even just with this line up of two Nintendo owned adventure game characters, two from western third parties, and two from Japanese third parties, they could all be added with very little overlap, moveset-wise or stylistically.

myroster (9).png
 

Stratos

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I know I'm exaggerating, but in terms of the roster of video game characters I want as newcomers to the Super Smash Bros. series, I went from 90 to 120. But I know not all of them will come, and some will never come as newcomers. Besides, I made it more like this to pass the time. Here is the roster with these characters:
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