What do you think the direction of Ultimate's DLC characters will be? (leak/datamine discussion within so potential spoilers)

How do you think Ultimate's Fighters Pass will go?


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#1
I was inspired to make this topic after some back-and-forth off topic posting in Delzethin Delzethin 's Lycanroc thread.

There seems to be two competing theories about how Ultimate's DLC support will play out.
The first being that there isn't much in the way of a set methodology and that it'll be a varied mix of characters 1st and 3rd party.
The second, which I ascribe to, is that the DLC will be mostly 3rd party and marketing-based.

Here's my reasoning/thoughts on things. And warning, this is gonna be long. I'll spoilertag the in-depth stuff

First, ignore Smash 4's DLC veterans. They were guaranteed sellers (by virtue of being familiar to most of the customer base) and 2/3 (Roy and Lucas) of them were semi-clones based off of existing characters already in the game; the one who wasn't (Mewtwo) was greatly in demand and from the largest media franchise in existence and is also a clone.

Who does that leave is with? Ryu, Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta. They can easily be spit into two groups.

Ryu and Cloud are videogame icons and mascots of their respective genres. You could find people on the street and in nursing homes who've at least seen Ryu somewhere, and Final Fantasy VII is the most hyped and popular JRPG ever made. These guys sold themselves.

Corrin and Bayonetta... not so much. Sakurai was very up front in both the last Smash 4 Direct and in his Famitsu column that resources had been set aside for a character who would promote a recent/upcoming game and that Corrin happened to have perfect timing (and that he was initially against their inclusion until he was convinced that they could have a unique moveset).

Bayonetta is where things get slightly grayer. And a bit tangential, so it's getting spoilertagged:
She was posited as the winner of the Smash Ballot and the "most realizable character" and yadda yadda, but now it's pretty much an open secret that the dev team had already begun working on her (and Cloud) in April, as early placeholder data for them showed up in the April 15th update. The Smash ballot opened on April 1st.
We know for a fact that updates often sit on the servers for a day or two before they actually get put out (that's how Roy and Ryu got leaked-- people pulled the update off of the server the day before they were officially revealed/released and found them fully complete). And, like any piece of a software, an update would have to be finalized and spend some time being playtested and vetted.
So, that pushes things back to a few days before April 15th.
Now as much as some may spout "Bayonetta's basically 1st party" and so on, she's not. The Bayonetta characters and IP are owned by Sega.
So, for Bayonetta to have legitimately won the Ballot she would've had to get a ginormous lead that would prompt Nintendo to already declare her the winner, negotiate all the rights with Sega, and already begun developing her. ...In under two weeks. You see what I'm getting it?
In addition, the Ballot got by far the most attention from the core online fandom; it was all the talk for months, you had freakin' exit polls trying to predict who was in the lead, you had indie companies embarrassing themselves to try and drum up support for their characters.
Bayonetta had virtually no presence in any of that. There were some murmurings here and there, but she wasn't even top 30 most of the time.
You know who was almost unanimously number 1 in those fan polls? King K. Rool.
You know who got into Ultimate explicitly because of strong Ballot support? King K. Rool.

I could get a moderate dissonance between the community and actual results, but the dissonance being so drastic on top of datamining discoveries and basic logic strongly suggests otherwise.

Bayonetta 1, just on the PS3 and Xbox 360, managed to break 1 million. Bayonetta 2, on Wii U, only clocked about 300k. And this was with 1 and 2 getting separate releases at half price... 2 weeks after Bayonetta was released in Smash 4.

TL;DR/summary of that:
Bayonetta likely had nothing to do with the Smash Ballot and was instead meant to be a shock and raise awareness of her and her games.
And that Nintendo/the Smash dev team set up an entire poll for fans to influence DLC picks and then completely ignored it, only to then allow the Ballot to influence Ultimate's base roster. Meaning that Nintendo seems to have different criteria for DLC characters and base game characters; didn't consider "fan" choices for newcomers in Smash 4's DLC, but then threw K. Rool, Chrom, and Dark Samus into Ultimate.

And now, getting to Ultimate.

The first DLC character revealed was Piranha Plant, in the November Direct. Piranha Plant is neither an iconic 3rd party character or a character who can realistically market anything that needs marketing, so he's a glaring hole in my theory, right?
...But he wasn't initially planned as a DLC character.
Not only did it have tons of plant assets data at launch, but it has a Palutena's Guidance conversation. ...And it's been confirmed that none of the Fighters Pass characters will have Guidances. In addition, internally it's listed amidst the base roster newcomers instead of after them.

It was shortly after the November Direct that Sakurai tweeted that the character selection for the Fighter's Pass was completed and specified that Nintendo picked the characters while he decided who a moveset could be created for and actually developed.

The second was revealed at the VGAs and took many by surprise: Joker, the protagonist of Persona 5.

A character who had only debuted on a Nintendo console weeks prior via Persona Q2's Japanese 3DS launch; surely, Nintendo wouldn't have picked him to market a 3DS game when the system is being phased out and that we now know is being sent out to die with no dub by Atlus themselves? Surely, this is only because of the legacy of SMT and Persona 5's surprise success and impact?

In February, twitter user and modder Dr. Hypercake tweeted about an interesting string of text amidst the game's junk data:
"/Jack6_C06_v01_070925.mb_Jane1_pony_hairSystemShape2.mchp"
The only clear thing being that the string was tied to one of Joker's alt costumes.

Last month, Persona 5 Royale was revealed... or really, just got a teaser focused a new female character-- that had a ponytail. Though there's some dispute over whether or not they're a female protagonist (they have a first year student badge when the male's a second year, she said she didn't approve of the Phantom Thieves-- though apparently there's a point in the game where the protagonist is questioned and can say that themselves), I'm of the persuasion that whoever they are, they're Jane.

But wait! The Persona 5 Royale site updated and only has a PS4 logo. So back to square one... ?
...Except a "Persona 5 S" website officially launched about a week ago, with the date "4/25" displayed. The Royale teaser trailer said more news would be coming 4/24. Both days are during the time period a Persona concert is playing, and will likely reveal both "titles" in full.

...But if you're on this board, you're already aware of the "Best Buy Direct" where internal listings at Best Buy for several Switch games got leaked, including one for Persona 5 with Nintendo listed as it's publisher.
So, it would seem, Joker was put on the list because he'd tie into a Persona 5 release on the Switch.

Now, for our second Fighter's Pass character --who we really shouldn't know about but do because of datamining: "Brave", according to internal files.

...And Brave has a 99% chance of being Erdrick, the protagonist of DQ3 whose "name" is technically just a title that multiple protags fall under. A second SE character had been rumored months before the game even launched, "Brave" is a literal translation of "Yuusha"-- the Japanese term for Dragon Quest protagonists/heroes, and insiders have been fairly open that yeah it's probably Erdrick.
DQXI:S is launching on Switch in the back half of this year, the Definitive Edition of Dragon Quest XI. Dragon Quest is a massive phenomenon in Japan-- Erdrick would be an iconic choice for the Japanese crowd while serving to promote DQXI's Switch release in the West.


TL;DR Of all the DLC newcomers in Smash's history so far, 2 of them were 3rd party gaming icons (Cloud and Ryu), 3 of them were to promote games (probably, being Corrin, Bayonetta, and Joker), and one of them ("Brave"/most likely Erdrick... most likely) checks both boxes.
That is why I strongly believe that this'll be the trend of the Fighters Pass and any future DLC characters as well.


So, how do you think Ultimate's DLC will go? Are you in the same boat as me? Or are you unconvinced and believe that we can't really predict the "criteria" for DLC characters? Or do you have your own theory about how DLC will go? (Please respond, I don't want this to entirely be me soapboxing.)
 

KatKit

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#2
So far, we have Joker. Assuming that the Square Enix rumor is true, that makes two potential RPG characters. Elma seems like a feasible first-party candidate; Xenoblade X content is suspiciously lacking. If she gets in, that'd make 3 RPG characters. A new Fire Emblem is coming out, that's always an option. A Granblue Fantasy (and/or Dragalia Lost) rep was rumored a while back. Noticing a pattern here? So, what if the DLC is released in (genre) themed packs? What if this first batch of DLC is all RPG related? What if they'll be a femme fatale pack? A third party pack? A retro pack? A fighting game pack? You get the idea. This is all speculation of course; someone mentioned it in the Elma support thread, and it made so much sense to me.
 
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#3
So far, we have Joker. Assuming that the Square Enix rumor is true, that makes two potential RPG characters. Elma seems like a feasible first-party candidate; Xenoblade X content is suspiciously lacking. If she gets in, that'd make 3 RPG characters. A new Fire Emblem is coming out, that's always an option. A Granblue Fantasy (and/or Dragalia Lost) rep was rumored a while back. Noticing a pattern here? So, what if the DLC is released in (genre) themed packs? What if this first batch of DLC is all RPG related? What if they'll be a femme fatale pack? A third party pack? A retro pack? A fighting game pack? You get the idea. This is all speculation of course; someone mentioned it in the Elma support thread, and it made so much sense to me.
4's DLC itself was JRPG-heavy; half the newcomers and all the veterans were from JRPGs.
The genre just tends to have the most characters on average, with new casts introduced every game; a JRPG skew wouldn't be shocking (especially when viewed through the marketing lens).

That said, there's probably gonna be one or two characters who are broadly popular to maintain Western public interest in the pack.

I don't get why people are so obsessed with Elma; X is the black sheep of a franchise that isn't very big in Japan. She wouldn't promote anything and only appeals to a select few people; this feels like Shantae fans looking at Shovel Knight being an AT and thinking that somehow raised their chances (Shovel Knight's one game sold more than Shantae's 4-- why would the drastically less popular character be prioritized?). 2's done significantly better than X yet got skipped over (its greater success easily explains the Mii Fighter costumes and music tracks-- notice how in the November Direct Sakurai was almost apologetic about 2 not getting a character).

The only Xenoblade representation I realistically see is if we get a future Fighters Pass and the protagonist from the next unannounced game gets in. Which is pure theorycraft because we don't even know what that game is or when it's releasing.
 

Cosmic77

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#4
I guess both? Neither? Not really sure where my opinion would fit with these two choices.

Personally, I think the DLC will consist of first and third-parties, but most, if not all characters will have some type of marketing purpose behind them. In other words, any first-parties will be used to promote Nintendo franchises/games that would be relevant in the near future, while third-parties will be part of a larger collaboration between Nintendo and another company used to strengthen ties or get a certain franchise/game on the Switch.

But no, I don't think we're getting strictly third-parties. With the possible exception of Bayo, Smash 4's DLC was decided entirely by Sakurai and the development team, and they were likely trying to add a few iconic faces in gaming rather than just appeal to Nintendo higher-ups and promote games.
 

Arthur97

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#5
Mostly third parties, but I'd much rather have more first parties. I also think it was a waste to reduce Rex to a preoder Mii outfit bonus.
 
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#6
I guess both? Neither? Not really sure where my opinion would fit with these two choices.

Personally, I think the DLC will consist of first and third-parties, but most, if not all characters will have some type of marketing purpose behind them. In other words, any first-parties will be used to promote Nintendo franchises/games that would be relevant in the near future, while third-parties will be part of a larger collaboration between Nintendo and another company used to strengthen ties or get a certain franchise/game on the Switch.

But no, I don't think we're getting strictly third-parties. With the possible exception of Bayo, Smash 4's DLC was decided entirely by Sakurai and the development team, and they were likely trying to add a few iconic faces in gaming rather than just appeal to Nintendo higher-ups and promote games.
Sorry if I presented it that way; I suppose the wording in the poll was a bit off ("mostly/entire a mixture of major 3rd party and promotional picks" was meant to convey that I considered the later to be completely separate from the former and encompass both 1st and 3rd party characters).
 

Sean²

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#7
I think it could go one of two ways. Either turn Smash into a living advertisement for new Switch games and make every DLC a new character from a 3rd party, or add a mixture of old-school and new-school characters, 3rd party or not. I think Piranha Plant got the goofy/wtf character of the game out of the way already, so I think the DLC will be mostly serious characters.
 

Gryphon827

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#8
We've already heard that Nintendo chose all 16 DLC slots, which means that most of the slots are going to be used to advertize upcoming titles. I would not at all be surprised if Joker was the only third party character we get.
 

osby

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#10
We've already heard that Nintendo chose all 16 DLC slots, which means that most of the slots are going to be used to advertize upcoming titles. I would not at all be surprised if Joker was the only third party character we get.
No, we heard Nintendo choosing all 5 Fighter Pass characters. We don't know if there'll be 11 more characters, they've chosen yet or who chose them.

And no, Nintendo doesn't necessarily have to use all characters to advertise upcoming titles or even if they do, they don't have to advertise only first party titles.
 

NomadLuminary

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#11
We've already heard that Nintendo chose all 16 DLC slots, which means that most of the slots are going to be used to advertize upcoming titles. I would not at all be surprised if Joker was the only third party character we get.
That's only a rumour, plus Erdrick counts as a third party if he indeed gets into Smash. Hopefully we get the best of both worlds (1st and 3rd)
 

Falco_DJ

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#12
I agree with the second theory
The second, which I ascribe to, is that the DLC will be mostly 3rd party and marketing-based
While we definitely will be getting at least one Nintendo Character having third party characters will open Smash Ultimate's DLC lineup to a plethora of audiences, which will ( possibly ) in turn make people want to go buy the character they like in smash, or people who don't know who the character is but like it as DLC will go but the game that character is from.
What I'm hoping for, although it is a long shot, is that for the final DLC Nintendo and Sakurai will host a pool where the fans all get to vote for the character they want, basically a DLC smash ballot.
 

Gryphon827

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#13
That's only a rumour, plus Erdrick counts as a third party if he indeed gets into Smash. Hopefully we get the best of both worlds (1st and 3rd)
Let's be real here though. Nintendo doesn't actually care about the smash community, they just care about the money they get from us. They're basically just using smash as an advertizing space, except we have to pay $75 (25 per challenger pass) for it.
 

osby

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#14
Let's be real here though. Nintendo doesn't actually care about the smash community, they just care about the money they get from us. They're basically just using smash as an advertizing space, except we have to pay $75 (25 per challenger pass) for it.
There's not much difference between caring about your consumers and taking money from them. Companies' main interaction with their audience is based on purchases.

Also, you don't have to pay for anything if you don't want to.
 

Gryphon827

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#15

Royalty1702

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#21
I strongly believe the Smash DLC characters are dependent on which games Nintendo wants for the Switch ("Persona 5S" was leaked a few days ago). They chose the characters, after all. This is why I'm doubtful of picks like Erdrick, as we already know that DQXI for Switch is coming, but more open to the idea of Sora, who could promote KHIII for Switch.
 

Cosmic77

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#22
If we are indeed getting 16 characters, I'd really like Nintendo/Sakurai to take advantage of the situation and add more Switch characters who might've been too late for the base roster. Wouldn't mind seeing a Champion, Rex/Pyra, a Gen 8 Pokemon, or (if ATs aren't permanent deconfirmations) Spring Man.
 

NomadLuminary

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#23
I strongly believe the Smash DLC characters are dependent on which games Nintendo wants for the Switch ("Persona 5S" was leaked a few days ago). They chose the characters, after all. This is why I'm doubtful of picks like Erdrick, as we already know that DQXI for Switch is coming, but more open to the idea of Sora, who could promote KHIII for Switch.
Why not have both Erdrick and Sora in the same game ;)
 
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#25
What I'm hoping for, although it is a long shot, is that for the final DLC Nintendo and Sakurai will host a pool where the fans all get to vote for the character they want, basically a DLC smash ballot.
That would be a mess even worse than the previous Smash Ballot, especially now that word's pretty much gotten out that they had no intention of even listening to the first one.

If we are indeed getting 16 characters, I'd really like Nintendo/Sakurai to take advantage of the situation and add more Switch characters who might've been too late for the base roster. Wouldn't mind seeing a Champion, Rex/Pyra, a Gen 8 Pokemon, or (if ATs aren't permanent deconfirmations) Spring Man.
A Gen VIII Pokemon feels like the safest 1st party pick for this fighters pass, honestly.

Let's be real here though. Nintendo doesn't actually care about the smash community, they just care about the money they get from us. They're basically just using smash as an advertizing space, except we have to pay $75 (25 per challenger pass) for it.
Holy conclusion jumping, Batman!
Placeholder slots added to World of Light don't confirm anything; and nobody's forcing you to buy the DLC, either. Smash 4's DLC newcomers should've told people what to expect out of Ultimate's DLC.

Also, I'll let you in on something that tons of people don't seem to know:
The "Smash community" is only a tiny percentage of the consumer base.
It's generally wiser to make business decisions for the sake of long-term goals and/or to attract as many people as possible rather than focusing on your small, diehard audience.

When consumers are happy with their purchase and the company makes a profit, it's a win-win.
 

Gryphon827

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#27
Smash 4's DLC newcomers should've told people what to expect out of Ultimate's DLC.
so you're telling me that 60% of the new challengers are gonna be broken and near-unbeatable? kinda sounds like everyone who takes the game even a little competitive is gonna have be forced to buy them to have the ability to enjoy the game.
 
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Ryu Myuutsu

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#29
so you're telling me that 60% of the new challengers are gonna be broken and near-unbeatable? kinda sounds like everyone who takes the game even a little competitive is gonna have be forced to buy them to have the ability to enjoy the game.
This comment reeks of desperate strawmanning.
 

CureParfait

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#30
I think the DLCs would be a mix of first parties and third parties. I don't think all the DLC would be promotional picks.
 
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#32
I’m guessing all 3rd parties

Erdrik seems likely due to the unreasonability of Square

Steve will probably appear to promote the Microsoft stuff coming to Switch, plus Miyamoto and Sakurai enjoy MC

Doom Slayer will probably appear as Bethesda did talk about Smash with Nintendo, and with Sakurai giving his respects to Doom along with a new title it seems likely.

I don’t know the last, but going by leaks I guess Ninja Gaiden will get a character. I mean it is sort of the last of the iconic NES series, so I guess it could work.
 
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#33
I think the remaining DLC will be third party characters, with Mii Fighter Costume packs being based on characters from whatever company the DLC characters are from, much like what happened with Pack 1.
 
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