Following a series of rumours about potential new characters coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there was a lot riding on today’s Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct. Despite announcing three new characters, one of which was from a third party game franchise, Nintendo fans weren’t satisfied. It’s frustrating to watch.
In the Wii era, I learnt not to expect anything from Nintendo when it comes to their announcements. This approach has served me very well. But it seems as though a lot of other fans still haven’t caught up. The problem is, Nintendo isn’t the type of company to appeal to fans every wish. This is reflected a lot in their announcements which aren’t focused on creating hype-filled, surprising, killer announcements. Instead, the company focuses on making excellent games which astonish and amaze through their gameplay which is reflected in their more tame marketing.
This conflict between fans and the company that makes the games they love has been most public between the Smash Bros. community and Nintendo. Whether it’s a Smash Bros. tournament winner telling Nintendo to listen to them, or a constant disappointment with Nintendo’s lack of competitive patches, there has always been a lot of pushback between the two. It’s perhaps most fitting then, that this recent spout of disappointment is between the two communities.
Getting excited by a leak, even though previous leaks have been true, puts fans in a nebulous position. Expectations which are already ridiculously high, are now beyond the impossible. Some feel that Nintendo should manage these expectations but I’m unsure how they’re supposed to do that. Should they discredit every major rumour and say that it’s not true? I don’t see how that would be possible as it wouldn’t be long before gamers manipulated the system, creating rumours to get more information about what is coming next.
It’s good that Nintendo fans are so deeply passionate. It’s this passion which helps keep the company modern, even if they’re slow to adapt to gamers needs. But it’s also important for fans to understand that they’re a very safe company, who only take calculated risks when they’re sure they can deliver and that they’ll be successful. This leads to amazing things like The Nintendo Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyessy, but these things are few and far between. To expect the impossible from a safe company, such as Banjoe-Kazooie, a character owned by their competitor Microsoft, being a fighter in one of their games, is madness. Even if Microsoft is apparently up for it.
There’s only so much Nintendo can deliver. I think in the case of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character roaster they’ve done a good job. So hopefully Nintendo fans aren’t too upset, because come 7th December, they’ve got a great game to look forward to.