If you think there are too many Fire Emblem characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you’ll be happy to know that series director Masahiro Sakurai agrees with you.
“There are too many Fire Emblem characters,” says Sakurai in a recent issue of Famitsu. “And there are too many sword characters. I, too, understand. However, these things are already decided, so we move forward. The things I should be thinking about are elsewhere.”
Sakurai elaborates on that last part of the statement by saying that he doesn’t “choose the fighters based on my own preference, that’s for Nintendo to bring in.” As far as why Nintendo may have pushed for another Fire Emblem character to be added to the game, Sakurai notes that it may have come down to timing.
“This time around, we brought the experience of immediately playing as the protagonist of a game that people currently play,” says Sakurai. “At the starting point of its production, we experimented by working with a title that was in development.”
This honestly all sounds pretty standard even if it does help shed a little light on what happened. It’s easy to forget that Nintendo is a large organization that has to consider many factors when making just about any decision. If they’re trying to promote some of their biggest recent games via the Smash Bros. roster, then it makes sense that they would add another Fire Emblem character to the game.
Having said that, the reveal of Byleth as Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s final DLC character (at least for the first fighter pack) still feels underwhelming when you consider that previous DLC characters included some of the most requested fighters in the history of the franchise. Fans probably would have been more accepting of Byleth (Fire Emblem: Three Houses was one of 2019’s best games after all) if he had been added earlier in the DLC process, but at that point, most people were expecting a much more grand reveal.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.