Super Smash Bros. Ultimate received a sixth downloadable fighter on January 28, and another batch of characters is in the works, but the 2018 release is nearing the end of its life span. Game director Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that the upcoming Fighter Pass Vol. 2 will be Ultimate’s final DLC.
The information comes from Sakurai’s latest column for Famitsu where he outlined the end of Smash’s content plans and said Nintendo isn’t working on the next Super Smash Bros. installment, either. That makes sense considering that there has never been more than one Smash Bros. game per Nintendo system.
The Fighter Pass will feature another six downloadable characters, all of which are chosen by Nintendo, according to Sakurai. All of the new characters will come to the game by January 31, 2021, meaning the game’s life cycle will span three years.
By Nintendo’s standards, three years is a long time for Switch games. Splatoon 2 got regular updates for a year and a half following its release while Arms stopped receiving new content after six months.
Despite the generous timeline, the revelation may make fans wary. With only six characters left, Nintendo only has a few opportunities to grant players’ loftiest wishes. Ultimate’s first fighter pack ended with a whimper when Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ hero Byleth became the game’s 75th character. Many fans were disappointed by the announcement, and Sakurai agreed there are too many sword characters.
Even with the end looming, the final characters won’t spell the end for Nintendo’s hit multiplayer game. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is still a staple of the competitive fighting game circuit, and it shows no signs of slowing down in popularity. It will once again grace EVO’s stage this year, replacing Super Smash Bros. Melee for the second year in a row.
As for the game’s director, Sakurai is free to move on to new projects once Ultimate support ends. In his column, Sakurai notes that he was unable to work on anything else during Smash Bros. development. The last non-Smash project that Sakurai worked on was 2012’s Kid Icarus: Uprising, so hopefully, the beloved director will get a chance to work on something new in 2022.
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