Nintendo says Joker's inclusion in Smash Bros. Ultimate is 'emblematic of the approach' Sakurai is taking with DLC, skirts question of Persona 5 on Switch

Joker was announced as Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC at The Game Awards, and it's safe to say no one saw him coming. In an interview with IGN, Reggie Fils-Aime explains the decision to include Joker, and how it's indicative of the approach Sakurai is taking with DLC.

“It's emblematic of the approach that Mr. Sakurai and the team are taking with the DLC. He wants characters that are unique, different, to bring them into the Smash Bros. environment. So it's going to be tremendously exciting.

Mr. Sakurai, he's not only a student of Nintendo franchises, and obviously he's had his hand in a few, but he's a student of video games from a total perspective and so he's been the driver in really thinking about what type of character coming into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would bring just a whole different level of fun and enjoyment for the player. That's been the approach. That's the thinking.

I hope the fans are excited by the announcement of Joker. I hope they're looking forward to the future announcements. I hope it gives them confidence to just go buy the Fighter Pass. That way they can get the latest fighter as soon as it's available and continue building out their roster for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”

Reggie was also asked about the rumor of Persona 5 coming to the Switch, to which he said this.

“You know, I can't comment on that. Again, from our perspective, we've been clear. We want all the best content on our platform. All the best content, all the best developers. And so our job is to continue growing the install base for Nintendo Switch to drive engagement of our players, to grow the audience. As that happens, then developers see the opportunity.”

Thanks to Dondom95 for the heads up!


Top Rated Comment

Most of these people play nothing but Nintendo games so they have no real perspective on the industry.

Sat Dec 08 18 01:59pm
Rating: 1

*sigh* ...pretty sure you can do characters that are unique, different AND also significant to Nintendo... also clones exist... lots of clones...

Well this is going to get really interesting.

So next years TGA could give us Master Cheif or Banjo Kazooie

Sat Dec 08 18 03:30pm
Rating: 1

Joker's announcement actually destroyed my confidence in the fighter's pass. I never heard of Joker, which wouldn't be too upsetting if he actually had some kind of significance to Nintendo. But he doesn't. It seems to me like a gimmick to promote the eventual release of the Persona games on Switch. Kinda makes sense since we know Nintendo picked the DLC characters. They're all probably choices meant to bolster upcoming games. I'm not paying for that sight unseen. I'll wait to get the pass once I know all five characters. At least then I'll know what I'm paying for and whether or not it'll be worth it.

You know man, your post made me realize why this is actually the most fair and useful dlc possible:

1. The character is new and it barely has anything to do with Nintendo: this make the inclusion AFTER the game initial launch make the most sense. While characters like Bandana Dee, Dixie Kong are highly requested, they could be included from day one. Instead, characters from upcoming games (Q2 and perhaps a port of P5) make the most sense after the launch.

2. The character is extremely niche, barely holds relevance to the common Switch owner and Smash player. This makes the inclusion as an optional DLC extremely insightful. Why release a character that EVERY smash player would want to use as optional DLC? Better delay the game and include it from the start. Instead, why delay the game to include Joker or say, Sub Zero, better wait until the games with them are close to the public, and even then, leave the chance to everyone else yo ignore the optional content.

Yeah you’re right. In a way it’s a good thing because we can choose whether or not to pay for the content. I just feel it’s rather lousy to not reveal the characters up front, but I get that they want to gradually reveal the characters in Directs to keep the Smash hype going.

Who knows. Maybe the next four characters will make more sense and have closer ties to Nintendo. But Joker means nothing to me and made be doubt how much value I’ll get from the fighter pass.

Honestly I'm kinda surprised about the large amount of Persona 5 hate here. I personally feel like the aesthetics of Persona 5 clash very well with the Smash Bros aesthetic but that's just my thoughts.

Most of these people play nothing but Nintendo games so they have no real perspective on the industry.

Sat Dec 08 18 07:11pm
Rating: 5

Most of these people are Nintendo fans and would like to see Nintendo-y franchises and characters in their Nintendo game...

mr life
Sat Dec 08 18 08:05pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

In other words, no fun allowed.

I love fun! That's why instead of buying SSBU, I'll just play Super Smash Flash or whatever where I can play as Mickey, Shrek, and 50 Cent, too.

Fun is a subjective matter... if you call stuffing a Nintendo game with icons of rival consoles fun, that's your thing, but for others, they'd likely have a lot more fun if Nintendo stuck closer to the icons that helped build Nintendo's legacy...

Wouldn't you as a Nintendo fan revel in the fact you can beat the crap out of a rival characters almost as if in real life you dropkicked a PlayStation? Doesn't putting the power to destroy a beloved Sega mascot pummelling them into oblivion sound satisfiying to.you? There are so many characters in video games and one day there may be time to make them all, but this year it's just 80, strange as they may at times be.

Not really... I'm not that sort of vindictive... and I'd rather play with a character I like than beat up a character I don't like...

Not really I've owned Sony, Sega, and Nintendo systems all of my life. I own almost every major 3rd party release that's currently on Switch (minus JRPGs). Resident Evil and Sonic the Hedgehog rival or even beat some of my favorite Nintendo franchises. All that being said, I still don't like 3rd party characters in Smash. This is my character roster in Smash:

I plan to keep it this way. In my mind Smash is Nintendo All-Stars duking it out but sadly nowadays it seems to just be turning into "Videogame Characters: The Fighting Series" By the time the DLC is finished their will be almost as many 3rd party franchises represented in Smash than Nintendo ones. Yes Nintendo franchises get more reps per franchise than 3rd parties do but the point still stands.. Yeah maybe I'm "no fun" but honestly I don't give a damn.

Hey, Bayonetta slipped on your screen.

And speaking of which, this whole meltdown brings back memories about how I felt when Bayonetta was announced. I felt she was undeserving, but there she was, coming from a third party franchise, with only two games by then, yet everyone was happy just because the last of those two was a Nintendo exclusive and that enough was enough to win the vote over say K.Rool and the rest. Who knows, perhaps in a few years Persona 6 is a Nintendo exclusive and every one treats Joker like the prodigal child Bayonetta became in a couple of years, imagine how people would have reacted I Bayonetta was announced for Smash 4 before the duology on Wii U.

I believe after Bayonetta was put on the game by the masses (she was after all the voters choice), the people at the helm decided that every third party franchise/character was fair game, no matter how new, mature, competitors related, or seemingly out of nowhere it seemed. The very zealous fanbase cares about things like how many exclusive games they have or how "nice" third parties treat the Nintendo systems, but the people in charge obviously couldn't care less about such fan arguments.

Sat Dec 08 18 07:09pm
Rating: 3 (Updated 1 time)

It's a character from a game that isn't on a Nintendo console, from a mostly PlayStation specific franchise with barely any appearances on or support of Nintendo's systems, with nothing explaining why he got in over more Nintendo-relevant characters beyond port-begging, in a Nintendo All-Star game, and this is a Nintendo fansite... what exactly are you expecting?

Meh whatever. I'm still psyched to see him in Smash Bros and so are a bunch of other people

I'm with you Mr Life. I'm grateful to have any Smash at all. After the Wii U tanked and the death of Iwata I never imagined we'd get another. The fact that Smash Bros Ultimate exists at all is reason to celebrate.

Sun Dec 09 18 05:20am
Rating: 3 (Updated 1 time)

I’m expecting you guys to open up your damn mind a tiny little bit and realize people and things exist outside of Nintendo. I know, impossible task expecting coddled, walled garden-raised Nintendrones to think about something other than Nintendo. Totally my fault. The fact that so many people are sitting here counting appearances (or lack thereof) of Persona on Nintendo consoles is a drag. That’s how people really think of this shit? So narrow-minded and sad.

When we found out Nintendo picked the DLC, people started predicting boring ass safe picks like “character from Fire Emblem Three Houses” and “Generation 8 Pokemon.” Would you guys REALLY want such predictable, lifeless, ho-hum picks over freakin’ Joker from Persona 5 just because those would be Nintendo characters? If so, then Jesus Christ I’m on the wrong website. I love Nintendo, but come on already.

I don't mind the Persona or SMT series at all and in fact Persona 2 has some really amazing OST songs that I will buy the pass for if they are in. But I could give no shits about Joker since he's from a non-nintendo franchise and doesn't really relate to gaming legacy either since his game's super recent. Considering how we just had an SMT crossover with FE lately, I'm more shocked that they didn't go for Jack Frost or any of the protags from SMT I-IF, really. I see why they did it, (more popular due to it's otaku appeal, which unfortunately also led to Persona 3 onwards being WAY different in look and tone than Persona 1/2) but I don't blame people for being unhappy with Joker being one of the five slots for DLC when we don't even have a single real persona game on an Nintendo Platform. (or at least a persona game that doesn't make the characters look hideous like Q) It feels like what people fear the most: Smash Bros being used to moneyhat future games.

At least with Cloud he was the face of Final Fantasy, a series where we had six entire games for years on Nintendo systems, with one of them (III) never leaving Nintendo platforms for the longest time. Joker isn't really much of a face of SMT or even Persona. I'd actually argue Morgana from the same game would be more iconic and recognizable, but that's just me. I'll probably get the fighters pass anyhow, but I'm not rushing to get the DLC day one like I did with every SSB4 DLC character. Especially if they add someone even more out there and nonsensical like Scorpion, Crash Bandicoot, Rayman or anyone who doesn't deserve to be in smash at all or even fits with the theming of the game. Heck, as a fan of Yakuza, even I would begrudgingly admit that as awesome as the idea Kiryu in the game would be, it would be super weird for him to be in SSB considering that the only Yakuza game on an Nintendo system bombed so, so badly.

So yeah, that's why people are upset. Not because Persona or Persona 5 is bad (it really isn't, even if you aren't a fan of the newer direction of the series), but because it just seems so out there for a smash pick when folks want characters like Issac or nintendo related characters instead

Sat Dec 08 18 05:34pm
Rating: 4

Typical hate for anything non nintendo in the gonintendo comments section. The rest of the gaming world is very happy with this announcement.

drew ciccotelli
Sun Dec 09 18 12:08am
(Updated 1 time)

I'm happy and I've never played a Persona game before. I just really like this Joker character's style and personality from the reveal trailer.

I highly recommend checking out Persona 5. It's one of the greatest JRPGs in recent memory.

I was always holding out for that dream Switch port. I was in love with what I've seen so far. If it somehow isn't announced for Switch by mid 2019 I'll get it on PS4.

Sat Dec 08 18 05:56pm
Rating: 1

I really hope we get at least one big, important Western game series represented. You know, like a Doom Slayer, Lara Croft, or Gordon Freeman.

This strange pick for the first DLC character somehow makes anything seem more possible, and I love that.

Gordon Freeman would be nuts but I really and sadly think we've seen the last of the Free Man unfortunately. Hope I'm wrong though.

Yeah, friggin' Valve. They were so good. It's such a loss.

I just wanted a conclusion. The G-Man knows it.

If there’s one thing Smash does well...it’s that it brings out the entitlement in so many.

Sat Dec 08 18 07:13pm
Rating: 6

It also brings out the condescending comments from people who need to have their own opinions validated.

Isnt that what commenting on the Internet is entirely for anyway?

I hope the irony isn’t lost on you

Sat Dec 08 18 09:02pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

Joker is an awful choice by any metric. Forget about him having any relevance on Nintendo platforms; he's not even significant within the genre he represents, never mind the whole of the medium. A fad character, currently in vogue because he's from the latest game in the series he reps.

I'd personally hate it, but even the KH kid would have been a better choice.

Who knows, KH kid is still possible.

Don't know why people are complaining about the DLC. It's not like Nintendo is forcing you to buy it. I don't give a shit about Joker or Persona or JRPG's or 3rd parties in Smash in general. I knew I would probably hate the DLC based on Wii U's DLC as well as "Nintendo is picking the newcomers this time round". I'm glad I didn't buy the Fighter pass and can spend that $25 towards one of the MANY awesome 2019 Switch games of K.Rool and Ice Climbers amiibo.

I would be MUCH more upset if we hadn't gotten K.Rool, Ridley, Isabelle, Chrom, Daisy, Dark Samus, and Incineroar in the base game and instead got a bunch of 3rd parties. I don't HAVE to buy it.

Isn't the main complaint that Nintendo doesn't get enough third party games and when Nintendo does try to bridge the gap and make it easier for third parties to get their games on their system fans complain they don't want third parties in their Nintendo games.

No, the main complaint (to me anyways) is that there's plenty of third party games on Nintendo already and they should be thanking those third parties and the long-term support they provided to Nintendo's own legacy as oppose to using Smash as a tool to maybe bring in a little short-term support in the form of ports of games that every other console already has...

“It's emblematic of the approach that Mr. Sakurai and the team are taking with the DLC. He wants characters that are unique, different, to bring them into the Smash Bros. environment."

"...he's(Sakurai) been the driver in really thinking about what type of character coming into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate..."

So let's hear someone try to say again that Nintendo made the character inclusion decisions, not Sakurai.

"I hope the fans are excited by the announcement of Joker. I hope they're looking forward to the future announcements. I hope it gives them confidence to just go buy the Fighter Pass."

Are you kidding me? I'm not excited by the announcement of Joker, it's a disgrace and a farce. Persona is effectively a Sony franchise, Nintendo has only ever got a spin-off, Persona Q. I am not looking forward to future announcements, it's put me right off the Fighter Pass.

"We want all the best content on our platform. All the best content, all the best developers."

For all of that to happen, you need the best hardware. And any of the games that do get onto Switch, they're not the best version.

N64 Classic Edition
Skyward Sword HD
and now Persona 5

just another of the classic "Skate past the issue Reggie"

So freaking happy about this still. Can't wait to see whom else they picked.

Also super pumped that a few insiders have seemingly confirmed Persona 5 is coming to Switch sometime next year. That game stole so many hours from me last year. It is so good! Hope 4 and 3 make it as well.

I don’t care about all the fire emblem characters, xenoblade or spaltoon but guess what. There’s still over 50 characters left and I’m it doesn’t impact my enjoyment of the game so I’m not going to be a whiny baby about characters I don’t care about being included.

Sun Dec 09 18 09:28am
Rating: 2 (Updated 2 times)

I don't think it is a bad thing for people to care about the integrity of the series and the direction it is going.

Smash used to be a celebration of Nintendo and when third party characters were added, they were characters with a special history and significance with Nintendo. That is not really the case anymore and I understand where people are coming from if they don't like this change.

But there will always be people who, if you told them you didn't want Spongebob, The Rock, or Homer Simpson in the game would say "what is the problem? Don't you like fun? My kids would love it! It doesn't hurt you. Get over it."

Now I think most people who are fans of Smash would disagree with that, which is admitting that there should be criteria, or a line drawn somewhere (for example Nintendo characters only, characters that have been in a game on a Nintendo system, any video game character, any character at all, etc). The fact that people are going to think that line should be drawn at different places should not upset you or make you call that person an idiot.

Personally I'm not a fan of the inclusion of third party characters that don't have much significance, history, or presence on Nintendo systems.

Man...when was the last time you wanted Nintendo to include third party characters in their game?

Super Smash Bros. Brawl. And they did! They added Sonic and I was really happy.

and Snake, that made me happy.

I like the approach they're taking. I'm not a Persona fan, but I like the idea of really unexpected fighters joining the roster... especially as DLC, where they're optional.

Let's face it, when the fans are down to asking for grunts like Waddle Dee or meme fodder like Waluigi, you know that most of the relevant, obvious Nintendo characters are in already. Sure, I'd like an Arms or Xenoblade Chronicles 2 representative, but those are new enough that they're unproven. And yeah, some old favorites like Midna or Krystal would be fun, but their relevance has waned.

So bring on the wild cards, I say! Indie darlings, classic mascots from other platforms, you name it. Surprise me! And if some of those characters can build relationships with third parties and bring in more games, all the better. It's DLC, so you can choose to buy it or not.


Today's VIP

rirukiria's avatar
Joined: June 2018

Social Services

Want to join this discussion?

You should like, totally log in or sign up!