Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has taken over headlines in the gaming industry for better or worse. While there’s no doubt that the game is highly anticipated, some were remarkably disappointed by the final details revealed about Smash on the latest Direct. But, that’s not all the anticipated Nintendo title has made the news for recently. Fans were able to take a peek at what many are regarding as a racist stereotype within the game. Nintendo has promptly clarified that the offending stereotype will not be in the final game.
During a recent livestream for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, many noted that one of the 74 available fighters, Mr. Game and Watch, could engage in a racist animation. For those who hadn’t seen the livestream, at one point Mr. Game and Watch was seen holding a torch while donning a feather on his head. Quickly, social media chatter highlighted that this was an apparent stereotype of Native Americans. As it turns out, this is a reference to the game Fire Attack which was released in 1982 where the player was to defend a fort from being burned by Native Americans.
Image – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Youtube
The company acknowledged the issue and provided this statement on the matter to Eurogamer:
“Nintendo has been planning to distribute an update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that removes the feather from the silhouette of Mr. Game & Watch. The original game on which this depiction of the character is based was released more than three decades ago and does not represent our company values today. We sincerely apologize that this change was not noticed in our marketing material and are continuing our work to make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate an experience that is both welcoming and fun for everyone.”
As the statement directly mentioned marketing material, it is possible that Nintendo had already removed the animation from the game. What was shown here was likely an earlier version supplied for ‘marketing material’ with the animation intact. Perhaps, it was caught early in development. There is further evidence to Nintendo’s awareness of this from Eurogamer who noted that the feather was excluded from the version of Fire Attack that appeared in Game & Watch Gallery 4 for the Game Boy in 2002. Regardless, it seems like they are taking the appropriate actions and have regarded the feedback from fans.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is making its way to Nintendo Switch consoles on Dec. 7. After a few Smash-focused Directs, we seem to have all the information there is to have on the launch version of the game. What do you think of everything we’ve see from the game so far? Are you gearing up to snag a copy in early December? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night. Somewhere in between all of that, I’m a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too. If a game is all about action, there’s a safe bet I’m playing it. I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin’ on the ol’ Atari and haven’t stopped since.