COVID-19 Could Lead To A Delay In The Release Of New DLC Fighters For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

COVID-19 Could Lead To A Delay In The Release Of New DLC Fighters For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Credit: Nintendo via YouTube

The gaming industry has been crippled by the spreading pandemic that is COVID-19. From the closure of retail locations to the cancellation of several major gaming shows like the Taipei Game Show and even E3 2020, the virus has had a serious impact on gamers and gaming professionals.

Now, it could impact Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch. According to the game’s director, Masahiro Sakurai, the release of additional DLC fighters could be pushed back by the spread of COVID-19.

There are currently more than 300,000 cases of COVID-19 in the world, and nearly 13,000 people have died from it. In Japan, where Nintendo is headquartered, there are currently 1,046 cases of COVID-19 with 36 deaths.

Sakurai noted that if there is even one positive case found within the Smash Bros. team, the entire project could be shut down for an undetermined period of time.

“If someone is found to be infected, the entire building will be closed down and development will be halted altogether,” Sakurai said. “Novel coronavirus has cast a long shadow on game production. Various software may be delayed or canceled, but there’s nothing we can do about it. If people aren’t at work, then, of course, nothing will proceed as planned.”

If that is the case, Sakurai stated that they would not be announcing the identity of the next fighter, seeing as how development could be stopped at a moment’s notice and might not continue as planned.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has already seen a number of DLC characters, ranging from the Piranha Plant from Super Mario Bros. to Terry Bogard from the Fatal Fury fighting game series.

Most recently, the first Fighters Pass DLC wrapped up with the announcement that Fire Emblem’s Byleth would be the final fighter offered in that DLC pack. This did not sit well with most gamers, who were hoping for a more iconic character from a franchise that was not well represented already.

There are already a huge number of Fire Emblem characters available on the roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Rumors were swirling that the final Fighters Pass character would be someone huge like Dante from Devil May Cry or Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series.

Back in January, it was announced that we would be getting six more fighter in the Fighters Pass 2 DLC, all of which would be released by December 2021. If issues pertaining to the coronavirus plague the Smash Bros. Ultimate team, it is likely that those releases could be pushed back into 2022.