As containment and concerns over the global pandemic of COVID-19 have continued, many developers including Nintendo have opted to work remotely. Even so, usual plans have been disrupted entirely. According to a recent interview, Super Smash Bros Ultimate Director Masahiro Sakurai revealed that plans for a Nintendo Direct featuring the next Smash Ultimate Fighters Pass 2 character have been delayed due to issues with the ongoing coronavirus.
Sakurai apparently revealed the delay of a Smash Bros Ultimate Fighters Pass 2 Direct in an interview with Famitsu posted on March 17, 2020, as posted on ryokutya. According to the interview, Sakurai had plans to present the latest DLC character and first in Smash Bros Ultimate’s second season soon, but issues with the coronavirus had delayed efforts to put together a Nintendo Direct presentation of the character.
“I planned to present a plan for a new fighter and give a presentation to Mr. Miyamoto, but the parties concerned are not gathering and it is postponed indefinitely,” Sakurai explained (roughly translated)
According to Sakurai, the coronavirus could impact more than just Nintendo Directs and Smash Bros character reveals. It could impact the work on the characters as well.
“Even if we announce a new fighter, there is a possibility that development will not proceed as expected,” Sakurai continued. “The new coronavirus has a big shadow in game production. Delays in the release of various software may delay the development, but it will be unavoidable.”
As all characters in the Super Smash Bros Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2 were expected to launch by December 31, 2021 when the details of the pass were first announced, that means we could be on a somewhat longer timeline than originally anticipated if Sakurai’s claims are accurate. Nintendo is still capable of doing Directs, as is evidenced by the March Indie World presentation, but that may have been put together before matters with the coronavirus got truly serious. Nintendo also recently made the decision to allow its employees to work remotely, which could be what is impacting Smash Bros Ultimate DLC presentations and Nintendo Directs now.
For the time being, it looks like new Smash Bros updates are the latest victim of the ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19. Stay tuned to Shacknews as we await further details on Super Smash Bros Ultimate Fighters Pass 2 and any further Nintendo Direct presentations on the way.