On the heels of last night’s announcement that Persona 5 protagonist Joker will join the Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime says this reveal should prime fans for the type of characters to expect from the rest of the DLC.
“It’s emblematic of the approach that Mr. Sakurai and the team are taking with the DLC,” Fils-Aime told IGN. “He wants characters that are unique, different, to bring them into the Smash Bros. environment. So it’s going to be tremendously exciting.”
Fils-Aime explained that Sakurai and the team working on Ultimate’s DLC don’t necessarily see characters from franchises not typically associated with Nintendo as a limiting factor when it comes to Smash Bros.
“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,” Fils-Aime said. “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.”
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.
“I hope the fans are excited by the announcement of Joker. I hope they’re looking forward to the future announcements,” he added. “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.”
As for Persona 5’s future prospects on Switch, Fils-Aime didn’t offer any sort of hint that we should expect it any time soon.
“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,” he said.
While Persona 5 is only on PlayStation 3 and 4, Joker technically appeared on a Nintendo platform just recently with the release of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, which came out on 3DS last month in Japan. A Western release still hasn’t been confirmed, but Joker’s appearance in Smash could offer new hope.
For more of last night’s announcements, check out the biggest game reveals, news, and trailers from The Game Awards 2018, and stay tuned to IGN for more from Fils-Aime.
Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and screamed when this news was announced. You can find him rambling about Persona and cute animals on Twitter.