Our Expectations for DLC Needs Improvement (Guest Editorial by Kokonoe)

Guest Article kokonoe

This post is written by Kokonoe, and is Source Gaming’s first official guest post. You may follow Kokonoe on Twitter. For guidelines on guest posting, please refer to this article. Please note, that not all members of Source Gaming necessarily agree with this post 100%. However, because of the nature of the post and the possibility to encourage a healthy discussion on the matter, the Source Gaming team decided to feature it. We may also discuss this editorial, and our reactions to it in greater detail in the upcoming SourceCast. –PushDustIn

Throughout message boards and social media, fans of Super Smash Bros. plead for characters, stages, music, and more. I mean, just imagining your favorite content from Nintendo games getting in Nintendo’s premier fighter is enough to make any fan giddy with excitement.

Ever since the first few balance patches and the inclusion of Mewtwo as DLC, expectations and wishes for more content have been at an all high for the series. “Buff this character!”, “Nerf this character!”, “Add this character!”, “Add this stage!”, and more.

We all want our wishes to be included in the series, but how far is that passion for the series getting? Let’s take a look at what’s been happening on Nintendo’s twitter daily.

(Note: We changed the names and the avatars. However, the content is untouched.)
(Note: We changed the names and the avatars. However, the content is untouched.)

Nintendo has been receiving harassment on their Twitter for ballot updates just to pressure them into giving us something sooner. This raises a question: How far are we willing to go just to get more information out of Nintendo? Before it reaches a breaking point, we, as a community should realize that this behavior is wrong and we shouldn’t be handling it this way.

Rushing or pressuring Nintendo into doing things faster is not good for them just as much as it isn’t good for us, because if they do release a rushed product, or rushed information, we could receive very unpolished content or news that would be too early that it ends up having to change things later (for example: a deal with a third party developer ends up not going through.).

Many people voted on the ballot, so with that in mind a machine can only do so much when people voted for multiple characters, or botted, or whatever variance everyone who voted had. They need time to process this list for accuracy and the best candidates they can implement into the game.

Let us all remember that Nintendo doing anything with the game afterwards is a bonus, and yes, Nintendo does make money off of us, but when they decide to pull the plug it’s ultimately their decision, and we should be grateful that they are producing content for us, the fans, when we could have easily gotten just stock Super Smash Bros.

Our expectations of ballot DLC and updates is starting to make us spoiled to the point we plead with Nintendo wherever they can be accessed. Our lack of control needs to change; we shouldn’t let our enthusiasm for the new stop our enthusiasm for what we have, and we should also realize Nintendo is doing what they can and be thankful for that.

It is fine to want more, but we shouldn’t be expressing ourselves in a nagging or entitled way. It’s time we work on our impatience and show not only Nintendo, but our community that we do care about the game regardless if we have an update or not.
Let’s start showing appreciation for what we have.

Kokonoe’s Twitter
Kokonoe’s SmashBoards

Share this!


  1. I think the whole idea that someone will ‘win’ the ballot is also a misconception. It really is a glorified suggestion box that also can gather market and popularity data, hence why they ask for gender and in other territories they also ask for age and other questions.

  2. I want to know where this mentality that the ballot is a popularity contest came from. Iwata, God bless his soul, never said that only the popular characters would be considered in the April 1 direct.

  3. Nintendo really needs to come out and say “We are analyzing the data from the Smash Ballot, but due to the sheer volume of votes, it may take a while to announce any news about it. Please be patient and stay tuned for updates.” Because [INCOMING CYNICAL RANT] people tend to only think about the end result, not the process it takes to make said end result. Hypothetically, even if the data WAS compiled already, it would take time to analyze it. It’s not a clear “x character got the most votes, x gets in Smash” situation. If L-Block from Tetris got the most votes, but Sakurai couldn’t come up with a proper moveset, it obviously wouldn’t get in. Also, I really doubt they’d say “x character is coming” without at least a model to show off (like Mewtwo and Lucas), and making one takes time.

    Obviously, people aren’t thinking about the fact that 1) harassing Nintendo of AMERICA is going to accomplish nothing and 2) Nintendo isn’t going to drop all current projects and move EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE into the Smash studio to finish the DLC faster. Yes, it sounds ridiculous when it’s said, because it is ridiculous.

    I have no clue where this instant gratification attitude in society came from, but it’s really getting on my nerves. This is the kind of nonsense that happens when decisions are made based on emotion rather than logic.

    1. You know, you are right. At the end of the day, Nintendo could just Tweet a “thank you we are analyzing the results of the ballot…”, but for whatever reason they don’t. At the end of the day, they would be likely to get tons of those same tweets, likely from young teenagers, pre-teens, and kids pretending to be their favorite characters, but that post would do a lot to help and to keep the topic from going overboard. (Of course, all of this desperation could be what Nintendo wants)

      Still, it seems a lot of people don’t have a good guess as to how this works, maybe it is because they didn’t have experience with the other ballot(?), but whatever the case seems to have been a lot to go over people’s heads The Ballot lasted 5 months (or so), almost a half a year, it was a crazy amount of time considering Brawl’s lasted about a month (maybe less). That is a ton of votes, Nintendo knew they would get a ton of votes. It’s very, very likely all these votes aren’t even going to all go towards this smash game and we could end up seeing more of our favorites in a future title.

      Nintendo is also likely to handle these votes in a way not only typical to them, but typical to similar Japanese contests. Maybe there is a bot to look for duplicate votes, but likely these are all being read and translated into Japanese (or paraphrased into Japanese) by real people. It sounds insane, but that is typically how these things are done in Japan (save the translation part, which is just special case due to it being international). They also aren’t ones to cheat their system and secretly make their choices before the ballot even closed. They are likely to be translating and collecting votes during that period, but not selecting. It’s also important to not that NIntendo is not going to ask you for information that they don’t use, “Why” you select the character is something they will factor into character considerations. It’s not just a popularity contest, and it’s not even known how much an influence popularity has on the choices.

      We also need to take into consideration the time it takes for Development. A lot of people seemed to be under the impression that we are going to get the Ballot characters by the end of the year, and unless these are rushed out barebones characters, that is very likely to never happen. Mewtwo who most consider similar to his Melee version took 6 months to make. Games, great games take time and effort to make, they just don’t materialize out of thin air, even if you just throw money blindly at them.

      So I don’t know what really has caused people to have such crazy ideas of the ballot… maybe it is just naiveness, maybe it is just pure excitement? But you are right, everyone here is right, people need patience.

  4. I’ve done what I can to stay informed and spread that information. How the Smash Ballot almost surely isn’t solely about total votes, since that wouldn’t make much sense and there are a lot of other factors in play. How it’s more of a nomination process, and they’ll still hold the characters to most of the same standards as the initial cast, favoring the ones with greater moveset potential and such. How despite that, votes are still important, since if it comes down to it they’ll probably give priority to a more highly requested character than a more obscure one. How they were likely never going to announce the “winners” right away, and wouldn’t announce any characters prior to their reveal trailers. Developing this kind of content is a very complicated process, and it’s rarely as cut-and-dry as it’s assumed to be–they probably wouldn’t want to commit themselves to a specific amount of content yet, in case they lose the means to do it or they find themselves capable of doing even more!

    Odds are, we won’t see any content pulled from the Ballot until at least January or February, since they seem to have enough integrity to have waited to start developing it until after the Ballot closed. We’ll probably see some pre-Ballot or non-Ballot content before then, but starting next year, most if not all of the DLC we get will probably be Ballot-based…and they’ll continue to create it for as long as they’re able to stay together.

    Honestly? I don’t think it’s out of the question that we could still be seeing content at this time next year.

    I always run across those kinds of knee-jerk reactions, and every time I see them, it gets to me. Have we really lowered the bar this far? Maybe someone should talk James Cameron into diving back down to the depths of the ocean and raising it back up again…

    1. I don’t think there’s necessarily an issue with “integrity;” by the time the E3 characters got added, Nintendo probably had a very good idea about who were the most popular and feasible. Waiting until after it closed to start a single character likely wouldn’t be a great decision, since the amount of time it takes to make one character (let alone however many we’re getting) would push back the date. And while Smash will always be popular, Sakurai does need to stick to a fairly recent timetable to keep interest at a high – especially if the NX does drop by the end of next year.

      The votes from the later months could definitely influence content (stages for characters from pre-existing franchise, for instance), but it was likely a way to give people an idea about when the stuff they influenced would start to drop.

  5. Sadly, this extends beyond just Smash Bros. fans…and beyond Nintendo fans…and beyond gamers…and you get the idea. But I’m glad someone is at least calling out one community on its entitled tendencies

  6. I agree with everybody, including the source gaming staffs here. Fans and gamers are just being extremely selfish and greedy for wanting more instead giving the creators tons of chances of decision making. Much more, they all don’t think about the staff’s situation, but only on they’re own selfishness, as “patience” doesn’t exist in their dictionary. Sure, it doesn’t mean not giving information asap is the end of the world, but to them, it is, which is (seriously) really ridiculous. It’ll be definitely glad to see our favorite and voted character to be in the game, but forcing the staffs to rush over everything isn’t the best solution to receive the info that they’re looking for; it only destroys it, giving so many errors and ends up receiving negativity feedback for no reasons. Of course it’ll take so long for the chances to make decisions, because there’s tons of posts sent from all over the world they need to take care of, which may include multiple posts sent by exactly same person if they can check the IP address and possibly delete it for not understanding the rule of the ballot, and dig everything out to choose which character is perfect enough to join Smash.

    This is what I’ve been trying to tell everybody (including Youtube) about what Smash Ballot, and Smash itself meant to be. The ballot is only a suggestion box, not a voting box, but still nobody understand it because they all mistakenly believe it as a voting box. Sakurai maybe in charge, but he can’t do anything as he wants, because choosing that character means he needs cooperation with Nintendo and other companies, and those people who’s involved with the project, to not just having permission, but to have an acceptable idea of how the character will work and fit in Smash. Even the console itself have limitations to its power, so he knows he can’t bring anyone and everyone to Smash, but fans still believe that Smash is MUGEN, which they think Sakurai can put in like hundreds or thousands or millions of characters in there, which I believe that’ll kill the machine and the game. Third parties may have a possibility to be chosen too, but should understand that the game itself must have connections with Nintendo in the past; which means games without connection, relationship, and even experience being in a Nintendo franchise isn’t allowed in Smash, and even once isn’t countable. Plus manga/comic and anime/cartoon characters aren’t even allowed as they’re not video game characters, and even having an excuse of they have their own game doesn’t even count and reason anything at all. Finally, Nintendo have already said this, that those characters who have ended as not chosen may keep them as an idea for the next project, as a “just in case” thing. So they can expect for Smash 5, IF there is a possibility for making one in the future, whether Sakurai will continue on the project or quit to replace with someone else.

    But in the end, fans will never understand the situation, as long they’re just gonna focus only on their own selfishness and greediness, and push Nintendo to move faster to obtain what they all want. The word “extreme” is never a solution to everything, it just destroys it without noticing and understanding why.

    1. The problem these fans (and the ones Ar mentioned in the comment below) is that games with too many characters tend to be unbalanced (especially MUGEN games.) Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was a pretty good example of the kind of situation we would be expecting if fans got their way… Capcom was about to lose the Marvel license, they threw together a fighting game with nearly every character featured in previous installments (plus some new ones), and it was a weird and unbalanced mess. I still think people really only like it so much because of the sheer amount of characters present, but it is definitely not polished by any means. If you’re wondering about how rushed it was, here’s a timeline:

      MvC1 release: January 1998.
      MvC2 “in the works” announcement: December 1, 1999.
      MvC2 release: Likely January or February 2000.

      On a side note, Smash currently has 55 characters…. MvC2 has 56. It’s basically like cramming the amount of characters Smash 4 (including DLC) has into about a year or two of development time.

      Also, Smash will continue with or without Sakurai. It’s too important of a franchise for Nintendo at this point.

  7. After reading this article I was like “Ah, it’s not that bad.. When people are put into anxious situations, it’s hard to handle and I don’t think Nintendo cares. Their expectations are not really too bad.” But then I read the comments in an Etika’s video and someone said.. “At least 10 DLC characters in total sounds like pretty damn good amount.” and someone replied “I expected 17 DLC characters” and I found really weird how they were talking in a serious way. That’s way too much characters… I expected 2 or 1 more and I already would be happy with that. o___o”

    1. I agree that Nintendo may ignore their negative comments regarding to the whereabouts of the ballot results. Nintendo just can’t choose a character immediately in just one day when there’s like more than 10 thousands of posts from worldwide, so I wouldn’t mind they take their time as they can go with their own pace.

      I do also agree with you that their choice of character amounts are extremely too many. They don’t know nor understand the limitation of the console’s machine power, but still they try to compare Smash with MUGEN with hundreds of characters in one game. But I wouldn’t think 2 or 1 will be the only DLC character for Smash. I…won’t expect, but guess there might be 5 more…first 2 as a pre-ballot, while the last 3 may be the ballot characters. 60 characters in total looks quite perfect, and although I’d be glad to see my suggested characters to be chosen, I wouldn’t mind what characters would Sakurai and his team choose in the end.

Leave a comment below!