Nintendo intends to patch out offensive imagery from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, after fans pointed it out following last week’s Nintendo Direct. A racist depiction of Native Americans included in Mr. Game & Watch’s move set led to widespread criticism, prompting an apology from the company.
A Japanese livestream hosted after the Nintendo Direct showcased Mr. Game & Watch, the throwback fighter who draws on Nintendo’s early portable game history, using an attack where he dons a feather and torches his enemies. The silhouette comes from a 1982 Game & Watch handheld, Fire Attack, where players are a cowboy warding off Native Americans that set fire to his fort. When Nintendo included Fire Attack in the Game Boy Advance compilation Game & Watch Gallery 4, however, it removed the feathers and headdresses from the Native American-themed characters.
Watch Mr. Game & Watch perform the move quickly in the GIF below, right before his competitor King Dedede hammers him off the platform
Interestingly, this image is seen only in the Japanese version of the Nintendo Direct. A recent video distributed to Western audiences shows Game & Watch performing the same move, but rendered differently.
The new outfit for Mr. Game & Watch stands as a tiny alteration of a familiar attack in his moveset — but one that viewers did not fail to notice. A lengthy ResetEra thread over the weekend compiled these concerns, with many users suggesting that Nintendo should alter the design as soon as possible. When reached for comment by several of these posters, Nintendo said that it will alter Mr. Game & Watch’s appearance post-launch.
“Nintendo has been planning to distribute an update forSuper Smash Bros. Ultimate that removes the feather from the silhouette of Mr. Game & Watch,” the company told Polygon in a statement. “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.”
We’ve reached out to Nintendo for clarification on when we should expect the update and will add that information accordingly. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will come to Nintendo Switch on Dec. 7, so expect something around then. In the meantime, catch up on everything else you need to know about the game with our explainer.
Red Dead Redemption 2 launched to critical and commercial acclaim, and now we have an idea of just how well it did from a sales perspective: Rockstar Games has shipped more than 17 million copies of the open-world Western, parent company Take-Two Interactive announced Wednesday.
That staggering figure represents sales as of today — which means that Rockstar sold that many copies of Red Dead Redemption 2 in just 12 days, since the game launched Oct. 26 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
These are sell-in numbers rather than sell-through numbers, meaning that the physical copies included in the 17 million total are units that were shipped to retailers rather than purchased by customers. But any way you slice it, it’s an unbelievably impressive tally.
The launch week was even more impressive. Take-Two noted that in Red Dead Redemption 2’s first eight days on the market (through Nov. 3), the company sold more copies of the game than it sold of the original Red Dead Redemption during its first eight years of release. That game debuted in May 2010, and by February 2017 — almost seven years after launch — Take-Two said that sell-in numbers had reached approximately 15 million units. In other words, Red Dead Redemption 2 sales topped 15 million copies in eight days.
Red Dead Redemption 2, said Take-Two, has “exceeded our sales expectations to date.” Last week, the company announced sell-through of $725 million during the game’s first three days of release. That was second only to another Rockstar title, 2013’s Grand Theft Auto 5, which generated $1 billion of revenue in its first three days.
It’s N7 Day tomorrow, the annual celebration of all things Mass Effect. It’s also the release date for five big mod updates that each change a significant chunk of Mass Effect 3. I confess that it’s not a game that I really thought about modding, but these actually sound pretty great.
First off, there’s Priority Earth Overhaul Mod, which fiddles around with Mass Effect 3’s last mission—everything from changes to enemy spawns to completely new cutscenes. The update will be the second of three stages. “The first patch will include War Asset representation in the Hub, new action scenes, randomized Reaper behavior, level design improvements and a complete overhaul of level streaming,” writes the team.
Expanded Galaxy Mod is broader, restoring, reworking and adding new stuff like weapons, armour and missions across the entire game. A new war assets system comes comes with the N7 Day update, along with general bug fixes and tweaks.
The Omega and Ark mods are from the team behind Expanded Galaxy Mod, augmenting Omega Station and the multiplayer, respectively. The former essentially gives you a new hub, letting you return to Omega and see how it’s changed post-liberation. Ark, meanwhile, throws some new Hazard maps and enemies into the mix.
I don’t think I’ve ever given a second thought to Mass Effect 3’s Spectre terminal, but Tydeous, the modder behind Spectre Expansion Mod, definitely has. This mod aims to improve the Shadow Broker and Spectre terminals, expanding them with details that flesh out the galaxy and the conflict consuming it. The galaxy map is larger, there are combat mission additions and there’s even a new quest in development.
With BioWare deep into Anthem, it looks like it will be an otherwise quiet N7 Day, so if you’re getting nostalgic for Shepard’s adventures, some updated mods might be the best way to dive back into Mass Effect’s galaxy.
The presentation of Diablo Immortal at Blizzcon over the weekend was not handled well. Blizzard tried to cool down speculation before the conference, but it has been more than four years since Reaper of Souls and fans were naturally hoping for a glimpse of something, anything, to indicate that the main PC series is alive and well.
Blizzard has said repeatedly that multiple Diablo projects are in in the works, but statements around a conference don’t have the same cut-through as a guy nervously addressing Blizzard’s most devoted fans at the climax of Blizzcon’s opening ceremony. I get the disappointment. The lavish cinematic trailer got me excited for the prospect of a big new PC Diablo game, and the sudden reversal of that expectation is one of the reasons why that cinematic trailer has nearly half a million downvotes right now.
You could see that Blizzard expected some pushback, but the response was grumpier than the company even expected. There were online petitions—okay, there are always online petitions these days, but it was veryangry petition. There were furious forum threads, accusations of betrayal, suggestions that Diablo is doomed. There’s the implication that Diablo might be cheapened by the existence of a mobile game. Well…
Diablo and Tyrael Funko Pops were announced in 2013. A year later Reaper of Souls came out and Reaper of Souls was great. The existence of fridge magnets, beanie hats, beer glasses didn’t appear to have any impact on the main game or its appeal. Malthael was as cruel and gothic as you’d hope from an angel of death. Westmarch was full of monsters to punch. It was good Diablo times.
Since then Diablo has appeared on consoles, including the Nintendo Switch, which supports the game quite nicely and offers offline play for long journeys. Now the company wants a mobile game that can appeal to more players, and there’s even a chance it might be fun to play and show off some interesting new parts of Sanctuary.
Blizzard is a global business that wants its properties to make money in markets all over the world. If the series is able to make money in a wide variety of ways Diablo becomes a going concern, and there’s more reason to produce core games to sustain it. Plus, parallel mobile games are increasingly common. Fallout 4 and Fallout Shelter happily found their own audiences.
But why couldn’t the company just announce a new core game? Obviously if it exists it isn’t ready for the public, which suggests such a game is quite a way off. Plus, Blizzard may be thinking about Diablo 3, which was announced far too early. There were plenty of development blog posts that ended up causing disappointment when features were cut or changed before release. If you announce a game years and years before launch, an audience can tire of it before it even arrives.
Not that Diablo fans aren’t sick of waiting. This weekend’s disappointment also stems from prolonged silence from Blizzard about the future of the series, even just to say that the Diablo has a future beyond D3 seasons and the Necromancer pack. We saw some hiring for dungeon artists and designers in 2017, but otherwise it’s natural to worry that the success of games like Overwatch could change a company’s priorities.
In truth that’s a much greater risk for the series: that it stops being worth pursuing at all above Blizzard’s other games. A mobile game as part of a collection of new Diablo projects should be seen as a sign of life, not of the series’ imminent death. Because a series is expanding, it doesn’t follow that the PC games that started it will be undermined or somehow lost, it just means we need to wait a little longer for the game we really want.
So the faster your framerate, the faster you move. Which is fine, whatever in a singleplayer game like Bethesda are used to making, but not fine for a multiplayer-only release like Fallout 76, where changing a player’s framerate is as easy as entering a few lines of code.
In pre-release marketing materials for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, set to release on December 7, the character Mr. Game & Watch uses racist Native American imagery during one of his attacks. Nintendo now says it plans to remove that imagery from the game and has apologized to fans, saying the caricature doesn’t represent the company’s values.
Fans spotted the character’s new attack animation during a Treehouse Live stream last Thursday, following a Nintendo Direct dedicated to the game. During the attack, the normally black silhouetted Mr. Game & Watch is holding a torch and bearing his teeth with a feather coming out of the back of his head. It’s an homage to the character’s 1982 game, Fire Attack, in which players help a cowboy defend his fort from being burned down by Native Americans. The racist caricature sparked debates on forums like ResetEra and the game’s subreddit.
Nintendo has come down firmly on the side of it being an offensive depiction. In a statement to Kotaku (as first reported by Eurogamer), the company said the following:
“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.”
The company did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on why it had decided to add the caricature to Smash Bros. Ultimate in the first place. Mr. Game & Watch’s character didn’t have this move in previous Smash games, and Nintendo had previously removed it from Fire Attack when the game was ported to Game Boy Advance in 2002 as part of Game & Watch Gallery 4. In that version, the Native American characters were changed into bandits.