The Super Smash Bros. series has completely mastered the hype cycle.
I haven’t seen another game whip up fans into as much of a frenzy, and it can be done with a simple glimpse of a logo, a single sound effect, or another cue that tells fans “More Smash Bros. is on the way. Buckle up.” (We discussed this more in the Art of Video Game Trailers Podcast.)
Excitement is at an all time high for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is why I’m kicking off this blog series: 30 Days to Smash Ultimate! Every day between now and December 7th when the game launches, I’ll be posting a new “Scott’s Thoughts” blog post. You’ll be able to read the whole series here.
One of my favorite things to do is watch a Smash Direct, then go to YouTube and find a Nintendo store crowd reaction clip. Smash fans are packed like sardines in front of a big screen, waiting with baited breath for new announcements. As soon as a sliver of a new character appears on screen, they jump up and down, flailing their arms like their favorite sports team just won.
And in a sense—they did! I’ve been at Smash tournaments where competitors and spectators alike say “these are my sports.” Whether you’re rooting for Zero to win Evo, or cheering on Nintendo as they regain ground in the console wars, every Super Smash Bros. announcement feels like a victory for your home team.
Nintendo Switch owners were treated to quite the surprise in March, while watching a regular quarterly Nintendo Direct. That’s when a Splatoon 2 announcement ended and the Inklings retook center stage for the shocking reveal of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, unveiled for the first time, and coming out in 2018 no less!
Ever since, we’ve been getting drip-fed information from Sakurai and his development team, with the occasional flood of information that accompanies each character reveal!
Better yet, the hype cycle doesn’t come to a screeching halt on launch day, because this Ultimate entry in the series will continue development through February of 2020! We can look forward to seeing that mysterious Smash orb logo alight into flames in many Nintendo Directs over the next 16 months. And you can bet that the Nintendo NY crowd will be there to jump up and down, and express how we are all feeling!
Where is your hype meter sitting at? Let me know in the comments!