Nintendo Apologises, Swiftly Moves To Delete Racist Caricature From ‘Super Smash Bros Ultimate’
And that's how you deal with online outrage.
Nintendo has responded to those pointing out a racist caricature in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. game in the best possible way. By apologising and removing it entirely.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the latest all-in Nintendo biffo game in the long-running series and is set to be released for the Switch next month. It looks like a bundle of fun, but the pre-release imagery revealed Mr. Game & Watch appearing as an offensively stereotypical Native American.
Please check and spread the below thread from ResetEra. Mr. Game & Watch's new forward smash in Smash Ultimate is a direct reference to a G&W game featuring racist depictions of Native Americans.
— ✨ gale (@rr_gale) November 3, 2018
Mr Game & Watch is a character dating all the way back to a 1982 handheld game called Fire Attack, in which players defended an old-timey cowboy fort from attacking Native Americans. Obviously, society has come a long way in the 30+ years since then. There’s now a broader understanding of how damaging angry and/or violent depictions of Indigenous peoples can be.
Nintendo came out swiftly and firmly against the caricature, apologising for its inclusion and promising to remove the silhouette from the character’s attacking abilities.
“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,” they announced in a press release.
“We sincerely apologise 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.”
Mr. Game and Watch using the attack. (Via YouTube/Nintendo)
Whilst it’s definitely odd that such a blatantly unacceptable depiction even made it to this stage of development, it’s refreshing to see the company coming out fully against the racist imagery, apologising and promising to do better.
Good stuff Nintendo. Now, less racism, and more Waluigi, please!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate hits the Nintendo Switch December 7.