Fire Emblem has enjoyed something of a revival in the last few years. Fire Emblem: Awakening was really the big turning point, and it's no exaggeration to say its largescale success literally saved the series. This was somewhat reflected most recently in Smash 4, where Fire Emblem graduated to having five characters on the roster. It seems that Masahiro Sakurai is a big fan of the series, and he recently contributed a piece to the Fire Emblem 25th anniversary book with some information on how the series influenced and related to the Smash Bros. games.
When developing Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, he initially wanted to include Marth, but was unable to due to technical restrictions of the time. When Melee came around, it was tough to get him and Roy in the game due to them not having any games released overseas, but Nintendo of America eventually came to support their addition.
As for figuring out which Fire Emblem characters to include in each game, Sakurai said that it largely is down to luck and timing of releases, and that picks are usually characters from games that are popular at the time. With a few exceptions, characters are never added after the initial project plan is made, due to the impact it has on production time and costs. If Awakening had been released a few months earlier, there likely would've been fewer Fire Emblem characters in Smash 4.
Hat tip to Source Gaming for the translation, you can read the full thing here.
What do you think? Are you glad that several Fire Emblem characters appeared in Smash 4? What other characters would you like to see appear in a future Smash game? Share your thoughts in the comments below.