Earlier this week, Masahiro Sakurai's regular column in the Japanese magazine Famitsu leaked online early. While early translations indicated the development of the upcoming DLC fighters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate could potentially be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, we've now got a full translation (courtesy of Nintendo Everything).
Like everyone right now, Sakurai appears to be struggling to go about his day-to-day life due to all the disruptions. He explains how travel restrictions and the current situation with COVID-19 recently postponed a meeting with a publisher indefinitely and he also warned there's a "high probability" of Smash Bros. development not proceeding as scheduled from here on out:
Restrictions are also being put on business travel. It’s particularly difficult to meet with partners who are faraway. For example, Nintendo is headquartered in Kyoto, right? In this regard, it’s quite difficult for us to visit other companies. In my case, specifically, I was scheduled to give a presentation to a publisher on our plans for a certain new fighter; however the key parties were not able to get together, so it’s been postponed indefinitely. That’s not something I could fix even if I could be in the office the whole time.
And if we were to find out someone in the office has the virus, I presume all of our buildings would be shut down. If that happens, development would have to be halted entirely. There’s a high probability of development not proceeding as scheduled, even if a new fighter were tentatively announced.
Although game development around the world may be stalled, Sakurai thinks video games could see a "bump in sales" as everyone self-isolates – provided there are no issues on the production side. He's also acknowledged how announcements regarding "postponed release dates or halted development" were "unavoidable" at this point.
How would you feel about possible DLC fighter delays? Share your thoughts in the comments below.