With products like amiibos, the labo, and a host of iconic fun characters, if you ask anyone which video game company is the most kid-friendly, you’d undoubtedly get a unanimous response – Nintendo. Despite this, a rather culturally-insensitive animation somehow made its way into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate forcing the company to hurriedly work to remove it before its official release next month.
According to Eurogamer, fans noticed a new animation for “Mr. Game and Watch” during the last Treehouse Live in which the character adopts a racially-charged pose which many took offense to. The pose has Mr. Game and Watch holding a torch, bearing his teeth, all while a feather sticks out of his head – a nod to a 1982 title called Fire Attack in which the character attempts to defend a cowboy’s fort from being burned down by Native Americans.
Following the video, numerous fans voiced their concern on the popular gaming forum Resetera. Once word had started to spread, others took to Twitter to tag Nintendo of America’s account to bring their attention to the issue.
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. #BLM (@rr_gale) November 3, 2018
Today, Nintendo released an official statement to Kotaku saying that they were already working on replacing this animation. Here’s their exact words:
“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 most bizarre part of this story is the fact that Nintendo is well aware of the culturally inappropriate nature of the aforementioned Fire Attack game as the company moved to replace the Native Americans with random bandits when the game was rereleased as as part of Game & Watch Gallery 4. This incident is clearly a case of poor quality control somewhere along the production road. Someone should’ve noticed this mistake a lot earlier before it got publicly revealed on the Treehouse Live episode.
Despite this blunder, good guy Nintendo continues to uphold its reputation with their quick response to this situation.
Featured Image Source: Nintendo (via Variety)