A character from a mature-rated franchise could be coming to Super Smash Bros Ultimate, if a new popular theory proves to be accurate.
“M Theory” implies that the use of franchise logos are enough to warrant an ESRB age rating adjustment in promotional material.
There are a couple of examples where this comes into play. Notably, the use of the Assassin’s Creed and Fallout Mii Fighter costumes.
In the North American versions of the Mii Fighter trailers and character presentations for Byleth and Min Min, the ratings for the material is Everyone 10+ to Teen. Additionally, the Smash Ultimate x Assassin’s Creed logo is replaced with Altair.
Meanwhile, the Vault Boy Mii Fighter doesn’t have the Fallout logo in the North American trailer.
These details are key, because, in the European versions of the trailers, the Fallout and Assassin’s Creed logos appear. It should be noted that different parts of the world use different rating systems and practices.
This seems to indicate that an M-rated game logo can warrant a change in how the content is presented. Both Assassin’s Creed and Fallout are mature-rated franchises so their presence could make Nintendo put an ‘M’ in their ads. Placing Altair and Vault Boy in their place seems to be a way to work around that problem.
Will Fighters Pass Vol 2 have an M-rated game character?
An upcoming fighter could be from an M-rated game given how the DLC fighters are presented in ads. The North American version of the Min Min video doesn’t have the ARMS logo in the Fighters Pass Volume 2 screen. However, it was present in the other versions of the same video.
For the sake of consistency, Nintendo may want all the logos to be present once more fighters are announced. So, not being able to show one would make Nintendo not show any logos at all.
An ESRB spokesperson told Dexerto that while they don’t rate ads, they enforce “industry-adopted advertising and marketing guidelines administered by the Advertising Review Council (ARC), but does not comment publicly about individual ads.”
“The rating icons that appear in ads reflect the ratings of the product promoted in them, not the rating for the ad itself. When a compilation icon appears it’s typically because multiple rated products are promoted in an ad,” the spokesperson said.
It’s possible that we could be seeing the likes of Doomguy, Dante or even Master Chief show up in Smash.
While this is all just a theory right now, the evidence in its favor seems to be stacking up. We can’t wait to see what ends up happening with the five remaining Smash Ultimate DLC slots.