Nintendo fans are on a mission to solve the mystery of a recently-vanished Smash Ultimate Direct that introduced King K Rool, along with Simon and Richter Belmont, to the famous fighting game franchise.
The August 8, 2018 Smash Direct is easily one of the best that Nintendo has ever released, as it dug deep into the then-upcoming fighting game title and announced three new characters in the process.
Now, for whatever reasons, the video has mysteriously disappeared from the North American, European, and Japanese websites without any reason as to why.
The Direct’s removal comes at a weird time, as August 8, 2021 is approaching, marking the third year anniversary of the video.
As such, conspiracies are running wild regarding why the video was taken down. While some seem quite sensible, others are verging on the extremely unlikely, such as a new fighter being revealed.
Some fans were under the impression that with the Olympic closing ceremonies approaching, some music featured in the video could be used, and as a result, there might be some weird automatic copyright claims. The Olympics are in Japan this year, and Nintendo was supposed to have a presence before the company reportedly decided to pull out.
Popular Smash YouTuber PapaGenos was one of the first personalities to bring attention to the missing Direct and noticed how its removal from Nintendo websites suggests this issue isn’t limited to YouTube copyright claims.
It's gone from the NA and EU websites as well, so this wasn't a YouTube thing since Nintendo is taking down the video from their own sites. Very odd especially with the timing of August 8th being so soon… pic.twitter.com/kMIsPjYJtc
— PapaGenos (@GenosPapa) August 6, 2021
Others think a new tease between Nintendo and Konami is in the works.
“Could it be because of something coming up between Konami and Nintendo?” a user suggested.
“Maybe Nintendo has a licensing agreement with Konami on the Castlevania IP content that was shown in that Direct, and for ongoing legal renegotiations, they had to suspend the availability of that Direct?”
That’s interesting. Could be a number of legal/promotional reasons surrounding third-party deals and music though.
I’ve utilized assets for games that required the promotional material be taken down after a certain amount of time.
— Riley Little (@TheRileyLittle) August 6, 2021
“Could be a number of legal/promotional reasons surrounding third-party deals and music,” suggested Wal-Mart Canada’s social media manager Riley Little.
Others have theorized some Smash content is dropping soon, such as a new stage pack, but it’s unclear why the removal of a Direct could have anything to do with upcoming stages.
Nintendo has yet to officially comment on why they pulled the Direct, and it’s unlikely that they will – but if enough people take notice, even they may feel the need to pull back the curtain, especially if it is because of something as mundane as a licensing agreement.