Team Ninja boss explains why Ryu Hayabusa isn’t in Smash Ultimate yet

Michael Gwilliam
Ryu Hayabusa isn't in Smash Ultimate

Ninja Gaiden’s protagonist Ryu Hayabusa has been a popular candidate to join the fighting game roster in Super Smash Bros Ultimate for a while and now, Team Ninja’s Fumihiko Yasuda has chimed in.

Ryu Hayabusa seems to already have all the prerequisites met to be added to Smash. He’s a character with some deep ties to Nintendo as Ninja Gaiden Trilogy first appearing on the NES. He’s a gaming icon with a large following. And he’s made by a Japanese developer.

As such, it’s a bit odd that he hasn’t come to Smash yet while other third-parties of yesteryear such as Megaman and Simon Belmont have made the cut.

In any case, the fan demand and rumors of his inclusion have really ramped up and with only two slots remaining in Fighters Pass Volume 2, this could be the last chance for Hayabusa to duke it out with the rest of Nintendo’s allstars.

Tyu Hayabusa in Ninja Gaiden
Ryu Hayabusa has been a frequent name in Smash DLC discussion.

In a recent interview with Famitsu, Fumihiko Yasuda, the head of Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja was asked about how fans want to see Ryu added to Smash Ultimate.

Yasuda responded saying that the team “is waiting for the invitation” – a reference to the iconic letter characters receive indicating they have been selected to join the Smash roster.

This response is very similar to the one Xbox had when asked on Twitter about Master Chief coming to Smash. The Microsoft account simply replied “he’s still waiting for his invitation.”

Smash Ultimate challenger pack 10 and 11
Only two DLC slots remain in Fighters Pass Volume 2.

Of course, Yasuda isn’t the only former Ninja Gaiden dev who has commented on Ryu potentially coming to Smash. In an exclusive interview with Dexerto, former Ninja Gaiden director Tomonobu Itagaki was asked how he felt about Ryu in Nintendo’s fighter.

“Super Smash Bros is a very popular game,” he said. “I think it’s a stage big enough for Ryu Hayabusa to play an active role.”

We’ll have to wait and see if Ryu actually does make the cut and ends up joining the roster. With only two spots remaining in Fighters Pass Volume 2, anything is possible.

It also helps that the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection will be releasing on Switch in June. Only time will tell if this ends up factoring into Ryu sneaking his way into Smash or not.

About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at or on Twitter @TheGwilliam