Nintendo says it will change a specific design for Mr. Game & Watch in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after public outcry over an in-game attack that depicts Native American stereotypes.
The design in question is for Mr. Game & Watch who for their attacks can transform into old references to various Game & Watch titles. One move however references the old 1982 game Fire Attack where players as cowboys must defend a fort from Native American attackers who wield torches and wear feathers.
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. I'm Native, and this hurts. @NintendoAmerica Can you help?http://go.redirectingat.com?id=87431X1573192&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2F8JlXbBh1lfpic.twitter.com/NZCasWlVom— ale (@rr_gale) November 3, 2018
The design was spotted by the internet after it was seen briefly in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's promotional materials from last week's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct. Social media sites and forums like Resetera criticized the design and Nintendo announced that it will be changing the design.
"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," Nintendo said in a statement.
"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 same Game & Watch Native American design was changed previously when Fire Attack was included in the Game & Watch Gallery 4 compilation for the Game Boy Advance. It's unclear whether the design change will be for all regional versions of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or just North America's.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is coming out on December 7 for the Nintendo Switch.