The question at hand is about one of gaming’s most beloved franchises, Super Smash Bros. It’s a relevant one too, because it’s rooted in a conversation that Nintendo started this year at E3 2017.
The direction of eSports for Nintendo IPs has been made abundantly clear by games such as ARMS, Splatoon 2, and many more. But Nintendo has one game that from a perspective of competition stands above the rest, and that’s Super Smash Bros.
There’s already been a large online scene, and that’s substantial, I’m not denying that. But For Glory has a surprisingly inconsequential overtone to it that begs the question of whether or not they’re addressing it properly. I won’t deny that Super Smash Bros. is a malleable game, and while it lends itself to competition, I personally find it more appealing as a party game.
Still, Hearthstone offers ranked play in both Standard and Wild. Smash Bros. should try supporting ranked play for both For Fun and For Glory modes. It offers players the opportunity to become good at separate facets of the game and have a tangible measure of their progress when compared to other players. This is essential, as skill at a multiplayer game is literally relative in every sense.
Smash Wii U offers a very fun tournament mode, but I think there’s a way to incorporate elements like that into the ranked mode. Offer Rank exclusive tournaments online, where the prize for winning is an exclusive in-game trophy. These events inspire competition and only serve to feed both the online community of the game and the competitive community that fans have come to love.
Reggie Fils-Aime himself has insisted that he wants a community-driven scene for certain aspects of Super Smash Bros, and encouraging that through ranked play is arguably a seamless way of having players that moderate themselves.
Hopefully we’ll see a Nintendo Switch installment of the series that makes use of these ideas.