2017’s Nier: Automata finally made it to Switch last month, but director Yoko Taro wishes it had happened a few years earlier. The reason? Taro seems to believe if Automata had been released on Nintendo’s platform sooner, there’d have been a better chance of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate incorporating the game’s characters.
In an interview with Nintendo Life about the Nintendo Switch port of Nier: Automata, Taro implied 2B and 9S missing out on Smash Bros is somewhat of a sore spot, saying, “I am hugely disappointed that we did not make it in time to get into Smash Bros…”
NieR Automata – The End of YoRHa Edition Screens [Nintendo Direct, June 2022]
The Smash Ultimate roster features third-party crossovers from franchises like Persona, Minecraft, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Tekken, and others, so it’s not a stretch to imagine Nier’s 2B and 9S as part of the roster.
Even Taro’s assertion that the Nier port’s late arrival is at least partially to blame doesn’t entirely hold up. Persona 5’s Joker was the first paid DLC character added in 2019 and Persona 5 Royal just came to Nintendo Switch last month. Other third-party Ultimate characters have little-to-no relationship with Nintendo platforms at all. We may never know if Automata’s absence on Switch was a big factor in the franchise missing out on Smash, or if there were other reasons that led to the decision.
Unfortunately for Taro and Nier: Automata fans, 2B won’t be joining the fray anytime soon. Ultimate’s development wrapped last year after the inclusion of Kingdom Hearts’ Sora, and Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai is currently a YouTuber. Sakurai has also said there are “no plans” for a Smash Bros. sequel, but Nintendo may have other ideas, given that Smash Ultimate is the best-selling fighting game of all time.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.