According to EventHubs, the developers of the new Super Smash Bros. game are open to the possibility of including downloadable content (DLC) at some point for the game, although it was hardly a ringing endorsement of the concept.
According to the translation posted on EventHubs, Sakurai said, “Oh it’s not that I dislike DLCs, it’s just that I don’t really have time to think about it. I’m too busy working on the game and put as much content as I can. The goal is to give a full and interesting game to players. I’m not opposed to DLCs on principle. I really liked the Fallout 3 DLCs for example.”
Fighters have a fairly significant history of eventually including support for DLC in their franchises. One of the most notable examples for me personally was Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, which is actually an expansion of the original Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. After being unable to release the DLC as they had originally planned, the developers released Ultimate as a what essentially became standalone expansion pack. Even with this, however, they still have two new characters available for purchase as well as additional costume packs.
It’s worth noting that the Smash Bros. franchise may not see additional characters, but I think the door can’t quite be shut yet. For Super Smash Bros. Melee, the developers included trophies in the game that could only be accessed by playing other games that came out later – such as Pikmin and Animal Crossing. I like to think that Nintendo could do something similar with the newest entry, but actually add full characters instead of just pre-made trophies. When the new Zelda comes out, perhaps a character from the game could be added as DLC if users pre-order the game or perhaps Waluigi could be available to those who purchase a new Mario Tennis or Wario game.
Nintendo has done some interesting but somewhat similar things in the past, particularly with the Zelda franchise. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (w/ Master Quest) was given to those who pre-ordered The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. To my knowledge, Master Quest was never released independently for the Nintendo GameCube or even released at all by itself in the United States. Could Nintendo have similar plans to boost their sales on premier first-party games?
It’s not impossible, but we’ll just have to wait and see. A gamer can dream, right?