EVO Japan, Japan’s premiere fighting game convention and tournament scene much like in the United States, is running into a problem in its lineup, mainly in the form of Dragon Ball FighterZ and Super Smash Bros Ultimate not being there. While no reason has been given, it is fitting a disturbing trend.
Recently, despite Dragon Ball FighterZ being enormously successful and even being put into EVO 2018 to replace Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite following that game’s own lackluster reception, Toei has apparently been having a change of heart. There have been numerous news stories going around of smaller fighting game tournaments being disallowed to add FighterZ to their lineup, and now it seems that Super Smash Bros Ultimate might be joining them.
The news comes from Rod Breslau, an esports consultant, who said that he has multiple sources saying that rights holders are objecting to the games being in those tournaments, though why it’s happening now when at every other EVO tournament before now, including EVO Japan, both Super Smash Bros and FighterZ have been put in without issue.
While it’s somewhat more understandable in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, due to all of the different characters from different companies there, the fact that Toei and the other license holders for FighterZ are only now keeping FighterZ from being in EVO despite not having a problem with it this year (a developer on the game even entered EVO as a contender) is definitely odd.
While there’s no confirmation yet if Super Smash Bros Ultimate isn’t going to be allowed to come to EVO either, fighting game fans will likely be watching closely to see what games end up coming to the event, especially if you’re a fighting game fan that plays one game and one game only competitively.
Either way, hopefully before EVO Japan and other EVO events the Dragon Ball FighterZ and Super Smash Bros Ultimate rights holders will change their minds and let the games come to the events.