Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot

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Not to be confused with Super Smash Bros. Poll
Ballot website logo

The Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot was an official poll added as part of the Super Smash Bros. 4 Official Site. With the announcement of an extended DLC schedule for Super Smash Bros. 4, the Ballot was created to allow fans to request which characters they wanted to see in the game, with the Japanese website mentioning the ballot would also be used to decide characters in future games as well.[1] The Ballot was open between 1st April 2015 and 3rd October 2015.

Out of all realisable characters, the official winner of the ballot was Bayonetta. However, the overall winner was revealed to be Sora during Mr. Sakurai Presents: Battling with Sora.


The ballot as it appeared on the website

The Ballot was announced during the April 2015 Nintendo Direct, directly after Lucas was revealed to be the second DLC fighter for Smash 4. The Ballot was a write-in form in which users first identify their gender—male or female—then the character, their game of origin, and a brief explanation as to why the character should be included. This final section had a 500 character limit. The voter would then confirm their submission and send it to a database. During the Ballot's run, there was considerable debate between fans regarding whether the Ballot was a contest that would result in only the winner being added to the game, or if it was more akin to a suggestion box meant to give the developers a clearer idea of what characters fans desired to be included.

There was no limit to the amount of times a single person could vote, and some users attempted to "stuff" the Ballot by using proxies to add multiple entries, although only a single vote per person was considered valid and affected the results of the ballot.[2] Around 1.8 million valid votes were tallied upon the Ballot's closure on October 3, 2015.

Although the results in their entirety have not been published, exit polls conducted by users on SmashBoards and other websites showed that there were many requests for characters such as Waddle Dee, Geno, and Dixie Kong in Japan,[3] while overseas there were many requests for characters such as Isaac and Shantae, reflecting the popularity of those respective series in their respective regions.[4] Characters such as Sora, Banjo & Kazooie, and King K. Rool, along with all the veterans cut from Smash 4, were among the most requested characters globally.[5][6]


During the Final Video Presentation on December 15, 2015, Bayonetta was declared as the winner of the ballot. She was stated as the #1 choice in Europe and in the top 5 in North America, while also being stated as the #1 choice among "realizable and negotiable" characters, which was the real deciding factor. Bayonetta was released as the final Smash 4 DLC fighter on February 3, 2016 alongside the Umbra Clock Tower stage and a collection of music tracks and trophies.


Shortly after the release of Mewtwo, five additional placeholder slots for future downloadable content, under the name "mario", were found, with a sixth one added after the release of wave 2 (Lucas, Roy, and Ryu), later into the ballot's run. On 3rd November, 2016, decompiler Kurogane Hammer found that Bayonetta's stats were added to one of the original five placeholder slots, as early as before version 1.0.6, as her character slot was added to the game in that patch, which was launched only two weeks after the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot opened and several months before Bayonetta was announced as the winner of the ballot.[7] Decompilers Marioking64DS and Ehm from The Cutting Room Floor later confirmed that the character slot for Bayonetta existed in the patch, whose parameters were a near 1:1 copy of Zero Suit Samus, which would then gradually change in the subsequent patches to eventually match Bayonetta's parameters when she was released in 1.1.4.[8] The sixth placeholder slot would later be used for Corrin with his parameters being added in version 1.0.8, the same month that Fire Emblem Fates was released in Japan.[9]

All of this prompted skepticism about Bayonetta's placement in the final results. Many pointed out that it would be highly unlikely for Bayonetta to have been chosen at the conclusion of the Ballot due to the length of time required to develop even a single fighter for the game. As Bayonetta was also a third-party character, this would also include negotiations with her rightsholder Sega to acquire permission to use the character. This is also further supported by the statement that she was the winner "among realizable and negotiable characters", which many have argued is too vague of a qualifier that could be applied to any character to work. Some argue that the ballot's votes were frontloaded during the first two weeks it was open and so the ballot winner was chosen off of such early results, though it has also been counterargued that less than two weeks would have been too short a lead time to observe the ballot results, complete the licensing for Bayonetta, and get the development process far enough along for her to appear in the game data by 1.0.6. This information suggests that Bayonetta had already been decided as a character early and was not the overall ballot winner.


The Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot dominated discussions throughout the Smash community during the period in which it was active, being covered by numerous news outlets and big-name YouTubers. The criteria provided by the ballot has also had a large impact amongst character speculators, truly stretching what it means to be a "Smash character."

Impact on Ultimate[edit]

The Ballot would go on to determine several character inclusions in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, such as Banjo & Kazooie, Ridley, King K. Rool, Simon, Richter, Chrom, and Dark Samus. Masahiro Sakurai mentioned Banjo & Kazooie in particular placing highly in the ballot, including in Japan, stating them to be a close runner-up behind the winner.[10]

On October 5, 2021, Sora was revealed as the final addition to Ultimate's roster. Sakurai revealed during the presentation that Sora was the winner of the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot, revealing him as being the most requested new fighter in the ballot.[11][12][13] In a Famitsu column published after Sora's reveal that, Sakurai stated that he met a Disney executive at a "certain awards show" and from there was able to pitch the idea to them and add Sora to the plans for Fighters Pass Volume 2.[14] He also added that he and Satoru Iwata had elected not to reveal the official results to prevent fans from harassing the companies who owned highly requested characters that were not added.


  • The Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot draws multiple parallels with the Super Smash Bros. Poll from 1999, where players voted on the characters they wish were in Super Smash Bros.; most characters even mentioned in that poll have seen appearances in Smash in some capacity, from Spirits to fully playable characters.