Coronavirus has had rippling effects across the video game industry, from major event cancellations to smaller delays, and now the disease’s impact is being felt on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
According to Sakurai’s latest weekly Famitsu article, which leaked a day early and is in the process of being translated by PushDustIn, COVID-19 has meant that he and his team have been unable to present information about new fighter(s) to a publisher. The possibility of development in general being put on hold is also mentioned.
Sakurai had plans to present information about new fighter(s) to a publisher(s), but that's been put on hold now.
If someone at the office is found to have COVID-19, then the whole building would be shut down and development would be put on hold.
— PushDustIn (@PushDustIn) March 17, 2020
Sakurai himself is unsure if Nintendo would still reveal characters as planned even if development cannot proceed.
Whether this means we’ll see delays for Smash and other games going forward remains to be seen. We’ll be sure to bring you all the latest as it comes in.