In just a couple of months, EVO Japan will begin, bringing together some of the best fighters in the world as they partake in fierce competitive action. However, we couldn’t help but notice a pair of hit games that are missing from the lineup.
According to a tweet from Mark Julio, who serves as business developer for EVO, next February’s fighting event will be home to tournaments including Tekken 7, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, SoulCalibur VI, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, The King of Fighters XIV and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2. But fans are wondering what happened to two of the hottest fighting games on the planet- Dragon Ball FighterZ and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Ultimate, after all, just released earlier this month; and FighterZ got immense attention at EVO earlier this year in Vegas. And fans didn’t hold back when it came to voicing their thoughts on the games being left out.
Japanese dbfz players right now pic.twitter.com/aX09eo5VdP— Kryll the Vyllyn (@KrillinDVillain) December 14, 2018
No DBFZ makes me sad.— Impossibro (@Impossibro77) December 14, 2018
Wow! no DBFZ or Smash? I thought Bandai Namco was more open to support esports :(.— FGCBolivia|angelbless (@angelbless45) December 14, 2018
Julio has since responded to the backlash, indicating that Bandai Namco and Nintendo ultimately decided against the games in the lineup.
Not every title was included in the main event that we originally hoped for. We couldn’t get approval from the publisher/owner. As unfortunate as this may be, we will still be supporting the communities and events at Evo Japan 2019 — more information on that later.— Mark Julio (マークマン) (@MarkMan23) December 14, 2018
Do keep in mind, however, that community-hosted fighting tournaments will be at the event, as Julio pointed out.
And personally, I think the community working together to run Smash Ultimate and DBFZ is going to be awesome and I can’t wait to show the publisher/owners the strength of the community. Goodnight!— Mark Julio (マークマン) (@MarkMan23) December 14, 2018
While EVO Japan will be a great place to see underappreciated fighting games like King of Fighters XIV and SoulCalibur VI taking center stage, you can bet some fans will be sore that the “big boys” are missing. And, furthermore, what effect they might have in next year’s EVO in Vegas.
EVO Japan takes place from February 15-17, 2019 in Fukuoka, Japan.
(Tip of the hat to Game Informer for the scoop!)