Ninja Gaiden Reboot Director Endorses Ryu for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa has long been rumored as a DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and it seems at least one person is a fan of the idea: director and producer Tomonobu Itagaki. Itagaki is partly responsible for bringing Ryu back to prominence with 2004's Ninja Gaiden reboot. While Itagaki is no longer with Tecmo, the director was involved with multiple series entries before his departure in 2008. Speaking with Dexerto, the director endorsed the idea of Ryu being added as a fighter, claiming that the Nintendo Switch game offered a fitting place for the character to appear.

"Super Smash Bros is a very popular game," Itagaki told Dexerto. "I think it's a stage big enough for Ryu Hayabusa to play an active role."

As of this writing, there are three characters yet to be revealed as playable fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Fighter's Pass Vol. 2, following last month's release of Sephiroth. In all likelihood, the final three fighters will be released by the end of 2021. Ryu Hayabusa has long been rumored to appear in the game, and would be a strong fit, considering his history appearing on Nintendo systems. Itagaki's endorsement doesn't mean all that much given his departure from Tecmo, but it's interesting to see someone closely associated with the character give their endorsement!

Interestingly enough, Team Ninja recently teased the fact that news related to the Ninja Gaiden franchise is coming sometime soon. Further details have not been announced, but the developer claimed it is focusing on new games at the moment, as opposed to existing IP. That would seem to indicate that someone else could be doing something with Ryu Hayabusa. Whether or not that might mean an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is anyone's guess, but a reveal for the game's next fighter would likely come in March or April, if Nintendo plans to release all three this year. That would certainly qualify as "soon," but fans of Ninja Gaiden and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will just have to wait and see what comes next!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available exclusively on Nintendo Switch. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the game right here.

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