Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Bandai Namco's Kazuya Mishima tangles with Nintendo's Super Mario in "Smash Bros. Ultimate." Image: Nintendo

For all the talk of "Fortnite" and its so-called metaverse of character crossovers, it is Nintendo and its "Smash Bros." fighting game series that has created the industry's biggest team of rivals.

The big picture: For "Smash," Nintendo flexes its strength as a successful video game company to rope in collaborators and occasional competitors in the service of making its own $60 game increasingly successful.

  • The current vehicle for this is 2018's "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," which on Tuesday is set to receive another addition to its roster of combatants in the form of Kazuya Mishima from Bandai Namco's fighting game series "Tekken."
  • The paid update will also add crossovers with Capcom's "Devil May Cry," Microsoft/Bethesda's "Skyrim," and WayForward's "Shantae" series, all in the form of costumes for the game's most generic combatants, the doll-like Mii Fighters.
  • The "Tekken" addition gives "Ultimate" a roster of fighters from 39 franchises, more than a dozen not made by Nintendo.

Epic's approach with "Fortnite" is to wedge a wide array of pop culture icons — from gaming, movies, sports, music, etc. — into a format that is ostensibly a 100-player shootout but can be used as a social space.

  • That creates a multi-branded playground that can double as a marketing launch pad for any company's next game, movie, album or show.
  • Epic isn't selling more copies of "Fortnite," because the game is free. Instead, it's enticing players to log back in, maybe buy a new costume but also receive these crossovers as ads.
Screenshot: Nintendo

Between the lines: "Super Smash Bros." launched on the Nintendo 64 in 1999 as a fighting game featuring many of Nintendo's most famous characters, but it has morphed into a corporate barrier-breaking rumble.

  • Newer releases added characters from Sega's "Sonic The Hedgehog," Square Enix's "Final Fantasy" and "Dragon Quest," Konami's "Castlevania," and more.
  • One of Nintendo's most active collaborators is rival console maker Microsoft, which supported recent crossovers with "Banjo-Kazooie" and "Minecraft."

Big companies are Nintendo's favored partners, but it has also worked with indies.

  • Yacht Club Games' Shovel Knight, Toby Fox's Sans and WayForward's Shantae all appear in limited forms.

“Smash” is now also the medium’s biggest library of gaming music, thanks to aggressive additions of songs from the game’s many franchises. 

  • The addition of a “Tekken” character will add 39 songs from that series to the game.
  • A fan wiki for “Ultimate” lists over 1,000 songs from more than three dozen series, many of which are not Nintendo’s.

What’s next: Smash Bros. producer Masahiro Sakurai said Monday that Nintendo’s efforts to add downloadable characters to “Ultimate” will end later this year with one final character.

  • There’s a long list of characters fans have been begging for, including Sora from “Kingdom Hearts” and Nintendo’s own Waluigi.
  • Even if a fan’s dream pick doesn’t come true, maybe their character will at least show up as a Mii costume.

Go deeper

Video game sales skyrocket to record highs

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

U.S. video game sales in August hit a record $4.4 billion, proving that the bump in gaming seen during the pandemic last year wasn't a passing trend.

The details: It was a huge month for hardware, which the NPD Group reports hit $329 million, the best August sales number since 2008.

Brazil's health minister tests positive for COVID during UN summit in N.Y.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga in Brasilia, Brazil, in May. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queirog has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he confirmed Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Hours earlier, Queirog had accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the UNGA. The Biden administration expressed concern last week that the gathering of world leaders could become a coronavirus "superspreader event."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues New York Times and his niece over tax report

Former President Trump hosting a boxing match in Hollywood, Florida on Sept. 11. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece Mary Trump on Tuesday over the news outlet's 2018 reporting on his tax records, the Daily Beast first reported.

Details: The suit, filed in New York's Dutchess County, alleges NYT journalists "engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records" and that they "convinced" Mary Trump to "smuggle records out of her attorney's office and turn them over to The Times."