Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Is Appealing to Iran’s Hardcore Gamers
Although gaming has grown to become one of the most popular hobbies for young gamers in Iran, it’s a tough culture to be a part of. The majority of gaming companies don’t have a Middle Eastern presence, which means gamers have to turn to online importers for consoles, games, and accessories. Not only that but digital downloads and online play face tough government regulations and slow speeds.
There’s also a stigma against Nintendo games by Iran’s “hardcore” gamers.
“I could say one of the worst things about gaming in Iran are the ‘hardcore’ gamers,” Nintendo Iran member Aryo Abdali said in a Kotaku interview. “I can’t even have a good talk with them. They dismiss me and tell me I don’t have any good information on games. They’re very opinionated.”
But the release of the Switch has changed that thanks to its portable nature, co-op titles, and lack of regional lockout. And with the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Iran’s hardcore gamers are starting to embrace the company’s games.
“Smash is a celebration of gaming. There’s something in it for everyone, and it brings people together,” Badvipour said. “People will get hooked, and if they really want to play competitively—to ‘Settle it in Smash’—they’re going to have to do it locally. Before Ultimate I think a lot of people were interested in the series, but didn’t know how to play or know anyone with the game. Even though the Smash community in Iran is very small, Ultimate is going to expand it.”
“I think there’s going to be a lot of interest in the Switch in Iran in 2019,” he added. “With inflation and the crazy prices, it’s hard to be a gamer here, but I hope the Nintendo Iran community will continue to grow. I hope people will see us playing games like Smash Bros. and want to try the game for themselves. I’m very hopeful.”