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Nintendo says diversity was ‘extremely important’ for new Switch fighter Arms

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Later this month, Nintendo will launch Arms on Switch, a fighting game with an eclectic cast of characters reminiscent of Blizzard’s megahit shooter Overwatch. While the games are built on different genres, one key similarity between the two is the variety of their rosters. That was by design.

“As this is a game where characters fight each other, we thought that it was extremely important to have this kind of diversity for the players,” explains art director Masaaki Ishikawa, “so that they had something to latch on to.”

The cast of Arms is fairly small by fighting game standards. There are 10 fighters in all, including several who aren’t human. But while the developer says it treated diversity as an important aspect of the character design process, Ishikawa believes Nintendo can do even better in the future.

“Our keywords in developing these characters were the fact that they have stretchy arms, but also their own unique personality,” he says. “So we’re not sure if we reached the level of diversity that we could have, but moving forward that’s going to be something that we take into account with our character design.”

Arms launches on Nintendo Switch on June 16th.