The following is a guest post by a member of the Gamnesia community, Hylianola, containing a brief statistical analysis of several sample surveys of Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot data. It is representative only of the sample surveys which Smash fans chose to participate in and may not reflect the results of Nintendo's official Fighter Ballot. Many Smash fans may have participated in multiple sample surveys or voiced support for more than one character, which can lead to some overlap in the number of votes represented, and the data may represent some regions (nationally or locally) more than others, so please keep these factors in mind.
Ever since the Super Smash Bros. Ballot closed in October, many have wondered which characters topped the list. Who had gotten the most votes? Was it a veteran fighter like Wolf, a deserving newcomer with many fans, or an indie darling? Fueled by intrigue, I set out to gather all the data anyone outside of Nintendo could amass. After researching and compiling 18 polls and 70,000 votes, the top nine candidates to join Super Smash Bros. Wii U and Nintendo 3DS as DLC fighters are listed in the graphs below!
The list is a top nine because the tenth rank was heavily contested by three runner-ups who virtually tied and were each missing from several polls: Bayonetta, Paper Mario, and Sora. Despite the difficulty in determining a tenth rank, they are nonetheless choices popular enough to mention.
I only excluded polls with significant characters missing, extremely small vote counts, or dubious polling methods. Please note that the first graph excludes the 34,000 votes in popular YouTuber Etika's poll, whose results were vastly different from every other poll. When one sample varies so much from the norm, it may potentially skew the results toward one vocal fandom and end up representing the wider community less accurately. For that reason, I created two datasets so that you may scrutinize the results for yourself and decide which you believe is more indicative of the larger Smash community. These can be found in the gallery below. The graph with the red background is led by King K. Rool and represents the data before factoring the votes in Etika's poll. That with the blue background is led by Shovel Knight, incorporating Etika's results. Banjo & Kazooie is the comfortably consistent runner-up in both sets of results.
The top placements may not surprise you, but several characters did better than many took them for, such as Isaac, Shantae, and Shovel Knight. Personally, I was shocked that Wolf wasn't the shoe-in I thought he was, and that Snake fans never let go of hope! While there's no guarantee that these results will mirror the actual figures, nor who is chosen to join Smash, these tallies should provide some sense of potential candidacies. We'll know for sure when the official ballot results are in...perhaps in the special announcement this very Tuesday! For now, did your choice fighter make the list? What's the biggest surprise to you? Tell us all about it in the comments below!