The Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot was a feature added to the official Smash Bros. site that allowed players to request characters for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. This ballot started April 1st, 2015 to October 3rd, 2015.
In this site, players were presented with a small form where they nominated a character of their choice into the game as well as a reason to justify why they want that character. Players could enter their suggestions until October 3rd, 2015.
The results from each region of the globe were taken and compiled, with characters from previous games being put together with newcomers. The ballot also featured fighters that were already in the series. Nintendo considered the characters' results in each reason, as well as the realizability of the character (how easily Nintendo could get the rights to include them).
The winner was believed to be Bayonetta, who was the #1 choice in Europe and in the top 5 in North America. This and her realizability made her the #1 choice worldwide. Bayonetta was revealed to be the winner of the Ballot on December 15th, 2015 and was set to be released in February 2016.
The stage Umbra Clock Tower was released along with Bayonetta.
A data mine in early June of 2018 suggests that Bayonetta was actually chosen very early into the ballot. The data mine includes information about the 1.0.6. patch update which contains her parameters. The 1.0.6. patch released April 15, 2015 which is nearly two weeks after the announcement of the fighter ballot. The Japanese site did make mention of the ballot being used for future Smash games.
After the announcement of Sora as the final downloadable newcomer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Sakurai indicated that he was the actual winner of the Smash Ballot and that Satoru Iwata had elected not to reveal the official results to prevent fans from harassing the companies who owned winning characters that were not added. While this may support the idea that the ballot was rigged, it more likely is in line with the initial statement that Bayonetta was the winner among "realizable and negotiable characters", with Sora not being an option at the time for unknown reasons.
- Official Site (defunct)