The video game company announced their decision Wednesday, following online criticism that included accusations of racism.
The controversial image is connected to the 1980s Mr. Game & Watch character, who can transform into an aggressive figure that perpetuates Native American stereotypes: He's seen wielding a flaming torch, while donning a loincloth and a feather on his head. Eurogamer points out the transformation move is a callback to the 1982 video game Fire Attack, in which cowboys are tasked with protecting a wooden fort against Native Americans.
The Fire Attack caricature was edited and re-released in the 2002 Game Boy compilation Game & Watch Gallery 4. It was at that time Nintendo removed the feather and loincloth—a change that will be reflected in Ultimate, which drops next month.
"Nintendo has been planning to distribute an update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that removes the feather from the silhouette of Mr. Game & Watch," a Nintendo spokesperson told Eurogamer. "The original game on which this depiction of the character is based was released more than three decades ago and does not represent our company values today. "We sincerely apologise that this change was not noticed in our marketing material and are continuing our work to make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate an experience that is both welcoming and fun for everyone."