To absolutely nobody’s surprise, Sandalphon swept up the majority of votes in a landslide
Earlier this weekend, we saw the GBVS CyGames Cup 2022 Special happening to much fanfare, and while the focus was of course on all the hype matches between top Japaense Granblue Fantasy Versus players, these sponsored events often bring with them a little something in the way of new information for the game as well.
GBVS CyGames Cup 2022 Special was no different, and brought with it the tidbits that the upcoming new system mechanics for the game will be released in June, and that there will be three new mechanics in total, as well as that there’s another CyGames Cup happening in July. The part that kept everyone’s attention focused, though, was the talk about the polls for which characters you want to see added to Granblue Fantasy Versus which were opened back in December — or, more precisely, the focus was on the results of these surveys.
Although there have been polls of a similar nature in the past for Granblue Fantasy Versus, what was interesting about this one was the fact that it wasn’t exclusive to just Japan, which is the key market for the game as well as the mobile title it’s based on, but that it was actually open to the rest of the world as well, thereby bringing in voting voices who may not have been heard in the past.
With this in mind, the results were presented by region — Japan, Asia & Oceania, North & South America and Europe — and while they were quite similar in many aspects, there were some key differences as well.
Before even delving in to the poll results, though, it must be stressed that popularity, that is to say strong placements in the surveys, isn’t going to guarantee a character to get added to the Granblue Fantasy Versus roster. CyGames highlighted this by first presenting a graphic thanking players for voting and explaining that there are many other factors which are also taken into consideration when making new additions to the game’s roster (such as potential playstyle, weapon representation and more).
This should hardly come as a surprise, as we saw very much exactly this take place in the game’s second season, where Belial, Cagliostro and Seox were all extremely popular characters who had placed high in polls, whereas Yuel, Eustace and in particular Anre were more oddballs picks that players perhaps wouldn’t be as prone to expect.
With that out of the way, let’s have a look at the polls themselves. You can check out the images below to see how the top 10 looked for each region, including a listing showing the results for each region next to each other, making it easier to compare the placements.
Click images for larger versions
Obviously, the first point of interest is that Sandalphon has completely swept the polls in every region, though to people who are familiar with the source game this is hardly surprising. Sandalphon’s popularity has been immense ever since he was introduced to the game’s lore, and he in fact won the previous poll from 2 years ago as well.
With Sandalphon, it’s more a question of “when” rather than “if” for his inclusion in the roster, to the point where most are surprised that he isn’t part of it yet. What’s interesting is looking at some of the other results, perhaps most notably Siegfried, a fellow Dragon Knight to currently playable characters Lancelot and Percival and Beatrix, a member of the Society alongside current selectable fighters Zeta, Vaseraga and Eustace.
It was noted by the developers that many votes seemed based on wanting to see familiar characters interact with one another, which partly explains their votes, coupled of course with the fact that they’re both very popular. Given that Beatrix managed to hit top 3 in all regions and Siegfried almost accomplished the same feat (ending up 6th in Asia/Oceania), they seem like very real candidates to be included based on popularity.
The only other character to place in all regions is Seofon, the co-leader of the Eternals alongside the currently playable Anre, a group of which Season 2’s final addition Seox is also a member. Ilsa, yet another Society member, and Vikala, the Rat Sign representative of the Zodiac characters, show up in 3 different region’s top 10 clearly showing a large fanbase for both of these as well.
Additional candidates who could have good chances based on the poll results available to us are Aliza and Silva who placed high in regions who previously wouldn’t have been able to vote and also both hold the “interesting gameplay possibilities” distinction which CyGames highlighted as another factor for inclusion.
Silva is a gun-based character who is a straight up sniper, definitely separating her from Eustace, the other gunslinger available in the game right now, and would probably be heavily focused on long-range zoning if she were added. Aliza, on the other hand, is a hand-to-hand warrior princess and would likely fill the archetype of a close-up Kung Fu-style fighter, much like Jam from the Guilty Gear series.
While the implication of new characters being added was very clear (why else even hold a poll, much less publish its results?), there still wasn’t any clear statement on whether this would be a continuation of DLC for Granblue Fantasy Versus or a shift to a new project such as Granblue Fantasy Versus 2.
The lack of any sequel announcement, despite talking about characters that fans want to have added to the game, would point quite clearly towards the former, but with next-gen consoles slowly inching their way into the marketspace, one has to wonder how feasible it is to keep supporting the game in its current state, especially after the developers themselves admit that they believe rollback netcode should be the standard for fighting games — a feature which the current Granblue Fantasy Versus lacks.
Whatever the case may be, this year will hold a lot of excitement and new content for Granblue Fantasy Versus in the form of updates, events and most importantly a spot on the main stage at EVO 2022. More information and announcements will undoubtedly become available to us in the near future.