Does Nintendo pay licensing fees? Honestly for a character like Banjo, it seems like Microsoft gains as much or more from him being in Smash than Smash gains from his presence.
I'm sure the contracts can vary depending on the character or company. Cloud is probably worth more than Pac Man for example. But it's very unlikely that they'd allow their characters, stages and music to be sold for a profit, without getting anything in return other than exposure.
Sakurai has at least commented on the cost of music being very expensive.
"In the latest Famitsu column, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate creator Masahiro Sakurai discussed how music was selected for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Sakurai said some series require Nintendo to “pay a lot of money” just to use them in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Due to the high cost of music, Sakurai and his team are restricted to selecting a few tracks for the expensive series."
The "some series" and "expensive series" part highlights how some I.P's are more expensive than others.
And I remember in the previous Terry direct that Sakurai said they picked out 50 tracks, expecting SNK to only approve of a few of them. But they told Nintendo it's ok to use all of them.
So that's an example of a company being flexible/generous with their I.P. And sounds like the license for the music was probably a set price, and not on a per-track basis. Considering the very few Final Fantasy tracks in the game, Square Enix were probably the opposite.
Last edited by Hiku - on 16 January 2020