We've only just been given our second taste of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate action, and the game is still months away from release, but that doesn't mean that the series' lead creator Masahiro Sakurai isn't already thinking about the future.
With each Super Smash Bros. title that passes, whispers from the man himself suggest that the current game could well be his last. His past has been littered with stories of relentless workloads that have had significant impacts on his health and wellbeing and, more recently, the news that he's actually been allowing himself a little more relaxation time, potentially signalling the start of a slow and steady process of stepping down.
Despite all of this, though, his passion and dedication is constantly, abundantly clear, and his current mindset seems to be open to the idea of more future titles. Speaking with The Guardian, Sakurai responds to the idea of him staying in the game development world right up until retirement; his response is one that shows great self-awareness, both committing to his current role with Smash Bros., and looking ahead to what lies after it.
“I actually don’t feel that way at all! The best way to enjoy video games is to play what other people have made. But at the same time, I have a role. At this point I have been asked to create Smash and so I am doing that, and will continue to do so if the demand is there.
“On the one hand, I play games because of my job, but on the other hand, games have this eternal, immortal attraction. Of course I do go back to old games if I need a refresher, but I think it is important to intentionally play and observe new games, to know what’s out there. Games that are coming out now are just incredible; they’re amazing. Even for people who say that they grow out of games, once they have kids and there’s a game they can play together, they return. It’s not about quitting or graduating from playing games; it’s about finding what’s enjoyable for you at that time in your life, and playing that.”
Whatever the future holds, we think it's pretty safe to say that Super Smash Bros. fans will be eternally grateful for the immense work that has been put into these games. Hopefully, one day, Sakurai-san will finally let himself truly unwind and get the relaxation he deserves.