Hobonichi – the company owned by Mother creator Shigesato Itoi – has been publishing new interviews with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai, and during one of these, he speaks about the untimely death of former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
In the interview – translated by Siliconera – Sakurai opens up about the day he heard Iwata had passed:
Before I took the phone call, I felt sluggish for some reason. Like my body felt heavy… When my grandfather and grandmother passed, I had the same feeling. Like ‘I feel sluggish today’, and then finding out they passed away. Something like that happened, and for some reason, a similar thing occurred. Although I’m not one to talk about spiritual things. I wonder if I had a feeling… But I decided that either way, I’d finish the Smash Bros. project. That was the best way I could make it up to Iwata-san, I felt.
He then explains that his most recent game was the "final mission" given to him by Iwata:
So Super Smash Bros. Ultimate released, right? In fact, that was the final mission given to me by Iwata-san. That game sold that much not just in Japan but overseas as well, and became the highest-selling title in 2018 in Japan. People all around enjoyed the game, and it brought around the best results, and I feel thankful for this.
Sakurai is then asked about his next mission:
Only god knows. (laughs) The current DLC we’re developing right now already falls outside the mission.
Sakurai has certainly given his former colleague the perfect send-off with Smash Bros. Ultimate, and it's interesting that he himself doesn't seem to know where his career will take him next. After the Herculian effort that was the latest Smash instalment, you'd forgive him for wanting a change of pace – what would you like to see Sakurai tackle next?