Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is one of the biggest releases of the year, while the 3DS version has also proven to be a critical and commercial success following its October release. Masahiro Sakurai, the driving-force of the series that oversees the projects down to the finest details, has often spoken of the great challenges and workload that the games create.
Speaking to Game Informer magazine, Sakurai-san has indicated that he may not return for the inevitable future instalments; his comments around the strains of the work are some of the most substantial yet:
I can't positively declare there won't be [another Smash Bros. game].
With both Melee and Brawl, I made those games with the thought that there wouldn't be any more sequels. Thus, I really can't deny the chance for another.
However, as for myself, I don't think there will be.
Sakurai-san went on to elaborate on the exceptional workload that the game's scope created, with the Wii U entry in particular featuring more fighters and modes than ever before.
You could say that all the effort in the past to stretch out, keep pushing myself, and provide all these extra merits wound up tightening the noose around my neck in the future.
That may seem like it contradicts my personal desire to keep giving gamers as much as I can, but I don't see any easy answer for it. And yet, despite that, I also have trouble picturing someone else taking my place and providing all this value-added content without me.
Fan demand obviously plays a part; gamers — and consumers in general — tend to expect more and more from their purchases, sometimes unreasonably so. The huge roster in Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS is also an indication of a franchise struggling to rein itself in, albeit there's an argument that this is a self-imposed problem. It's the fear of criticism at cutting the scope, it seems, that has driven Sakurai-san and his team to new extremes.
In terms of scope, and in terms of sheer number of characters, we went beyond our limits long ago.
And yet, if we cut the number of fighters or modes in a future game, I'm sure there would be complaints.
Sakurai-san has stated that he may move away from Smash Bros. before, but has always come back after a rest. Current Smash Bros. development is still ongoing, too, with free Mewtwo DLC and a major update with online Tourneys still due. Once the dust has settled we may — or may not — see Sakurai-san refresh and willing to go again in a few year's time; there are typically a good number of years between releases, after all.
It would certainly be a concern if Sakurai-san did step away from the Super Smash Bros. franchise, as he seems so integral to each project. Let us know what you think, and whether you'd be worried about the series continuing without its creator.
[source gameinformer.com, via eurogamer.net]
Now I really want DLC! But I can't blame him, he does work hard.
Sakurai really needs a break and he deserves it!
Monado Sakurai Chop!
Kid Icarus U confirmed.
Surely not every DLC has to be overseen by Sakurai during his break right? DLC such as stages. Konga Jungle 64 from N64 alone just doesn't sit right with me.. Also, the absence of Fountain Dreams and Fourside themes from Melee is still odd as many N64 tracks got put in, so there's hope for those stages. Also, if a song has been used for a stage already in-game it doesn't automatically rule that ones stage it came from out. Battlefield and Big Battlefield are two different stages but share the same songs.
Majoras Mask Remake confirmed!... oh wait... it really was.... darn, we cannot do that anymore... lol
I wonder what game Sakurai will plan on making since I know I had a lot of fun with Kid Icarus:Uprising.
Well part of me is saddened by this (assuming he means it this time), he has delivered 5 incredible titles in the series now. He's given us so much and bent over backwards for a very whiny fanbase. He does deserve to finally be free of these shackles. I hope the series continues, though it would not be the same without him... Who knows, maybe Namco will help take the reigns. Though I could see the series becoming more packed with Namco content then... Either way, Sakurai will be missed, but he does deserve freedom from this. Someone give this man some really great medals.
I do hope this doesn't rule out DLC. Nintendo can still do plenty of that without him, and the Namco team could handle any balancing it requires. At the very least, I'd so welcome more retro stages and stage editor parts.
@Porky We do have a remix of the Fountain of Dreams stage music though (the metal Gourmet Race remix first introduced in Brawl) and the Fourside music wasn't in Brawl.
@shigulicious - Or something like that anyway. Though I think thst would be Day 1 for a lot of people. Myself included, and I havent even played the 3DS game yet.
Its good news, the guy is too talented to just keep making sequels of a 2D fighting game, no matter how legendary that series may be. Though if he wants to do a story driven Subspace Emissary sequel Im ok w/ that, even if I have to buy amiibo to play it.
If Iwata is not CEO or part of Nintendo by next generation I don't expect Sakurai to be doing much Nintendo work at all to be honest. I'd like to see what his next project will be though, Nintendo or not.
Give us DPad support for movement (to go along concurrently with the left stick for movement so anti-DPad supporters who say we're gimping ourselves with the DPad would shut up) on the Pro controllers before you step away from Smash Mr. Sakurai!
If Nintendo gives Smash to Hal, Its obviously going to be good. Kirby is still doing fine and I never seen a bad Kirby game. So if Sakurai does leave the series just like how Miyamoto left Mario series, well.....Nintendo's got lots of creative employees so I'm sure it won't be such a problem.
Besides, It'll take years for Nintendo to make another smash game because they need to work on the next gen system.
Take a break, Sakurai - let's have a game without your involvement and see just how radically it changes, for better or for worse.
I would not be worried with him leaving but I would be interested to see how the next game would do. You can definitely tell that the stress got to him in a big way with developing Smash 3DS and WiiU through his interviews and I don't care to see him suffer any longer. I look forward to the future of this series though!
I would not mind seeing him working in new things, Kamiya style. I am happy to see for example Kojima doing a new Silent Hill, as he should be doing something besides MGS.
I guess Sakurai has the same conundrum as Aonuma with Zelda. They could be trying new things and projects, but they are forced to keep doing the same things.
This guy and his team are my heroes! Really! Lol I refuse to let any of my Wii U owning friends to come over and play smash until they own it themselves. These guys deserve a break and some good numbers in their resume.
This guy needs to chill, he has done enough for us. It's time to rest daddy Sakurai.
Not just Sakurai needs a break, but all the team.... He didn't make the game all by himself.
I would be okay with no more Smash Bros games if we got the majority of the cut characters as DLC in the future, and some updates to fix some of the problems in this game, such as the inability to separate custom moves from custom equipment without just "trusting" your opponent didn't put any equips on...among other things.
Sakurai goes through so much heat heat to bring out these games so this is perfectly understandable.
Seriously this guy works so hard consistently, yes he has made mistakes but at least he acknowledge and tried to rectify them. Smash without Sakurai will be a strange thing but I kind of want to see how it will develop with a different mindset behind it.
Leaving when you're on the top is always the best thing to do. And some new ideas for Smash Bros. wouldn't hurt either, especially for single player modes.
Where does he buy his shirts...
He needs to give up some control and split duties with somebody else.
Just take the long break already. Sakurai and the rest of his team deserve it with all the hours of gaming they stole from me with all their great games
Just like with other series, eventually they have to be passed on to others. Maybe now is the time for him to start training the successor while he still is capable of providing insight and input.
I am thankful for all the work he has put into the series to make it what it is.
@Jazzer94 I was going to post that image. Thanks!
He should drop it, yes. Topping yourself over and over on the same game seems like a horrible fate. As much as he has no confidence in a newcomer taking the reigns, the franchise will need a bit of a reboot in the future and he probably won't feel too bad if his last version is fondly remembered as the apex of the series.
@Iggly @shigulicious @NintyMan
I'd really like to see him do a Kid Icarus for the Wii U. The cool thing about that game is that there aren't so many fanboy demands. There is less of a burden to meet expectations, and you don't have the balance issues and disparate franchises coming together.
To me it sounds like an incredibly fun project. Tons of crazy monsters/weapons and the character interchanges that aren't taken too seriously. Plus, he created the first one, so he can be trusted to do with it what he wants.
Then there is the fact that the Wii U is a MUCH better place for that game. Even if you just go dual-stick and ignore the potential of the GamePad screen.
So, I'd like to see him do that, but I guess... only if he can feel passionate about it. Also, online multiplayer might be expected and that is always a stressful development process. :/
I'm agreed that he needs to train an apprentice. My guess is that no one has shown themselves worthy. He seems to have been thinking about this all along and keeps suggesting there's no one to take over. If the games he makes didn't demonstrate such hard work I'd guess he was displaying hubris. As it is, I think he is just being candid about how he feels.
In the end, game franchises need to change, sometimes in a deep way, to remain exciting to new audiences. So, maybe in 5 to 10 years it will be time for Super Smash Bros. to go through a transformation under new leadership.
I think it would be difficult to work on the same game over and over again. I think if i was developer I'd want to work on new projects all the time. The only thing that may make me revisit a franchise was if I still had part of the story to tell.
Hopefully he has a pet project in mind that he would like to work on and Nintendo gives him the freedom to do so.
Oh, I'll get some while I'm here then.
He said that about Melee too.
Though I do really want to see him design something fresh, rahter than having to work within the constraints of Smash Bros.
Being tired with working on sequels was afterall why he left HAL and formed Sora in the first place. Then of course Nintendo did pay him handsomely to keep working for them.
This poor man burned himself out pretty good with this masterpiece.
Give him a long long rest. Breaks between Smash games tend to be 6-7 years. And over the course of these years, things can and will change
So, lets not talk about Mr Sakurais next projects and give him the break he deserves.
I wonder if he's just secretly sick of the fans.
"Please Sakurai put nonsensical non-Nintendo character in the game!"
"Please Sakurai put totally random whatever character in the game!"
"Please Sakurai — GOKU!!"
"Please Sakurai--FINAL FANTASY!!"
"Please Sakurai--TALES, TALES, TALES!!"
I wouldn't want to keep making these, either.
He certainly earned his vacation and honestly if he feels he needs to step away from Smash for a long time/forever, I wouldn't hold it against him. I'll cherish these current Smash games play the heck out of them. I'm sure Nintendo won't put just anyone in charge of future Smash games as valuable as the franchise is to them and consumers.
You did perfect, Sakurai. You, sir, deserve a long and overdue vacation. If I ever see you in real life, I will come up to you, and hug you.
I'm really happy for him. He's come to the point where he feels he can break away and do something different. Smash Bros. won't be the same without Sakurai's creative genius, but at least he can work on something he wants to again. Maybe he'll re-imagine Duck Hunt like he did with Kid Icarus after putting Pit in Brawl.
For the record, I'd still play a new Duck Hunt game if Sakurai made it.
You're gonna be missed, Sakurai, but I'm sure the franchise will be left in capable hands... ... ..get it? ...Hands? Because Sakurai's ha--
Now REPLACE IWATA AS THE HEAD OF NINTENDO!
I'm not surprised. Sakurai has put so much work into these titles, and they're some of the best games ever made!
Thanks Sakurai, and take a huge break. We'll miss you
Nah. He's not even a Nintendo employee (directly). But he's working with them. Sora Ltd is an independent company as far as I know. (Correct me if I'm wrong)
Please Sakurai add Pro controller DPAD movement support on Smash U! -said me
I always thought he'd be done after these 2 games, I can see him moving away from nintendo franchises all together and either making something brand new or possibly going out on his own which is what he was meant to be doing the last time. I hope he stays in the nintendo fold but he strikes me as the type of guy who once his mind is made up he sticks to it.
I wouldn't blame him for wanting to step down from the series. Obviously, it's a ton of work and stress, but also I imagine Sakurai doesn't want to keep doing the same series and wants to do other things (maybe even go out on his own). I think that's human nature.
Nonetheless, I hope he has a nice, long vacation. Thank you for all that you do.
As always I thank Sakurai-san and all the teams involved with making my favorite games a reality. I hope he can work on projects that give him more joy and less stress/pain.
NO need so no worry Masahiro . Never been into this game anyway. Just didn't work for me. It's nice to have characters from Nintendo in one game, but it feels very flat. Sorry fans, but that's my opinion. Good for the ones who likes it. Just giving my mind. Lol
Let him go, the man has already proven himself as an exceptional developer, even legendary. Perhaps he should take the same path as Miyamoto and become a mentor.
This legendary man needs a break already.
I don't want the series to end, but this man deserves A LOOONG time until making the next game.
But the hype ends here? Wont believe that even though this is a good game.
If I remember correctly, the relentless sequels are why he stepped away from the Kirby franchise as well. Maybe it is time for him to move on now that SSB is well established. He could also take a more Miyamoto like role and supervise/oversee development but leave the day to day work in the hands of others whom he mentors.
Well, he IS getting old. Poor guy can hardly even play the games he makes anymore. No matter your opinion of Smash 4, it's time for him to step down, for his own sake.
I believe it's for the best. I like how Smash stand out from other games but I think it needs a different design philosophy for the next one. Maybe one that gives Ganondorf a proper moveset.
He's made four great Smash games, many great Kirby games and a Kid Icarus game that would be awesome if they updated it to use the n3DS's second stick.
I think it will be good if he left. He did an awesome job with smash 3DS/ Wii U but he does force alot of issues onto himself. Like he not trusting anyone else to do the programing for the hit boxes and stuff like that. If nintendo gave smash to a dedicated team it might improve the series overall. Plus he never listenes to any criticism, like the controls of kid icaurs or the d pad support.
Hey, who's that tiny lady and what does she have to do with Nintendo?
Well, after this amazing game that he has managed to squeeze out, he really does need a break. Let's just let him a nice, long break and really get into the meat of this new title that he and his team made for us, like we've done in the past with Melee and Brawl. Sakurai-san really deserves a good break, and let's face it, he's said this since the beginnings of Smash.
I can see where he's coming from. I bought both versions and I'm extremely happy with the content. Should very easily get 100 plus hours out of both versions by May or so- that's just a $1 per hour of entertainment, cheaper than a cup of coffee. Hard to beat that.
I feel relieved, actually...
Thank you very much, Mr. Sakurai, your work is fantastic, but please promise not to risk your health any more than you've already done. If that includes stepping away from Smash then so be it.
It won't be Smash without this guy...so, I dunno, just wait and see what happens.
I can't see it being the last. Maybe the last for a while, it may skip a console for example. But I'm sure Nintendo will press ahead and make another even without him on board, it's worth too much to them. Whether or not it will be of the same standard? Well only time will tell.
Every Nintendo console will have Smash on it. It's as inevitable as Mario Kart.
I really do hope this is the last Smash game Sakurai works on. I appreciate his creation of the series but I really think at this point he's holding it back.
They should get someone who actually understands fighting games to develop the next Smash, I nominate Toshimichi Mori, the creator of Blazblue. Blazblue has fantastic online, interesting unique characters, and offensive game play. And Noel could be playable.
Honestly I don't think we really need another Smash. We just need more game modes, that's it.
I want him to rest... but I also don't want the series to end. When I'm a father, I'll showork my children smash (Hopeulogy one afree the Wii U version.) Reason? It impacted my life so mych. Hell, it's the reason I have a girlfriend. She came over, we played smash together and since it went so well we became a couple. THIS GAME CANNOT DIE.
Good. I'd want to get away from the bile venom that is the Smash community too (what a bunch of nutballs)
@Grumblevolcano What's your point? Just because tracks that didn't make it to Brawl originated from Melee is impossible to have in Smash 4? Fountain of Dreams was on Greeen Greens level in Brawl, Metal Battle from Melee skipped Brawl, and Flat Zone's track wasn't in Brawl but it's in Sm4sh now. Not to mention again that N64 tracks such Yoshi's stage music made it in. Fourside's theme could had been on Onett or possible Fourside stage DLC.
take a break. not a bad job but I was hoping for some storyline.
Go take a tropical trip.. Sakurai-san...
Under the right director I think Smash Bros. could do fine without Sakurai (just look how well Retro handle Metroid and Donkey Kong). There is always a risk it'd go the wrong direction, but I say let the man do something else for a change. I'd want to "tighten the noose" after a short while if I had to deal with whiny melee fanboys, obsessed perverts sending inappropriate snapshots (why can't we just enjoy the weird fanservice without being mindless 14-year olds?), and entitled 30-something gamers who their game NOW!!!!11...or they'll go buy a PS4!!!1 (even though they already did )
You can cut some of the overwhelming amount of characters that take years to balance for possible future smash bros games because it takes so much work to prepare them.
I understand his reasoning but I do not know why he makes sequels such a big deal. There's more importance and value in a sequel with a game, than a movie.
Also I am a little disappointed with Smash U because it didn't feel as fresh as the previous games in the series. I really enjoy it everyday but it felt recycled.
@DarkKirby Why, though?
This man needs a 2 year break. Unless he feels like making godly games again.
I like Sakurai a lot, but I don't believe him. He said this last time!
I'll be glad if Sakurai retires from Smash Bros. and move on to other projects after taking a vacation.
Considering how much he likes to have his hand in every pot during game development, it's hard to imagine he'd allow anyone else to spearhead future Smash projects. But at the very least, I hope he has some development notes for the next dev to step up. 6 years is a long time from now (and the time between Melee to Brawl to Smash 4), so we'll see how things go by then.
And like others, I would like to see what other stuff Sakurai could do once he's ready to get working again. Whether giving more forgotten Nintendo characters the Kid Icarus treatment, or if he has some original IPs he'd like to push.
Maybe he's trolling us again.
In all seriousness though he has helped to create a lot of masterful games including Smash Bros. and the Kirby series, and it would be a shame to see him go. He just needs a nice looooooooong vacation and hopefully he'll be back at it in a few years. Thanks for your hard work and dedication Sakurai-san!
@OmegaStar No.. No it just wouldn't. ;-;
Even if this is the last Smash game he is involved in at least he went out with a bang! I would like to see him work on a new IP seeing as with him in charge it most certainly would be excellent!
By the time the next game comes out he'll have backwards aged into an infant and will be unable to make the game.
Please god let it be true.
He runs smash brothers with an iron fist and his decisions of what characters make it in the game is awful.
Smash Bros needs to be run like a democracy, not a dictatorship. Get someone in there with some more imagination and we can start filling the roster with more worthy characters than wii-fit trainer, ten million fire emblem sword users, and butt-loads of clones.
@Ichiban Amen. One of the worst communities I've ever seen to a game series, if not the worst.
Mr. Sakurai, thanks for it all. Should you retire from the series, you've earned your rest. NOW GO AND REST OUR HEROES!
@AugustusOxy The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Ultimately the democracy would turn into a dictatorship. There's no getting around it.
Massive Hero Soccer Guy, don't leave us! Nooooo!
He needs a break and I won't be surprised if it's his last game in the series. Most likely not his last game PERIOD though.
He really deserves a break, temporary or otherwise. If he leaves permanently, he'll certainly be leaving on a high note.
That won't mean the end of Smash, I'm sure. It's too important a franchise for Nintendo to end just yet, and they'll find someone worthy of taking up the torch; whether they're someone from HAL, or from Namco, or some rookie prodigy we don't even know yet.
I hope so, his decisions in the latest games were horrible:
-Removing adventure/story mode and cutscenes.
-Transforming "Break the tragets" challenges into an Angry Birds clone.
-A roster filled with clones and random pokémon instead of more newcomers.
I admit there are a couple things I liked in the latest entries, they are still a good game, but it isnt even close to the perfect game we all expect for a Smash Bros.
Thats fine by me. SSB Wii U is fantastic, from what I've played so far, and if the Sakurai developed SSB games end, I want it to end with this one. I know I can't express the amount of gratitude and appreciation you deserve in the proper words, not compared to the amount of blood, sweat, and sacrafices you have poured into this series. I will just simply say...thank you! Now take a break, get some rest and recooperation, you have certainly deserved it.
I hope so. He should be free to do whatever he pleases at this point. And I'd prefer him to do something new. He has so much talent and dedication that I don't think it should be siphoned by the Smash series anymore.
He puts a lot of work into making Smash Bros. games high quality. I've put hundreds of hours into Smash Bros. Brawl, and I know I'm not the only one. It isn't that hard to ignore the "Goku! Ridley! Powerpuff Girls!" crowd. So what is exhausting about creating things for the Smash Bros fanbase? My guess would be that it is how the complaints never go away. In a year, people will have forgotten Sonic Boom. Nobody complains about Skyrim glitches anymore, anyone who plays Skyrim now does so because they like the game. Even with Kid Icarus, everyone who didn't like the controls forgot. People forget about other games. Nobody forgets about Smash Bros. People still complain about tripping and floating in Brawl years after the fact. It is a really good game with a lot of content, but you couldn't tell from reading the average discussion about it. That must get hard.
Well, if he does walk away I thank him for the work he did. SSB Melee still ranks as one of my top 20 games all time, sank tons of hours into that game. It was so good I felt by itself it justified the decision to get a GC early on.
I expected as much, actually. It'll probably remain the best, too, for quite some time at least.
I would like to see Sakurai working on something different. Maybe a new IP for Nintendo. He's a very creative director and it would be great to see him working on something different than Smash Bros.
After a well deserved break, I'd like to see a new Kid Icarus for home console by Sakurai or a completely new IP.
Thank you for all of your work, Sakurai-san...
Now let the Project M2 team take over from here...
@MagicEmperor It goes the same way for Heaven- there is no democracy there either. Heaven promises freedom and everlasting happiness (just like Hell), then gives you Total Order (instead of Total Chaos) with a sense of justice that only serves the top. Heaven and Hell are merely different flavors of totalitarianism.
There is another way. Though, it is a long and lonely road, with no greater power to cling to or rely on... The modding scene.
@AugustusOxy The closest thing to a Democracy in the Smash development community is the modding scene, and even that depends on the project. Democracy will not spring forth from under an inherently hierarchical system. (i.e. Direct influence by Big Publishers under the auspices of free market investment.) Many of the works we have come to know and love were born from a few peoples' visions who came into the big shots' graces, not from entire communities tossing ideas at each other. (That's what the internet is for!)
This isn't surprising at all. Wasn't he pretty much killing himself making these last entries?
Making fighters trip and fall over was his idea of a proper send
Sure Nintendo makes him a offer someday he can't refuse?!
Well this turned out false!
@Xurkey I'm glad it did, and nice pic
This post aged well
Inb4 Smash 6 is announced in 2021
But Smash Ultimate.
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