There's been a lot of conversation about the future of the Super Smash Bros. series since the development of Ultimate wrapped up, but if you ask Katsuhiro Harada about it, there's only one guy who can handle it.
Speaking to IGN to promote Bandai Namco's next-gen fighter Tekken 8, director Katsuhiro Harada was asked about what it was like to work with Sakurai on Kazuya, and summed up by saying he's "probably" the only one who can "properly" make the series, due to his deep understanding of different IPs.
Here's exactly what he had to say:
Katsuhiro Harada: So working with Sakurai-san, you mentioned collaboration on the character Kazuya, but actually, Bandai Namco Studios, when they were developing Smash Brothers… Sakurai-san was there all the time, just normally coming to work, I guess you could say. So we knew quite well what to expect and his personality. And even that said, we were also surprised when it came time to make Kazuya for Smash Brothers, because we thought since we're the experts at Tekken, maybe he's going to ask what's the points that I need to definitely get right to make this feel like Tekken, but actually that wasn't the case. He had already had his own thoughts about what makes Tekken "Tekken.” So it was surprising but also refreshing to see that he came in and didn't ask questions, but said, "I've played a lot of Tekken and studied it, and this is what I feel is important for the game," right off the bat.
So that was quite a shock, I mean in a positive way. But then also it made us think that he has all these characters from other different franchises and games in Smash Brothers, so to know so much to a deep extent about all of these different IPs to be able to do that… he's probably the only one that could properly make that game. In creating Tekken series we always look at various different fighting games or other games outside the genre and think about what to maybe draw from that experience. But he just went so much deeper on all of them, we thought there's still a lot we can learn ourselves from different products outside of Tekken by looking at his example.
How do you think the Smash Bros. series would go without Sakurai's involvement? Any suggestions on who could step up for the development of future titles? Leave a comment down below.