With Sora from Kingdom Hearts now fully available to play in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the game’s final DLC pack comes to a close, and by extension, the entire game itself. Beyond some small patch updates, no more content is expected to come to the beloved fighting game. This is not just the end of a legacy for Smash Bros, but for the game’s developer Masahiro Sakurai himself.
Since 2011, Sakurai has worked endlessly on developing Super Smash Bros for 3DS, Super Smash Bros for Wii U, the DLC for both games, and then immediately afterward Super Smash Bros Ultimate and its resultant DLC. For literally a decade, Sakurai has dedicated his life and personal health to delivering the most ambitious crossover fighting game ever produced.
With a frankly ludicrous roster of 89 characters, including Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Solid Snake, Pac-Man, The Wii Fit Trainer, Terry Bogard and Minecraft Steve, the game is finally complete and its legacy solidified in gamer’s hearts forever.
But of course, as is the case whenever any Smash game finally wraps up…what’s next?
Despite many people begging for Sakurai to take a well-earned rest and retirement, Sakurai has done anything but, having already started to discuss the series future. In the latest issue of Famitsu magazine in Japan, Sakurai’s interview takes centre stage.
Some early translations from Siliconera have already emerged, and in the interview, Sakurai claims that he “can’t say with certainty” that Ultimate “would be the end of Smash”. He goes on to say that he needs to think about whether he must release a Smash game or not, “even if I have to do something that would disappoint users”.
Of course, we all have to ponder whether the burden of another Smash game even should rest with Sakurai. After 6 revolutionary games, surely Sakurai’s deserved his time away? But conversely, with such a groundbreaking legacy to follow, could anyone be worthy enough to succeed him? Sakurai always went above and beyond to add as many features and characters into every game he could. Can we be certain that anyone else will deliver the same level of dedication and care?
Sakurai himself even says “I currently don’t see a path where Smash can be produced without myself” and that they did “actually try leaving it so someone else, but it didn’t go well”. If there already was a failed attempt to give Sakurai a successor, then is he destined to run Smash until the day he dies for fear of the next installment being considerably worse in quality?
“If the series were to continue, I have to talk with Nintendo and have a debate on whether it will succeed or not. I must think about this topic seriously.”Masahiro Sakurai, Famitsu
The future is certainly uncertain, but if there’s anything we can grasp from this article, it’s that no decisions will be made anytime soon. Hopefully, after a long session of rest and recuperation, Sakurai will have clearer thoughts on how he wants the future of the series to be handled.
He may have directed it for well over 2 decades, but the series still officially belongs to Nintendo, and they will ultimately make the call on who or when the next entry is made. If other recent fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Injustice are anything to go by, then at the very least, we can at least expect a ‘deluxe edition’ of Ultimate to emerge on the next Nintendo console with all the DLC already included.
Do you think Sakurai should continue to lead the series, or is it time for someone else to take the helm? Let us know in the comments below!