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Could This Be the End for Super Smash Brothers?

Hard Games
By | December 8th, 2021 | Categories: Others

Could This Be the End for Super Smash Brothers?

Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is finally complete. Started back in 2018, the life cycle of the game, at least as far as updates goes, has come to a close with the release of Sora from Kingdom Hearts. With a roster that includes every single character from the series’ long history such as Snake from Metal Gear, Olimar from Pikmin, and Link from The Legend of Zelda, it has been steadily updated with new fighters and has culminated with the addition of Sora in October. SSB Ultimate is easily the best Smash title that Masahiro Sakurai has put out, and while nostalgia begs to put Smash Melee on the pedestal instead, you can’t deny the amount of work and love that was given to Ultimate. The last update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came on December 1st, and it raises the question about the future of Smash going forward.

Masahiro Sakurai: The Infamous Workaholic

All of the success that SSBU has garnered wouldn’t have been possible without Masahiro Sakurai. You could say that he’s given everything–blood, sweat, and tears–up to the conclusion of the fighting game. Three years and countless video presentations later, the series creator is finally taking the break that he deserves. Before gushing about Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, we need to know about the background of Masahiro Sakurai as it inseparable from the development of Smash.

Hammering down on the point of Sakurai’s workaholic nature, during the development of Smash Ultimate, Sakurai had multiple stomach problems. Even so, he didn’t take any time off. Sakurai stated that when that happened, he would just request an IV drip and go to work like normal. He also shared during an interview with Nintendo Dream that despite having the schedule of a freelancer that could go to the office just once a week, he’d make sure to come to work every day and write proper daily reports and such.

Needless to say, the man’s always working himself to the bone and rarely takes any time off. When the team was developing their DLC for the release of Joker on Smash, Sakurai rarely took the time off as he emphasized that doing so would result in his staff handling his share of the work.

Fast forward to 2021, the man behind the Smash series seems to be finally taking it easy. He stated in an e-mail interview with The Verge that he currently has more free time now than he’s probably ever had since he started working in game development. He stated that despite the hardships and stress he had to go through, he has no regrets because Super Smash Bros. is like none other. Masahiro Sakurai’s career has been directly intertwined with Smash–it’s like his own baby, at this point. After all, he’s been a key developer for all of the Smash games for more than two decades.

The Next Smash Title: Don’t Count On It

Masahiro Sakurai shared with IGN that it’s best not to assume there’ll be another entry in the long-running series. He stated loud and clear that there are currently no plans to return to the Smash when asked about potential future installments. It looks like the future’s looking bleak for the fighting game, especially since Sakurai has been quiet about his future after SSBU rounded out development earlier this month with a final balancing patch.

Sakurai’s reason for not having plans for the next SSB title is because he (along with his team) has reached the limit in terms of fighters and volume of content. SSBU is the perfect amalgamation of video game characters from all sorts of different franchises. And with Sora, who arguably fits that concept since the Kingdom Hearts series also has multiple Disney characters, being part of Smash Ultimate, you can say that it’s the fitting conclusion to the Smash series as a whole.

A Silver Lining, Sort Of

There is, however, a silver lining to all of this. If Super Smash Brothers did return with another entry, Sakurai isn’t sure if it’d feature every character that’s offered in the gargantuan roster of Ultimate. Smash Ultimate has 82 fighters in total including the DLC characters, and while it’d be nice to have all of them for the next iteration of the series, Sakurai thinks that it wouldn’t be possible to maintain the numbers without breaking the development budget.

The Smash series isn’t the only thing that Sakurai is uncertain of these days. The director explained that there’s a possibility that he may not necessarily continue with creating more games and might go down another career path altogether. Heck, Sakurai isn’t even sure if he’ll still be in the video game industry in his next venture, but he did say though, that he’s keeping an open mind.

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