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Game Director Sakurai on ‘Smash Ultimate’s’ Development, Possible Sequel

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” game director Masahiro Sakurai thinks it’d be fine waiting 10 years for another “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” title, according to a recent interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu (helpfully translated by Source Gaming).

He’s kidding, of course. Mostly. Sakurai said he expects to get a request for one whenever Nintendo’s next console arrives, but he’s not sure how he’s going to top “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” Getting all of the characters together for that one game was a “miracle,” he said, and there’s no guarantee there will be another like it, because “Smash” requires the cooperation of so many different parties.

“To everyone on staff and everyone who let us use their characters, I want to say thank you so much,” he said.

Sakurai also divulged more details about “Ultimate’s” development. Adding “Splatoon’s” Inkling characters took some work because of their ink mechanic, he said. The team had to decide how the ink would interact with every fighter and every stage. Meanwhile, the “Castlevania” franchise’s Simon and Richter Belmont were imagined as close to their game counterparts as possible. Their whip attacks have great reach but come at the expense of speed, and their attacks leave them wide open if they miss.

Isabelle shares a similar design to her fellow “Animal Crossing” character the Villager. Some of their actions are similar in order to maintain the “Animal Crossing” feel. Meanwhile, Incineroar was the only character that wasn’t decided on in the project plan, Sakurai said. After the release of “Pokémon Sun and Moon,” the team decided to leave a spot open on the roster for a new “Pokémon” fighter.

The Sakurai interview also briefly talks about “Smash” esports. While he said he embraces the esports playstyle, Sakurai also said he wants to cater to both newcomers and competitive players. There is no “right” way to play, he said, and he wants both hardcore players and casual players to enjoy themselves. He also was impressed with the high level of play seen in pre-release “Smash” tournaments. He was particularly surprised to see someone pick up and play new character Richter so effectively.

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