Masahiro Sakurai was the brainchild behind Super Smash Bros. when it first appeared on the Nintendo 64. Since then it’s grown into one of Nintendo’s biggest hits with a VERY VERY devoted fanbase (we mean very), and each entry has been personally approved by Sakurai, every step of the way.
And boy, does he get involved. Sakurai confessed in an issue of Famitsu that he goes far enough to program much of the games himself. “With the previous Smash Bros. games, I would input all the fighter specs and attack hitboxes, and with the new games I’m doing something very similar.” It’s a lot for one man to take on, but as he puts it, “It’s faster and more accurate to do it myself than to tell someone else over and over again what to do.”
Sakurai puts so much of his heart and soul into Smash that a sequel without his involvement would feel unavoidably different. He complained of exhaustion after Smash For Wii U And 3DS and there were rumors he planned to make that Smash his last. But they are untrue, at least for now. Smash for Switch, confirmed in the new Nintendo Direct last Wednesday, will once again be directed by Sakurai.
As taxing as the games are to make, the thought of handing the series over to someone else pains him more. “I have trouble picturing someone else taking my place and providing all this value-added content without me,” he told Game Informer back in 2014.
Glad to have you back, old chum. Just…don’t wear yourself out this time, OK?