Super Smash Bros. developer Masahiro Sakurai has recently uploaded a new video to his YouTube channel, titled “The Team Behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl [Grab Bag]”. The video covers various topics about his history and future in developing Smash.
Sakurai begins by describing his situation after Super Smash Bros. Melee’s completion - he was a freelance game developer who was taking on several projects at a time. While he was attending E3 2005, Nintendo announced the new Super Smash Bros. game. This was the first he had heard of a new Smash Bros. title as he wasn’t asked to develop it until later that week. Sakurai asked what this new Smash game would be like if he were to not take on the director role, with then Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata telling him that it would be mostly untouched from Melee with online play. Sakurai didn’t think that was really a new game, and because there was no one else available who could direct it, Sakurai dropped some of his in-progress projects and accepted the proposal to lead Brawl’s development.
The dev team was initially assembled by Nintendo and composed of developers from studio Game Arts (Ragnarok Odyssey, Grandia). The team would soon grow to over 100 members.
From this point in the video, Sakurai transitions into speculating what the next Super Smash Bros. game, after Ultimate, would look like.
“One option would be to separate the series itself from the original creator. But for now, at least, I can’t really imagine a Smash Bros. title without me.”
Sakurai has talked before about how he feels he is essential to Smash, such as in a 2021 Famitsu column. This isn’t only believed by Sakurai, as he mentions in his Brawl Team video how Eiji Aonuma (producer and former director of the Legend of Zelda series) praised his work on Smash in a 2005 Famitsu article:
Sakurai ends the video by saying that another Smash game is likely, given its huge popularity, but it’s currently hard to say how it would even come together. However, Sakurai intends to keep working with Nintendo in whatever way he can.“To be frank, if Mr. Sakurai wasn’t involved, it would likely spell the end of the Smash Bros. series. He packs in elements from so many different games, yet never fails to make it coherent and fun for players. That’s a product of his ability, taste, and thought process, and nobody could ever replace that.” - Eiji Aonuma
If you'd like to watch Sakurai's full video, you can do so below.
Editor’s Note: Did you find these tidbits of Brawl’s development history interesting? What do you think the next Smash game will look like? Let us know in the comments below!
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