Sakurai interview tidbits on Famitsu – Smash Bros. Ultimate’s development length and more

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Masahiro Sakurai doesn’t have one of his regular columns in Famitsu this week, but he is featured in the magazine nonetheless. That’s because the Japanese publication is sharing an interview with the Smash Bros. Ultimate director.

We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the interview soon (technically the latest Famitsu isn’t even out yet), but as usual, some tidbits have leaked out online early. Here’s a brief roundup:

– Development actually started around February of 2016
– Sakurai was aware of the Switch fairly early on and had been shown its design from the planning stages
– Sakurai didn’t really consider changing the layout based on what mode the game was played in
– The Switch’s LCD was a lot clearer than he had thought; there weren’t any problems even when in tabletop mode
– Changing the layout between the portable, tabletop, and docked modes meant the team’s work would have had to have been two-fold
– It was pretty important in the grand scheme of things that it ended up not being necessary
– On people struggling against the harder Spirits: “It’s important that your level should sufficiently match your opponent’s – your immediate goal should be to level up your Spirits as you fight, not trying to do it in one giant leap.”
– “Using King K. Rool’s stomach armor-based moves will grant him super armor. Taking too much damage will cause it to crack and leave him dazed, though.”
– Sakurai says that for online battles, it’d probably be best if you didn’t think too hard about how many wins and losses you have
– Even if you have access to both, he believes it’d be better to just look at how much you’ve won
– Sakurai will take another look at Elite Matches after some time has passed, when it’s a little more intense
– On the next Smash game: “It’d be fine if there wasn’t another one for about 10 years, don’t you think?” (laughs)
– Sakurai received something close to an order for a new Smash Bros. since the Switch was coming out – that was this game

https://nintendoeverything.com/sakurai-interview-tidbits-smash-bros-ultimates-development-length-and-more/
 

MELLO

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He definitely better take a look at elite matches. He knows we need a stable 1v1 competitive mode without arenas
 

Neoxon

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He definitely better take a look at elite matches. He knows we need a stable 1v1 competitive mode without arenas
This, I’d rather not get item-filled free-for-alls when I don’t want them.

With that said, development started much earlier than I expected. But it’s not surprising considering that the roster was finalized back in December 2015.
 

KtotheRoc

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– On the next Smash game: “It’d be fine if there wasn’t another one for about 10 years, don’t you think?” (laughs)
After making Smash 4 and now Ultimate (and Ultimate's DLC), I can imagine he isn't in a hurry to make another Smash game, lol.

– Sakurai received something close to an order for a new Smash Bros. since the Switch was coming out – that was this game
I totally understand why Nintendo wanted a new Smash game as quickly as possible. Given these early sales reports we are hearing, they were right on that front.
 

Procheno

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I want Nintendo to hire his freelance team to make a new IP. Something fresh and not Smash Bros for Sakurai to really stretch his creativity and style

Edit: After his break of course lol
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Huh, so he really did just start immediately after the last DLC for 3DS/Wii U.

– Sakurai says that for online battles, it’d probably be best if you didn’t think too hard about how many wins and losses you have
– Even if you have access to both, he believes it’d be better to just look at how much you’ve won
Sakurai: "Please be less salty."
 
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OP

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This, I’d rather not get item-filled free-for-alls when I don’t want them.

With that said, development started much earlier than I expected. But it’s not surprising considering that the roster was finalized back in December 2015.
Seriously? To me it seemed that it started late than I expected since I thought it began at least on the end of 2015.
 

ChaosXVI

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Oh wow, so basically right after the last bit of DLC for Smash 4 they just jumped right into another one. How the hell did Sakurai not just burn himself out?
 
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I want Nintendo to hire his freelance team to make a new IP. Something fresh and not Smash Bros for Sakurai to really stretch his creativity and style
I feel like he's probably going to get him to reboot another IP. I could see something like Ice Climbers or Takamaru. I would still love a new Kid Icarus though, Uprising was phenomenal.
 
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I want Nintendo to hire his freelance team to make a new IP. Something fresh and not Smash Bros for Sakurai to really stretch his creativity and style

Edit: After his break of course lol
Sakurai don't really have a team. Sora is basically him and his wife Michiko. His team in that case for Smash would be the team at Bandai Namco Studios.
 
Oct 29, 2017
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So they basically just carried on with development immediately after finishing up the last batch of DLC for Smash 4?

Pretty much exactly what I was expecting. We already knew that Smash Ultimate was built directly on top of Smash 4 Wii U, so it stands to reason that they basically just carried on with the existing development pipeline.

I do reckon that this is it for Smash though. Sakurai clearly has no intention of working on a follow up and honestly? I'd be fine with the series ending here.

Let the poor man have a rest already and let him work on something new when he's ready!
 

Trrzs

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2 years and like 8 months to make all the game but they will take a full year for just 5 DLC characters... I'm pretty sure Sakurai has some more surprises for the game aside the paid content.
 

Kthulhu

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Nintendo, please let this man have a break, or at least let him work on a different game if he wants to.
 

Neoxon

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To me it can last 10 years also. But with constant (5 per year, maybe 6) DLC.
Like I said, I’d be genuinely surprised if we didn’t get more than the 5 (plus Piranha Plant) we’re already getting given how long Sakurai has been continuously working on Smash.

Seriously? To me it seemed that it started late than I expected since I thought it began at least on the end of 2015.
I was expecting around August 2016 given his supposed break & the leak about one dev doing Smash Ultimate’s lighting engine.
 

Wowfunhappy

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I want Nintendo to hire his freelance team to make a new IP. Something fresh and not Smash Bros for Sakurai to really stretch his creativity and style

Edit: After his break of course lol
I mean, Kid Icarus was basically this. The amount of freedom you have after 25 years of technical improvements makes it effectively a new franchise in all but name.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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It reads like if the Wii U didn't crash and burn he might have actually had a break, but because it did, Nintendo was like "We need a Switch Smash ASAP!"
 

FiXalaS

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Switch is still fresh, and this game's life span in extended to 2020 because of fighters pass

Next Smash can wait.
 

entremet

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So they basically just carried on with development immediately after finishing up the last batch of DLC for Smash 4?

Pretty much exactly what I was expecting. We already knew that Smash Ultimate was built directly on top of Smash 4 Wii U, so it stands to reason that they basically just carried on with the existing development pipeline.

I do reckon that this is it for Smash though. Sakurai clearly has no intention of working on a follow up and honestly? I'd be fine with the series ending here.

Let the poor man have a rest already and let him work on something new when he's ready!
He keeps saying this, but he keeps coming back.

Dude will be doing Smash until he croaks lol.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,306
I want Nintendo to hire his freelance team to make a new IP. Something fresh and not Smash Bros for Sakurai to really stretch his creativity and style

Edit: After his break of course lol
Kid Icarus Uprising basically felt like a new IP, it plays nothing like the first 2. The game is like 95% new stuff that he made up and shows his creativity and style really really well imo.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,487
2 years and like 8 months to make all the game but they will take a full year for just 5 DLC characters... I'm pretty sure Sakurai has some more surprises for the game aside the paid content.
DLC is typically made with a much smaller team than the actual main production; Smash is no exception. Doesn't make sense to have a full production crew on just DLC; at that point you're just throwing bodies at it and nothing gets done.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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2 years and like 8 months to make all the game but they will take a full year for just 5 DLC characters... I'm pretty sure Sakurai has some more surprises for the game aside the paid content.
Unlikely. At least, nothing major. 3 veterans and 4 newcomers took the team ~10 months for Smash 4 too, so 6 newcomers being finished up (including piranha plant) is reasonable for a year.

There probably will be some form of free updates, as nintendo has made it a point to have them for most major titles, including splatoon, mario odyssey, botw, xenoblade, mario tennis, so on, but I wouldn't hold hope for echo fighters or anything similar for free, not when they sold veterans that were effectively echoes for $4 each in smash 4.
 

KtotheRoc

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So they basically carried on with development immediately after finishing up the last batch of DLC for Smash 4?

Pretty much exactly what I was expecting.

I do reckon that this is it for Smash though. Sakurai clearly has no intention of working on a follow up and honestly? I'd be fine with the series ending here.

Let the poor man have a rest already and let him work on something new when he's ready!
One thing that is clear is that Smash is going to continue, with or without him. Tadashi Sugiyama and Hideki Konno haven't directed Mario Kart in a long time. (Konno is still listed as a producer.)

I imagine Sakurai still wants to make Smash games. It's just that he wants a break before the next one.
 

Noppie

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Oct 27, 2017
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I imagine Sakurai still wants to make Smash games. It's just that he wants a break before the next one.
He stated that he'll make them as long as Nintendo wants him to. I imagine after Ultimate, he'll have room for other projects though. I can't see the next Smash hitting for over five years honestly.
 

Jahranimo

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Let the man make another game he wants to make that's not Smash Bros after 2019!
 

Linde

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“It’d be fine if there wasn’t another one for about 10 years, don’t you think?”
After the monster of a game that is smash ultimate, I think a 10 year hiatus is warranted, even if there's a new console. Christ, what a massive piece of work it is
I really hope they upgrade the online capabilities of the game eventually though. I don't mind too much right now because I just play with friends in real life, but once the hype dies down is when I start playing online more
 

Kthulhu

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I think a soft reboot is more likely than a proper sequel. It can't have been cheap or easy to make all those characters and stages.
 

Watchtower

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He keeps saying this, but he keeps coming back.

Dude will be doing Smash until he croaks lol.
Yeah, I don't get where this idea came from. Beyond common sympathy the most I've gotten are 15 year old comments on sequalization that he seems to have since reversed on.

Nintendo ain't cracking the whip that hard. He works this hard because he feels obligated to.