Sakurai discusses announcement of additional fighters, his 7-8 year long developmental work on Smash, and more

Masahiro Sakurai's newest column has been released! This time, focusing on the subject of additional DLC fighters being added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Check out the translated summary from PushDustIn and Nokoloc below!

- Like the Fighters Pass, Nintendo will be choosing the characters for additional DLC. Sakurai will make the final decision on if the character would work.

- Sakurai works on each character from it's concept to release, while the development team can work on fighter after fighter.

- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the only game Sakurai is actively working on, and all efforts are going into it.

- Sakurai will not be taking a long break.

- Managing the development of DLC is easier then the main release, but there is still a lot to make sure of.

- Development of Smash Ultimate began immediately after Smash Wii U/3DS.

- Sakurai has been actively working on the Smash series for 7~8 years.

- Sakurai still enjoys his job, and feels honored to get to work with many different game franchises. His knowledge of a large variety of games makes him perfect for the job.

- When discussing a specific character for Smash, gameplay is an important consideration.

- Producing characters and the new fighter announcement videos quickly isn't a bad thing.

- The magnitude of a game that is Smash Ultimate is unprecedented. With the game franchise collaborations including spirits, the many songs across many different series, and every fighter returning, Smash Ultimate is truly ultimate.

- If the Smash series continues after Ultimate, it would be impossible for this many characters to be represented again.

- Sakurai will continue to develop new fighters to please fans, continuing to push the roster number, if the opportunity for him to do so is there.

- Instead of thinking about the future of Smash, Sakurai is focused on his current work, which is still yet to be completed.


Top Rated Comment
Wed Sep 11 19 12:59pm
Rating: 9

You still on the “Smash Ultimate is a port” wave? Really?

"- Development of Smash Ultimate continued immediately after Smash Wii U/3DS."

Fixed that quote. Probably Lost in Translation. 😉

Wed Sep 11 19 12:59pm
Rating: 9

You still on the “Smash Ultimate is a port” wave? Really?

Wed Sep 11 19 01:08pm
Rating: 1

Oh don't be mean. He just doesn't understand the difference between a sequel and a port.

Wed Sep 11 19 01:46pm
Rating: 5

I don’t know, maybe I have high standards but I figure someone with the ability to type could navigate that thought process.

Wed Sep 11 19 02:10pm
(Updated 1 time)

Maybe it's how 'port' is defined? Look at Xenoblade Definitive Edition... technically it's a port... even though it's really more of a remaster... which from the looks of things is what Smash Ultimate also is...

Hey! It's the internet. Don't expect too much!

I didn't say it was a straight up port. But for anyone to say Ultimate was started from scratch and didn't use the Wii U version as the basis, that would be foolish. Ultimate is an upgraded and expanded version of Wii U Smash Bros.

But thanks for putting words in my mouth.

Thu Sep 12 19 12:48am
Rating: 2

Majora's Mask is an upgraded and expanded version of Ocarina of Time.

That is a terrible comparison. Sure it used the same game engine, but they're set in completely different worlds, so you've failed already before even going any further.

There were 58 fighters in SSB Wii U. There was 74 at launch for SSBU, just 11 of which were new. The others were returning characters from previous games. It's far easier working on previous characters, their design, level, music, etc has been done already, so it's a matter of bringing them into 2018. Yes it requires some work, but by comparison to all new fighters, it's nothing.

If you want to say it's completely new, go right ahead. Take the recent addition of the Home Run Contest. Are you going to say that's completely new or a tweaked iteration of its Wii U counterpart? It's just another example of using the assets in SSB Wii U.

You can look at all the Wii U ports to Switch. The majority are straight ports. The teams that when they made them on Wii U, moved on to other projects. The team for SSB Wii U didn't disband, they kept evolving it, adding a few new characters and tweaks by comparison. It's like SSB Wii U ended up at Ver.1.15 and SSBU is Ver.1.25.

Here's another example. Say Nintendo had added 8 new tracks to MK8D, would that have entitled them to instead call the game "Mario Kart Ultimate"?

Just because you add some new content and make a few tweaks here and there doesn't make it a completely new game. You could get into a debate about as to at what point would a previous game with added content become entitled to be called a new game. If it goes past say 50% new content, then is it a new game? SSBU doesn't come anywhere remotely close to even balancing the scales.

If people want to have a debate, good. But I wish people wouldn't put words in my mouth, like the person above did. I didn't call SSBU a straight port.

Sliggys comments are just ports from earlier comments. The dude hasn’t had an original thought in years. To him all Mario Kart games are just ports because the character and track selection doesn’t differ enough - since that’s his complete argument about Smash it seems.

Sadly he got what he wanted, he deliberately ports his posts in such a sly dig format hoping that people will bite. I don’t know why anyone would buy a console they clearly hate.

Like the Fighters Pass, Nintendo will be choosing the characters for additional DLC. Sakurai will make the final decision on if the character would work.

Welp and there goes my hope of any characters I actually care about (i.e. 1st party characters) if Nintendo's choices in the fighters pass are any indication none of which besides Banjo I give any amount of shit about..



Sakurai doesn't listen to fans? News to me. :3c

Wed Sep 11 19 01:04pm
(Updated 1 time)

Personally I'm not sure anyone who really wanted Ridwarfly could be called a fan...

Anyways... looking at some characters, the logic behind them remains entirely confusing, from both a Nintendo business standpoint and especially from a Nintendo fan standpoint...

I mean we've been over this time after time. People had mock images scaling Ridley down to his proportions of the NES game. Several people (included) were kind of eager to play as the character. Considering aside from him and K. Rool other Nintendo villains aren't as interesting or plausible (Andross, Kraid... Dark Matter)..

I never said Sakurai doesnt listen to the fans. Idk where you got that from.

After getting K. Rool and an incredible longshot like Banjo, I'm surprised you're not just content with ANYTHING they add afterward.

While yes I am incredibly grateful with K.Rool and all the DKC music he FINALLY added to Smash after 5 games of just Jungle Hijinx remixes. He did K.Rool really well and the best the character has been potrayed since Rare was with Nintendo. I am very appreciative to Sakurai for that. His reveal made a grown man cry tears of joy.

Banjo I was never a fan of. Didn't grow up with Banjo only knew him from Diddy Kong Racing. I played Banjo for like 10 minutes as a kid and didnt care for it. Happy for Banjo fans and he is definitely the best of the DLC characters BY FAR but I still have no personal connection to him.

Yes I know its greedy to constantly ask Sakurai for more and yes I do think its great of Sakurai to continue developing DLC even though Im sure he wants a break eventually. But as someone who wants more 1st party characters besides just K.Rool. It is very disappointing that 3rd parties seem to continue getting the royal treatment from Nintendo while 1st party characters like Dixie Kong, Impa, Pig Ganon, ARMS character, Rex/Pyra, Porky Minch, Sylux, Paper Mario, Captain Toad/Toadette, Bandana Dee, and countless others continue to wait for their shot to join what was originally a Nintendo crossover fighter. But it seems Nintendo/Sakurai has forgot that and is just aiming to make "Videogame Characters: The Fighter"

But like I said happy that people are happy with whatever is thrown at them but if theirs something I dont care for Im gonna speak up about it.

I know it's a pretty unpopular opinion on this website, but I'll voice it anyway.

I'm actually pretty happy to see Smash evolving past its initial concept of a Nintendo only fighter, into something more akin to a celebration of video games as a whole. Granted if you just play on Nintendo's systems, I can see how some of the DLC characters seem underwhelming. That said I would still prefer to see Smash continue down this path and add new third party DLC characters to the roster. I feel smash, as it currently stands, Is a great representation of Nintendo and their franchises and I feel the current roaster of Nintendo characters is pretty much perfect. Personally, I disagree with a lot of your suggested character choices, as none of them really pack the same kind of punch as Banjo or Joker did. But, for the sake of argument let's Ignore the DLCs. Does a Toadette character announcement hold the same weight as Ridley's announcement? Does a character from ARMS hold the same weight as an Inkling? I personally don't think so and feel a lot of those characters you listed, would just pad out the roster vs. actually expand on it.

Like I said, I'm happy Smash is branching outside of "Nintendo Only" not only has it created some amazing new characters, but it's actively getting people out of that console wars mindset. I like that there is now a game that celebrates the culture of video games, and I like that it's not just any game, it's Smash.

Well Im happy your happy man. Continue enjoying Smash Bros. As for me I'll just continue saving money on the DLC. Plenty of other games to spend my money on and take my time away from Smash. Continue to enjoy Smash man.

Another thing is that some of these fighters are actually GOOD fighters. Yeah, Cloud was an odd choice and all. We all know what happened when FF "left" Nintendo for Sony (even though FF7 technically started out as a N64 game), but damn is Cloud good to fight with. And the Midgard stage with it's music kicks arse! Personally I have little to no connections with Persona or SMT, and I haven't really gotten used to Joker (yet) but the stage is, again, arse kicking. And the list goes on. Oh and...Snake does have stong roots with Ninty, and so does Sonic in a sense. And Mega Man!!!!! He was like a Nintendo mascot back in the day. All good fighters.

Personally I jumped for joy when Bayonetta was added. She has also become kind of a Nintendo mascot of late (as we all know). Could have been Wonder Red (or blue or pink) or even Jack (MadWorld), but few know of those I guess.

Anyway, point is that these fighters have gotten great treatment. Much time and effort and even passion has gone into getting them into the game.

And for all we know we will get more 1st party characters in the future with the new DLC pack. Just wait it out already.

Wed Sep 11 19 08:55pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 2 times)

Does a Toadette character announcement hold the same weight as Ridley's announcement? Does a character from ARMS hold the same weight as an Inkling? I personally don't think so and feel a lot of those characters you listed, would just pad out the roster vs. actually expand on it.

By that logic, what about Ice Climbers, or Game & Watch, or Pit, or Wii Fit Trainer, or Duck Hunt Dog? One of the nice things about Smash is that it justifies digging deep into Nintendo's past and bringing it into the modern day... including a lot of characters people didn't know or care for but now love... and that's assuming these characters aren't as popular or in demand as you think. You're abandoning Nintendo's present, you're abandoning Nintendo's past, and if the weak support that comes from featuring hotshot PlayStation characters and the potential for Smash to garner interest in the revival of dormant Nintendo IPs (like Kid Icarus) you're probably abandoning Nintendo's future as well. And calling those characters padding?! Really? Not only does that imply that these characters have nothing unique to offer while implying that only popular characters can be unique (which is definitely a false belief), but also completely overlooks the obvious amount of padding characters already in the game (which I personally am not thrilled by, but that's beside the point; they're in there).

Edit: Sorry if I'm coming across as ranting angrily, but I hate how people now treat Smash like gaming's game and so we should just abandon Nintendo's IPs for a bunch of PlayStation characters because "Nintendo's not cool enough"...

Thu Sep 12 19 02:15pm
(Updated 1 time)

This is a whirlwind of a read, and I took me several passes to fully understand what you are trying to say. So I'm going to do my best and respond to it accordingly.

First, I'm going to address the strange fixation on abandonment. I don't understand how by celebrating the culture of video games, you can't also celebrate Nintendo? You can celebrate both a birthday and a holiday, without ignoring the other. Just because it's no longer exclusive to Nintendo characters, doesn't also mean that it can't be a focus. Smash will always be a Nintendo owned franchise and Nintendo will still always have a majority presence within it. But at the same time, I feel that the inclusion of third parties allows the game to continue to expand and evolve past that. The new DLC characters, Joker and Hero are incredibly unique fighters, with movesets that feel different from the rest of the cast. I feel the view point of "Nintendo Exclusive" or nothing is a cynical and jaded one. I'm all for the inclusion of more third-parties and as I previously mentioned in my last post turing smash into a celebration for video game culture as a whole. Just I never said in doing that, your abandoning the celebration of Nintendo.

On the topic of padding, If they added Toadette into smash, yes, I would consider that padding. Though I consider toadette in any capacity to be padding. Could you continue to pull 1st part characters from Nintendo's backlog of games? Absolutely. But do those characters have enough potential as a full fighter? Are they better choices than some other 3rd party characters. I'm unsure about that. There have been 5 Smash games already with 74 fighters. If characters like Mach Rider haven't made it in by now, I'm thinking that's by choice. Literally every character I could have asked for from Nintendo's side has already been added. K. Rool, Ridley, Inkling are an amazing selection of showing past, present, and future of Nintendo. I almost argue that it can become creatively stifling to keep using characters from just Nintendo's backlog. Again the DLCs feel unique to play and that's because they pull from the strengths of the games they represent. There is still a chance more first-party characters will get in, but at the same time, if I'm paying for a fighters pass, It better be something stronger then a Toadette.

One more thing I just wanna touch on, there are 74 characters in Smash if we ignore echos. Of those 74 characters 12 of them are third party characters. Of those 12 characters, 2 of them have popular games on Playstation. So A.) let's not pretend Playstation characters are invading Smash, they aren't, and it's borderline hysteria to think they are. And B.) You say "weak support" like Cloud and Joker were thrown in with no care or respect and their involvement was only to garner hype. I wholeheartedly disagree with that as both character have been thoughtfully represented and clearly a lot of care has gone into their inclusion. While you might like that, it's a false statement to claim their implementation is "weak"

Again, I'm glad to see Smash begin to break down that "Console Wars" mentality. I have a friend who played nothing but Nintendo exclusively. Joker came out and it convinced him to play Persona 5. He borrowed my PS4 for like 2 months, but that's beside the point. Point is I enjoy video games, I enjoy Nintendo and I enjoy Smash. As I said, I'm just happy Smash is becoming that game where all of that meshes together and is celebrated.

I have gotten used to see all these fighters from all around, so I am actually very curious as to who's next and who's next after thay etc... I was actually happy to hear that more ar coming. Smash ultimate is a blast.

2B and NierA port to switch when? Smile

Wed Sep 11 19 01:20pm
(Updated 2 times)

Because why add the Platinum Games characters owned by Nintendo, on Nintendo systems now, when we can beg for the ones owned by other companies and hope we get a late port out of it?

Did you see my smile emoticon? Did you understand I was joking? I wouldn't mind B2 in Smash. I would welcome her, but it was still a joke, JD ;)

Since when does 😃 mean it's a joke? Wouldn't something like s/ (meaning 'snark' I believe) be more accurate?

That may depend on who you are, I guess. With a smiley it usually hints at a little humour. And /s is from HTML coding where the "/" ends a part of the coding. The "s" is for "sarcasm" I think. But I wasn't being sarcastic (for a change) rather just joking a bit about, hence the smiley.

That stands for "sarcasm," actually.

I would love to see Arthur from Ghouls and Ghosts as a playable fighter. And since development lingers, doesn't make sense not to include fighters from ARMS.

I believe Sora from Kingdom Hearts it's likely. Despite the games being so-so for me they're very popular. I suppose they could put an original location though I'm not sure if they could add Donald and Goofy.

An indie rep I think that could be the next threshold considering Undertale and Shovel Knight are already has been represented I think Shantae (which to be fair is more in-between an indie and middle developer), Hollow Knight, Bit Trip Beat could be possible. I prefer if minecraft is represented as a Mii costume if that happens.

Sora has been on my longshot list for this game since it was released, but the truth is that legally, Sora belongs to Disney, not Square. (And, according to the contract, so are all other characters original to Kingdom Hearts.)

Nintendo and Disney aren't on the best terms at the moment, for reasons I don't really know, so even if Square is all on board putting Sora into Smash Bros., and really, his fighting style fits Smash Bros. like a glove, I am certain Disney would instantly veto it.

Wed Sep 11 19 08:16pm
Rating: 1

I don't know. Seems there are a lot of letters on the table.

Although my gut tells me the fifth DLC character is still gonna be third party and probably the next batch will be Nintendo characters. (Unless we start adding from other types of mediums).

Having gotten virtually every character I could want in Smash, I'm just going to enjoy watching what else they put in, and hope it makes a lot of other people happy. I mean sure, I have a handful more I'd love to see, but it's hard to complain at this point.

I'm also at that point. It's an embarassment of riches.

While I love the game, my main issue now is that I just don't have the time or dedication to try most of the roster. I just envy younger people with more time being able to play it with their firends more often.

At this point, it's either just re-release Smash Ultimate going forward or they really need to change up the gameplay or something to justify an inevitable roster cut

Wed Sep 11 19 08:11pm
(Updated 2 times)

What he means, most likely, is that all these 3rd-party characters were given special permission to be in this game, and Sakurai is not certain he can get that special permission again. We saw it happen with Snake for Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS, in that he didn't return because they didn't receive said permission.

Typically, what happens in licensing is that if something proves to be a success, the licensor will demand more money and more control the next time around. (And there is no doubt SSBU is a success, as has all of the DLC.) That can be negotiated, especially if one can convince the licensors that they would be unable to turn a profit or it would severely decrease the quality of the finished product. SSBU is vulnerable to this because the legal team works with so many other companies, not all of which get along and may demand things that are mutually exclusive with something else.

This is a major reason why SEGA ditched the crossover angle for Sumo Digital's racing games and stuck strictly with Sonic, for instance. Each franchise creator has some say over how their characters and environments should be like, and whether or not they get to be in the game. This is reasonable, but it does dramatically slow development at times. Ulala (protagonist of Space Channel 5) spent a long time in development for Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, for instance, because the creator is a perfectionist and kept rejecting Sumo's 3-D models for her approval. Toejam & Earl were planned to be in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, but the creators refused, saying they'd rather have Toejam & Earl as DLC if the game proved to sell well enough for them, which apparently it didn't. I forget who it was, but another character had to be removed from the roster when they discovered the game was to be on the Wii U. Their contract stated that the character would be allowed only if the game's Wii U development was canceled; they decided they'd nix this character so they could release the game on the Wii U.

No doubt there are a LOT of legal requirements Sakurai is not telling us about SSBU, especially Pokémon characterts and third-party characters. Suspect are the extremely small track list for Midgar and the complete lack of in-house remixes for Sonic music.

At this point I have all the characters I could ever want in Smash. B/K were my last dream fighters, and they got in. Now I'm just watching with curiosity to see who's next, and I'll be happy for the fans of whoever gets in.

People getting unhappy at 3rd party characters in Smash strikes me like getting mad if Coca-Cola characters appeared in Pepsiman. You're really that invested in the purity of the branding? (~_~)

Question: if you were a Pepsi fan and people told you Pepsi Man needed New Coke because of how it affected the soda industry, but not Crystal Pepsi because it's forgettable and minor and not cool enough for a Pepsi game, would you be happy?

If I was a fan of a soda I'd want someone to slap me. 😬

Being "owned" by a specific corporation doesn't make a character cool IMO.


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