I know people are obsessed with figuring out if Smash Bros. Ultimate is a completely new game or a port. I don't know why people worry about this kind of thing, but it is what it is. If you want to know what the creator of Smash Bros. himself has to say on the matter, he shares his thoughts in his latest Famitsu column. Check out the translation below, courtesy of Source Gaming.
First, I was faced with a decision: create a completely new game system, or build off of pre-existing ones. I went with the latter; had I not, we might have ended up with only a third of the fighters we have now. Some people might still end up preferring an earlier title, but I decided to put that thought aside for later and focus on the more important tasks at hand.
Wondering just when work on Smash Bros. Ultimate started? Sakurai goes on to say that the first proposal for the game was brought up in Dec. 2015. At this time, the Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS team was still working on DLC for those games!
Thanks to SonicandM2 for the heads up!