Square-Enix's fourth Dragon Quest XI S live-stream set for Sept. 26th, 2019, and Masahiro Sakurai is stopping by

A star-studded launch stream!

Square-Enix has one more Dragon Quest XI S live-stream in them, and they're setting it up for the game's launch. This event will kick off Sept. 26th, 2019 at 21:00 JST and run to September 27th, 2019 at 1:00 JST.

The broadcast will be split into two parts, with the first featuring Dragon Quest series creator Yuji Horii and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai, and the second featuring the Japanese voice actors for the game.

Sakurai credits Smash Bros. Ultimate's success to the many franchises it includes, shoots down requests for Iron Man and Goku

...but what about Shrek?

As we discussed yesterday, Smash Bros. Ultimate took home a number of awards at the Japan Game Awards 2019, including Game of the Year. During one of his acceptance speeches, Masahiro Sakurai explained what he believes to be the reason why this installment in the series has been so successful. The translation below comes courtesy of PushDustIn.

At the Game Awards 2019, Smash Bros Ultimate broke several records. That was in thanks to the number of series that have contributed to the game. I am incredibly thankful to everyone involved. Let's look back at the pre-release countdown. Smash is truly unique...

It's true that Smash Bros. Ultimate represents an enormous amount of franchises, from first to third parties, including indies. That said, not every request for character cameos is going to be filled. Sakurai once again took a moment to address why certain character requests will never see the light of day in Smash.

I get all these kinds of requests from abroad like, "Where is my believed Iron Man?" or "where is my beloved Goku? " However, basically (Smash) will only have content from video games in it.

Smash Bros. Ultimate takes home multiple wins at the Japan Game Awards, including Game of the Year

Sakurai should be proud

Smash Bros. Ultimate has absolutely cleaned up at the Japan Game Awards. The game managed to win the Game of the Year Award, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award, Best Sales Award, and the Award for Excellence. None other than Masahiro Sakurai was on-hand to collect the awards.

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.

Toby Fox comments on Undertale's Sans getting a Mii costume in Smash Bros. Ultimate, meeting with Sakurai

Undertale of the tape

To the surprise of many, Nintendo revealed a Sans costume for the Miis in Smash Bros. Ultimate. Sakurai said they added in the costume due to many requests from fans. Right after the reveal, Undertale creator Toby Fox took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the costume, as well as time he spent with Sakurai.

Yes. It's true. You'll be able to buy a Mii Gunner costume of Sans in Smash Brothers Ultimate later today! It'll come with a special arrangement of Megalovania composed by me. It's a huge honor to have something I created in Smash. Thank you so much Mr. Sakurai!!!

I wrote more beforehand but I'm so shocked that Sakurai-san talked about our meeting. If he's going to mention me, then I have to tell everyone that we listened to a CD of Smash music as he drove me home in his car (which I kept calling his Batmobile)

I didn't have a translator with me so I had to use my own broken Japanese to talk about Smash. It was one of the most surreal (and fun) experiences of my life. I'll never forget it.

Sakurai details the process of creating the Smash Bros. Ultimate 'Hero' presentation, discusses hand pain, tight budgets, and more

Sakurai works too damn hard

Masahiro Sakurai is back with another Famitsu column, and this one takes a look at the process he went through to create the recent Smash Bros. Ultimate 'Hero' presentation. Check out a summary courtesy of the wonderful PushDustIn below.

- Sakurai has a lot on his plate currently
- he helps out with advertising, which means working on trailers and presentations
- Sakurai conducted the recent Hero live-stream presentation on his own
- Sakurai has previously said that the budget is tight, and this comment wasn't meant as a joke
- the team prepared an edited video to promote Joker, but they can't do that with every character
- this would require someone having to write a script, and someone to make the video
- this would take Sakurai away from other work, and would distract from the DLC development process
- Sakurai ad-libbed the Hero presentation, as there was no script
- he talked and played the game all by himself during the presentation with no help
- editing the video he put together took less than 2 hours, outside of translation
- the video did end up taking Sakurai away from the studio for a bit, and also caused some pain in his hand
- Gas Coin Company, the team behind Game Center CX, filmed the live-stream
- Sakurai doesn't think the stream was perfect, but hey thought he conveyed his thoughts in an easy-to-understand manner

Sakurai reveals the process of how Smash Bros. Ultimate's character reveal trailers are made

As you might suspect, it's a lot of work

Smash Bros' fighter reveal trailers are some of the most exciting trailers the game industry has. It's always fun seeing which character is going to join the roster next, and Smash Bros. Ultimate's fighter reveal trailers have been some of the best yet. Wondering how those trailers come together? Masahiro Sakurai shares some insight on the process in his latest Famitsu feature. Check out a summary of details below, courtesy of PushDustin.

- the reason behind these trailers is to first provide something that fans will enjoy, and to create some buzz
- all of the fighter reveal trailers have both CG animation and gameplay
- Sakurai himself writes the script for the trailers
- Sakurai writes each scene and where it'll be cut, and he includes a lot of details in his scripts
- he also writes what music will be used, and what will be said
- when the trailer cuts to gameplay, Sakurai simply notes that 'there will be game play here'
- since the Wii U/3DS days, Sakurai has been working with a company called Digital Frontier to put together these trailers
- Yohei Shimozawa of Digital Frontier has directed many of trailers
- Digital Frontier hears a detailed explanation of how the CG parts of the trailer should be made
- from there, they make a storyboard
- if the storyboard is approved, then they create a 'video storyboard' to get the timing/tempo down
- after adjusting things like music/sound, work is done on updating the character models and the scenery
- if character models were just imported into the CG movie, they wouldn't feel right
- after that, work is done on the animation, camera, etc.
- blur and post effects are added as well
- Sakurai checks in at every step
- Sakurai says he's very thankful for the work that Digital Frontier has done, as Sakurai is very busy working on the game itself
- Shimozawa expresses gratitude for being chosen to work on the trailers, as well as all the love the trailers get

Sakurai talks about Smash Bros. being picked as the most-played game by CoroCoro readers, making games that last, and pain in his hand

The latest Famitsu feature from Sakurai

A translation of Sakurai's latest feature in Famitsu has come in. This is column #581 from Sakurai, and he discusses how Smash Bros. was ranked as the #1 most-played video game by CoroCoro. Check out various tidbits from the feature below, as translated by PushDustIn.

- Smash Bros was ranked number 1 for most played video games by CoroCoro
- video games were the most popular hobby as well
- Sakurai notes that things were probably announced for Smash Bros. Ultimate by the time his feature is published
- that said, he can't talk about them until his next feature, which is in two weeks
- Sakurai is most likely referring to the reveals of Dragon Quest's Hero and Banjo-Kazooie for Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Sakurai is very happy to note that CoroCoro's readers have ranked Smash so highly
- he says middle school students won't forget the games they're playing now, even when they become adults
- Sakurai notes that in his childhood there was a lot of popularity among racing cars, Space Invaders, Gundam and Famicom
- there was a time where he bought CoroCoro, and comics, and all of these have had an impact on Sakurai
- Sakurai is happy to make games that will have a lasting impact
- Sakurai hopes that Smash can introduce gamers to other series' and make new fans
- Sakurai says that his hand is in some pain, but it might be stress-related

Sakurai talks Smash Bros. development - Thoughts on characters, DLC, development struggles, and much more

The Sakurai motherload

Not that long ago, a collection of Famitsu columns from Masahiro Sakurai was released. Fans have since picked the book up and pored over its contents. Below you can find a summary of the more interesting details.

- Sakurai doesn't think characters like Goku, Shrek, and others don't make sense for Smash Bros.
- Smash Bros. is not a series where he thinks about continuation, so characters aren't held back, and DLC doesn't impact the next game
- Sakurai sees Smash as a party game and would like things to be more casual
- Sakurai also recognizes that he's not the only one who can interpret what the series can/cannot be
- back in the Wii U/3DS days, there were restrictions on how many updates to a game you could do
- updates are normal these days, but they're a bit of a voluntary service
- Sakurai thinks its important to hear feedback from a large variety of players, including newcomers
- no plans for a Smash Ballot again
- Sakurai was making plans for Smash Ultimate while on vacation
- Sakurai treats a characters personality as a game in and of itself
- characters joining Smash has an advertising effect, even if the characters appear in games that aren't on Nintendo platforms
- Sakurai played a beta of Breath of the Wild in 2 days to get a feel for its inclusion in Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Sakurai feels games shouldn't be created based on market research alone
- Sakurai feels games made to imitate other games is unfortunately
- 60 billion yen is enough to make every Smash game up to Ultimate
- Sakurai would like a Smash Bros. area in Super Nintendo World
- Smash Ultimate's DLC was planned without the developer's input
- DLC development takes time, and DLC business is far more risky than most think
- gathering staff to create new DLC is tough
- Sakurai isn't fond of season pass DLC
- Omega battlefield variants take more time than people think
- HAL is credited, but not involved in development anymore
- the team was very careful to avoid leaks during E3 2018
- the story idea of World of Light has existed since Brawl
- the idea of Spirits was a last resort, and Sakurai isn't sure this idea will return
- there was a plan to include a Spirits-like map in Melee
- Sakurai doesn't follow internet reactions and doesn't know of fan predictions
- Sakurai took a long vacation, but can't travel far as he has a cat
- by March 2019, the online win ratio is very close for all characters

Classic Masahiro Sakurai interview details the process of securing characters for the original Smash Bros.

Humble beginnings

The Smash Bros. series has become a celebration of gaming in general over the years. Nintendo's biggest and brightest stars rub elbows with characters from third party franchises in order to battle it out for supremacy. Nowadays, fans speculate wildly about just who could make an appearance in the franchise.

As you well know, the Smash Bros. series didn't always feature third party characters. Back with the first installment, it was a Nintendo-only affair. Still, bringing those characters together was no easy task! In a Nice Games interview from 1999, Masahiro Sakurai details the process of locking down Nintendo's characters for the original Smash Bros..

The first person I asked for permission was Shigesato Itoi. Next was Shigeru Miyamoto. When he saw our work he said, “Hey, you’ve got Mario down pretty good!” The Pokemon characters took the longest to get permission, because thir image is tightly supervised. I broached the subject with Pokemon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara, but the impression I got from him was that it would probably be difficult. Satoshi Tajiri was more encouraging—he was like, “this looks cool!”

Personally, as the creator of Kirby, I understood how they felt: I would feel be really upset if Kirby was featured in a game that people ended up disliking, or if the people got his image and movements wrong. In fact, there had been times when I’d been kind of annoyed by the way Kirby was depicted in someone else’s illustration or as a game cameo. Smash Bros. was conceived, in part, as a reaction against that kind of sloppy handling. I imagine anyone who creates a character feels similarly protective, but Smash Bros. brought an unprecedented number of different characters together and it was of the utmost importance to us that we re-create their personalities and characteristics faithfully. I absolutely did not want to betray the original characters’ creators.


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