Smash Bros director says “its fair to assume there will be another one,” and he cant imagine anyone else making it

Super Smash Bros. lead Masahiro Sakurai says another entry in the series is likely, but he’s having a tough time imagining the series continuing without him.

“The question now is, what happens next time?” Sakurai muses in the latest episode of his YouTube game design series. “I mean whatever comes after Smash Bros. Ultimate. 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. You might think that’s a natural stance for someone in my role, but I say so speaking objectively.”

Sakurai says that “Smash Bros. is a massive, important little for Nintendo, so it’s fair to assume there will be another one at some point, but it’s going to take some work to figure out exactly how to make that happen.” There’s a rather prominent note that this is Sakurai’s “opinion at the time of this video’s release in 2023,” so you shouldn’t take it as gospel confirmation of plans for the series.

Sakurai has said in recent interviews that he’s “semi-retired,” but it’s worth noting he’s held a pretty non-traditional role in the industry since he founded his company, Sora Ltd, in 2005. He’s effectively been a freelancer since then, directing games like Kid Icarus: Uprising and Super Smash Bros. in what amounts to a contract position.

With that in mind, it’s a lot easier to imagine how Nintendo might greenlight a new Smash Bros without Sakurai’s involvement. In fact, the company was prepared to do exactly that with Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii. Sakurai explains in today’s video that when Brawl was announced at E3 2005, he had no idea the project was happening.

The late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke to Sakurai a few days after the announcement to formally ask him to direct the project. If Sakurai didn’t direct Brawl himself, Iwata said that Nintendo would likely simply remaster the previous game, Super Smash Bros. Melee, for Wii with online play. Sakurai says he’s pretty sure Iwata wasn’t confident anyone else at Nintendo at the time could step in to build a whole new game, which is why he stepped in to lead development on Brawl.

Now, Sakurai says, “I feel the same way President Iwata did when we formed the team for Smash Bros. Brawl. At present, we don’t have someone who can simply take the reins…” Fingers crossed that whoever takes on the lead role on the next game can find a way to top the impossibly massive Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Nintendo’s finally talking about its next console, which is where we’re most likely to see the next Super Smash Bros. 

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