Super Smash Bros Ultimate was a massive triumph when it released on the Nintendo Switch in December of last year, selling over 12 million units worldwide in less than a month. And it’ll no doubt be the best-selling Smash Bros game ever by the time all is said and done by a large margin. But the reason, or a major part of the reason, for this is because of Masahiro Sakurai, the director/producer/co-creator of the game/series.
However, his dedication has come at a cost, and as the community knows, he’s had health issues in recent games, and though he changed things up for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, he refused to do things half-heartedly:
I guess I’m a hard worker? (wry laughter) I’m a freelancer, so I don’t have any strict rules on my time. As long as I can complete the game, I could show up to the office once per week and I think it’d be within the realm of forgiveness. But instead I make sure I come to work every day and write proper daily reports and such. I’m always working, but there’s a lot of things that keep me in good spirits!
His work in the game is unquestionable, and it’s because he knows that to make each game special, you have to make each game special:
Yes, because if you say, “I’ll do this or that on the next game,” then you’ll just drive yourself crazy. Sorry, let’s not get off track here. Anyway, we created “Smash Ultimate” with a sense of summarizing the series’ history all in one. Some of them were already in the games, but we used the stages from the first game on Nintendo 64 as is. And while we’ve increased the quality of how they look and feel, the 12 base characters from the original are still in the game, too. We’ve had a series of struggles since the very beginning, for sure, but I think we forget about them quickly. Even though we regret leaving some things undone back then, still so many people have played these games. And I think we can be pleased with that result.
Ultimate is out right now on Switch.