One game that many people were holding their breath for during this year’s E3 was another installment in the fan-favorite Super Smash Bros. series. To everyone’s surprise, Nintendo revealed that the franchise wasn’t coming to just one system, but two. The Smash Bros. announcement confirmed that new games would be developed for Nintendo’s Wii U as well as the newly released Nintendo 3DS. The news was a pleasant surprise indeed, but it seems that Nintendo may have jumped the gun by announcing the games so soon.
Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the Super Smash Bros. series, stated in Famitsu magazine that he and Project Sora are still hard at work on Kid Icarus: Uprising, and that the game will continue to suck up a large amount of their time until it releases later this year.
The Smash Bros. announcement may have been a little premature, according to Sakurai, and he worries that it may not be “the smartest thing to make gamers wait for several years.” Iwata, though, had a specific reason to announce the new games: to “attract new team members” to Project Sora so that production can be completed as quickly as possible.
Sakurai originally planned to start working on Super Smash Bros. 3DS right after finishing Kid Icarus: Uprising, but when the Wii U came to fruition he suddenly had the choice to bring the franchise to either platform. Sakurai — mad genius that he is — clearly couldn’t make things easy for himself, and realized that he “had to go on both platforms.”
“Project Sora had intended to make a 3DS Smash Bros. once it had finished up a game on the system and had gotten used to the hardware’s feature set. With the advent of the Wii U, though, we had a choice to make. Iwata asked us if wanted to make the next Smash Bros. on the Wii U or 3DS, and my thought was that we had to go on both platforms.”
“If we went solely for the Wii U, the HD graphics would really bump up the visual effects, but then we’d be stuck in another arms race. If we made this game another extension over previous one, we’d have to cut out the new things we could possibly do on the 3DS hardware and compete with ourselves again over the size of the character roster and the amount of gameplay we can put it. It wouldn’t be a fruitful competition, but doing something completely new would be difficult for many reasons, not least of which that the gamers may not be satisfied with it. That’s why we decided to think about ways to link the personal connection one has with his portable system to the gather-around-and-play aspect of console systems.”
“The hardest part about game development is the burdens it places upon me. With previous projects I had a game design document in place before forming a team, but with this I don’t have the time for that. I won’t be able to look at every aspect of the game and balance out all the characters by myself this time. I’m trying to think about how this is going to work out, but probably I’ll have to discuss it with my future development team. The future of this project really depends on the people I can get involved with it.”
Sakurai and his team at Project Sora certainly have a long and stressful road ahead, and hopefully the final games won’t be affected because of that. That being said, it should be at least a year before the Wii U finally launches, so they have a little bit of time — though it’s obvious (and disappointing) that Smash Bros. won’t be a Wii U launch title.
Project Sora and Nintendo should just take as much time as they need to get these games ready, because both projects could really suffer if they are rushed. We’re already going to be waiting several years for some new Super Smash Bros. games, so what’s an extra six months to ensure that all nine things we’d like to see are on display in the next games?
Look forward to playing Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS sometime in the next “several years.”
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