Super Smash Bros. has always been a special franchise, but the appropriately named Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a tremendous achievement that is still hard to wrap your head around. Representing a ridiculous number of franchises from across the medium in the most thorough and loving way possible, packed full of fighters, stages, music, and content in general, and with all of it built on the foundations of tight, consistently enjoyable gameplay, it’s very plain that this is the kind of game that only comes around once in a lifetime, if that.
For a while now, people have wondered what direction Super Smash Bros. will take in the future, and how it will ever be able to live up to the impossibly high standards set by Ultimate. According to series creator and director Masahiro Sakurai though, if there is a new Smash game, it shouldn’t even try to do that.
Speaking in an interview with The Verge, when asked about the future of the series, Sakurai said – echoing similar statements he’s made on multiple occasions in the recent past – that any new Smash game will need to have a smaller roster- though of course, he also acknowledges that the development team will have to figure out whether or not fans will be pleased with that.
“I think we’ve reached the limit, at least in terms of volume of content and fighters,” Sakurai said. “Basically, if I were to have the opportunity to work on another Super Smash Bros. game, that means we would have to shrink the roster, but we need to think about whether fans would be pleased about that.”
Sakurai also went on to say that if he and Nintendo do continue forward with the series, they’ll have to figure out a way to de-emphasize his involvement in it and make it so that it isn’t wholly reliant on a single person’s vision the way it has been up until now. According to Sakurai, that’s crucial for the series’ longevity- this, too, is something he’s spoken about in the past.
“I’ve been doing too much of the work myself, so I’d need to resolve that, too,” he said. “The current Super Smash Bros. has too much of my personality poured into it. In order for a long-time series to continue thriving today, we need to think about eliminating the series’ dependence on just one person’s vision.
“Of course, this is the way it is now because we weren’t successful in splitting the vision between multiple people before. This would be a challenge for the future and something that needs to be discussed with Nintendo, if there were to be a next installment in the Super Smash Bros. series.”
One thing’s for sure- Smash Ultimate has more than enough going on to keep players happy for quite some time to come, so Nintendo probably won’t be rushing to make another new entry in the series anytime soon.