Masahiro Sakurai has been the director of every single Super Smash Bros. game ever made – all four to date, as well as the fifth one, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which launches in a little over two weeks. But over the course of his tenure, on numerous occasions he has said in very clear terms that whichever Smash game he is working on at the time is going to be his last one.
Recently, in an interview with Game Informer, Sakurai was asked if Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, given not only Sakurai’s history, but also the game’s name itself, would truly be the final game in the franchise, and Sakurai, uncharacteristically enough, didn’t give a definitive answer either way. Due to having to acquire IP licenses from several parties for every Smash game, every new entry in the series, in Sakurai’s own words, is “a miracle”. As such, Sakurai explained that he’s always worked on every instalment with the mindset that it’s going to be the final one. This time, however, Sakurai says that he doesn’t know what the future holds, and that he can’t say for sure that there won’t be another Smash game after Ultimate.
“With the background I just explained here, every time I work on this game, I’ve devoted myself to making it under the assumption, this is the last one,’” Sakurai said. “That said, I have no idea what future holds, so I can’t deny that there’s no next one either.”
Given the sheer popularity of the franchise and how much of a money maker it is for Nintendo, I have no doubt that they wouldn’t want to see it end. It is one of their flagship properties, after all. That said, Sakurai has expressed his desire on numerous occasions to move away from Smash, so hopefully he gets to take a break from it at the very least, and maybe work on something like Kid Icarus: Uprising again. Recently, though, he did say that he would make more Smash games if there was enough demand for them.
Either way, we do have Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to look forward to for now. It launches exclusively for the Switch on December 7.