Sakurai: Super Smash Bros. Wii U & 3DS still “several years away”
Although Iwata unveiled plans to release an entry in the Super Smash Bros. series on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, series creator Masahiro Sakurai has continued to reiterate within his regular column for Famitsu magazine this week that he hasn’t even started thinking about development for either title yet.
“Right now, we’re devoting all our manpower to working on Kid Icarus,” Sakurai began. “We’ve got no plans whatsoever — we’ve got two new games out in the open when there’s no extra time to work with them at all. It makes me cringe, and I’m not sure it’s the smartest thing to make gamers wait for several years, but the early announcement was made chiefly in order to attract new team members.”
He continues, “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.”
Sakurai reveals his belief that only focusing on a single platform would have inadvertently limited the franchise.
“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,” he explained. “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.”
As he did for Kid Icarus: Uprising, Sakurai is now aiming to build a development team to work on the duo of Super Smash Bros. titles: “The hardest part about game development is the burdens it places upon me,” he commented. “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.”