Sakurai reiterates that he doesn’t have a pressing need to grow the Super Smash Bros. competitive scene with Ultimate

‘It comes to a point where they’re playing the game for the money, and I feel that kind of direction doesn’t coincide with Nintendo’s view of what games should be’

Following Super Smash Bros. was a lot easier when it was just Smash 64. Once Melee and wavedashing took off you may as well forget the 64 iteration even existed, and that mentality has spilled over to pretty much every game after it — Melee or bust.

Seemingly sick of hearing this mantra for years on end, Smash boss Masashiro Sakurai decided enough is enough, and basically made the most complete version of the game yet — Smash Ultimate — in which every character will appear. But he still doesn’t seem to want to embrace the competitive scene with open arms.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Sakurai explained: “When you talk about audience, I don’t really think too much about the audience per se. I feel like a game, at the end of the day, is about playing the game. But if we focus too much on the top level players — or the audience — then the game skews a little bit too much on the technical side.”

He went on to state his view on how Nintendo’s philosophy on games is at odds with the high intensity eSports scene: The philosophy behind them doesn’t go in line with Nintendo’s philosophy in that some of these players are playing for the prize money. It comes to a point where they’re playing the game for the money, and I feel that kind of direction doesn’t coincide with Nintendo’s view of what games should be.”

It’s an interesting viewpoint that I’m sure a lot of people are going to disagree with, but as the father of the series since 1999, Sakurai has earned the respect of being heard out. There comes a point where a creation might run wild and evolve into something its creator never intended, and they can either choose to roll with it or debate it — and Sakurai has acquiesced more than people give him credit for over the years. As time goes on and more Smash iterations are released, he may just decide to pass the torch.

Nintendo’s newest Smash Bros. game showcases its odd relationship with esports [Washington Post]

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!