Smash Bros. Director Masahiro Sakurai Speaks on Developing For The Switch

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has enjoyed much success and popularity in the last month since its release. Director Masahiro Sakurai has opened up recently regarding the game’s development on the Nintendo Switch.

In an interview with Famitsu (translated by DualShockers), Sakurai mentioned that developing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch wasn’t all that hard. He was initially worried about the Switch’s specifications, but as it turned out, they worked in the developer’s favor.

“The early documents for Nintendo Switch said the console will be able to switch between being a portable console and a stationary home console,” he said. “We saw very early in development how amazing portable mode looks, so we realized there would be no problem even if multiple persons played on portable mode together. We’re really thankful about that, because if the Switch’s portable mode had too different specifications from docked mode, we would have needed to make two sets for some of the game’s assets.”

Sakurai also talked about the differences in creating for the Switch and developing for the Nintendo 3DS. In the 3DS version of Smash Bros., things had to be slowed down due to the screen’s small size. This is the opposite for the Switch version.

“On 3DS, the screen was smaller and so we made the game a bit slower on purpose,” he said. “For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we increased the tempo a bit to make things more fun. Increased speed makes it a bit harder to properly adjust online battles, like adjusting lag, but we prioritized this to make local multiplayer more enjoyable.”

Sakurai went into extensive detail about developing for each new character. He chose Incineroar, for example, because while lots of fighters use wrestling-type moves, no one on the roster was actually a wrestler. They wanted to add a fighter from Pokemon Sun and Moon, but didn’t decidd on the actual character until later in the game’s development.

As for the first DLC character Piranha Plant, Sakurai mentioned that people were upset about adding a non-protagonist character, but that was the intention, as they wanted to highlight non-protagonists through one of Mario’s toughest enemies.

Other topics touched upon in the interview include the series’ position in esports, balancing each character, and whether or not Sakurai considers the game his lifelong work.