Smash Bros Wii U: “players don’t know about how hard we work”, says Sakurai

Friday, 9th August 2013 11:33 GMT By Dave Cook

Super Smash Bros. Wii U & 3DS director Masahiro Sakurai has penned a new Famitsu column that discusses just how much hard work goes into making each new entry to the series, and to underline the struggles he faces during development.

The Famitsu blog begins by reflecting on the last three years of the game’s development. “When you think about three years like that, that’s the amount of time between entering middle or high school and graduating from it [in Japan], ” Sakurai wrote.

“You have all these people working their fingers to the bone to complete just a single project. The games I make tend to be played for a long time, and whether I’m satisfied with the results or there are things I’m not happy with, it always takes a lot of time to make them.

Every time, you know, I try to the point where I think I can’t go on any longer. For example, I think pretty much the limit when it comes to creating characters for a Smash Bros. is about 20, counting those from older games.

We remake them completely each time, after all, and the teams and personnel and specs are all different. But we all go beyond what the work calls for because we want to do our best to retain fans of each character.

The Brawl team really put in a great effort. They remade all the original characters and added 18 completely new ones! Even with Melee before that, that game has over twice as many characters as the original. And that doesn’t include online support and the assorted other features we’ve taken pains to complete under difficult circumstances.”

Sakurai then stressed just how much work goes into each game, and suggested that gamers perhaps don’t realise the size of the task, “But the players don’t know about how hard we work. That’s not a problem because that’s the case for any product, but it’s important to remember that you can’t take anything for granted.

“Projects take a while, and you run into difficult and painful times. Some people have to bow out of it. To be honest, I’ve sometimes thought about what I’m earning for myself, going through all this life-changing struggle.

“But the pain I feel at the time goes away over time, and yet the game itself always remains. Players talk about the fun and so forth behind the game for years to come, and they still play it.

“Oftentimes I’m asked by the overseas media if I feel any pressure when making a title like Smash Bros. Like I’ve written before, on a personal level, I don’t feel anything like pressure. It’s really fun work.

“Sometimes you have to resign yourself to the fact that things will work out the way they’re meant to work out. But you need to funnel your regrets to the next project and work as hard as you can on that. The pain goes away, but your work always remains.”

Do you think Super Smash Bros. takes a lot of hard work to produce? Are you pumped for the 2014 entry? Let us know below.

Via Nintendo Life.



  1. monkeygourmet

    For someone who has awful programming / game dev skills, yes, I would agree this was hard! :)

    When I studided programming at college, I couldn’t even make a simple program that simulated ants collecting food…

    All my ants got stuck at the top of the screen, so I imagine balancing a fighting game must be hard as nails.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    Most gamers don’t appreciate just how hard most devs work on their games full stop.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Sini



    #3 1 year ago
  4. zombieassassin

    I couldn’t agree more. A lot of gamers focus on things, they think, are bad about games. My mindset is I can’t appreciate it like the devs can because it isn’t my work. I didn’t set down and put all the hard work and dedication into the project. All of the stress must get overwhelming after a while. From balancing the game, while making it fun, to the complaints or suggestions of fans. Keep doing what you’re doing Mr.Sakurai. Now that that’s out of the way I can’t wait until SSB 4 :D

    #4 1 year ago
  5. KAP

    If we all knew what really goes into our sausages, we wouldn’t be eating them…

    #5 1 year ago
  6. 2-D

    Stop crying, Sakurai and get back to work.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. DarkElfa

    #3 They can’t play the game because nobody owns a Wii U.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. fihar

    Smash Bros is no NSMB, that’s for sure.

    Do they really have to completely remade each returning character?
    That’s not normal for a fighting game is it?

    #8 1 year ago
  9. zinc

    Release it, then patch it. The western way.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Telepathic.Geometry

    It’s a Japanese company so you can be sure that they are incredibly inefficient. They remake everything from scratch? Why? The games really aren’t that different… Reuse shit FFS, you inefficient bastards. Then maybe ye wouldn’ have to crib about how hard work is all the time… /is probably being a cunt

    #10 1 year ago
  11. shogunknight

    @5 Good Point.
    Also, he should know that this applies to other developers in general. Be it indie or AAA, they all work hard to make their games

    #11 1 year ago
  12. sebastien rivas

    I agree with most of you guys.

    Gamers see how good a game is through its worst element of it. Devers work hard and sometimes just like slaves just to catch up with beta release.

    Yet I must say devers beware @10 has a point behind his down heart comment.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Blue Oni

    We also don’t know about how much they get paid. ;)

    #13 1 year ago
  14. sebastien rivas

    @ 13

    This link should give you some ideas. I feel some numbers are a bit high to be honest but it should encompass a close or not too far off median.

    #14 1 year ago

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