When the idea of Mii fighters in the Smash Bros. series was first raised, creator Masahiro Sakurai dismissed it out of hand. Why did he change his mind for Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U?
Nintendo raised the idea of Mii characters for 2008 Wii title Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but Sakurai “thought it over for about a minute and immediately decided against it”, the creator wrote in a new Famitsu blog post.
According to Kotaku‘s translation, Sakurai felt that Miis weren’t weighty enough to sue as fighter characters, and didn’t want to open the door to online bullying. That’s quite a different reason from that which he gave in the Nintendo E3 livestream introducing Mii characters for Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U.
So, what changed? Mainly the way Miis have become a central and recognisable part of the Nintendo experience, appearing far more often in games and system software.
The addition of Miis will allow Sakurai to solve a knotty problem, too; fans around the world are always writing in to suggest characters for inclusion in the Smash Bros. roster, and there’s simply no way to accommodate them all – especially given copyright law.
By letting players create custom characters, Sakurai circumvents this problem. And by keeping Miis restricted to matches between friends, Nintendo avoids both copyright problems, and online bullying concerns.
“It’s a feature we’ve put quite a lot of effort into. I think it’s a revolutionary thing to be able to fight with Mario or Link or Kirby with your own character,” Sakurai wrote.
“Depending on who you are, this new Smash Bros. may hold quite a different meaning compared with previous iterations of Smash Bros.”
Super Smash Bros. 3DS is due in October, with the Wii U version to follow sometime in the holiday period.