Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai discusses why Nintendo seems indifferent to competitive play

By on July 9, 2018 at 11:00 am
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Super Smash Bros. is about the fun, not the glory.

Historically, the relationship between Nintendo and the competitive Super Smash Bros. community has been a tenuous one at best. The Kyoto-based company hasn’t given as much support to the competitive side of things when compared to other companies, despite the series’ large player base.

Talking to The Washington Post, series creator Masahiro Sakurai addressed this issue, and discussed why Nintendo hasn’t really focused as much on the competitive side of things.

According to Sakurai — who is technically not a Nintendo employee, but has worked directly with the company since the original Kirby title on GameBoy —  esports do not match the company’s vision for games.

“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.” He continues, stating that “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.”

Additionally, Sakurai also states that he doesn’t want the game to become too difficult for a majority of players by focusing on competitive elements.

“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.”

Part of this involves speeding up the tempo of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, to avoid having to add more advanced mechanics, such as those found in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Sakura does actually address the latter and its popularity.

“I think a lot of Melee players love Melee. But at the same time, I think a lot of players, on the other hand, gave up on Melee because it’s too technical because they can’t keep up with it,” he states. “And I know there were players who got tendinitis from playing and messing with the controller so much… that really is hard on the player. And I feel like a game should really focus on what the target audience is.”

All this being said, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are featured in the main tournament for Evo 2018, so Nintendo isn’t entirely against competitive Super Smash Bros., it just isn’t a primary focus.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases on Nintendo Switch on December 7. While waiting for the upcoming brawl, check out Shoryuken’s impressions of the title while at E3 2018.

Source: The Washington Post

Shoryuken's long time news hound. When not writing for SRK's front page, D3v spends part of his time helping run tournaments in the Philippines, including the country's biggest fighting game event, Manila Cup.