Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai isn't ruling out the possibility of a sequel to the Nintendo Switch's crossover fighter, as discussed in an interview with popular Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu.
As reported by VGC, Sakurai discussed the uncertainty of his future involvement with the Super Smash Bros. series, stating: "I’m not thinking about a sequel. But I can’t say that this is definitely the last Smash Bros.
"I can’t see any way to produce Smash Bros. without me. To be honest, I’d like to leave it to someone else, and I’ve actually tried that, but it hasn’t worked out. If we’re going to continue with the series, Nintendo and I need to discuss and seriously consider how to make it a success."
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was originally rumored to be a port of the previous Wii U and 3DS entries in the series, but it ultimately became a gargantuan compilation of the entire series up to that point. The game's base roster included every single fighter to feature in the series to date, as well as some new additions to Ultimate including Ridley and Simon Belmont.
Since the game's launch in late 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was supported by two seasons of DLC, which brought new fighters, stages, and music to the game, bookended by Persona 5's Joker in Season 1 and Kingdom Hearts' Sora at the end of Season 2.
Opinion: There will never be another Smash quite like Ultimate
Sakurai's comments shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Developers Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco have set an almost impossible task for whoever takes the Smash reins going forward. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate turned into a celebration of gaming as a whole, featuring popular guest characters beyond the realms of Nintendo as fighters, Mii costumes, and Assist Trophy items.
Taking the scope of Ultimate into account, a follow-up is simply destined to live in its shadow. Not that that necessarily means the next Smash Bros. game will be bad, but it will have to take the series in a fresh, new direction if it's to prove to be a worthy continuation of the franchise after Ultimate, which is easily one of the best Switch games.
Director Sakurai has stated in the past that he thinks there's no way a future Smash game could possibly be as big as Ultimate. And with a game that features more than 80 playable fighters, who can say he's wrong? If the series is to continue on, say, the Nintendo Switch Pro, it'll have to undergo some changes to differentiate itself from its titanic predecessor.
We don't envy anyone who takes up the challenge of directing the next Super Smash Bros. game, if there is to be one at all. And while we'd love for Sakurai to continue guiding the series forward, we also wouldn't be surprised if he'd like to take a step back after creating what is arguably the largest fighting game of all time.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.