In a recent video, Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai took some time to talk about his feelings regarding the series in online play. As longtime fans of the series might have expected, it turns out that he’s not really a fan of supporting online features for Nintendo’s popular character fighter. It’s something that the games have offered since Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but it’s never worked as well as fans would have liked. So, the lead creator having these sorts of feelings kinds of explains the friction.
As reported by NintendoEverything, Sakurai talked about how online play kind ofruns counter to what he and other creators feel is the spirit of the game. He said that Smash Bros. is supposed to be a game where anyone can “feel like a champion among their friends,” and felt that online play kind of ruins that. You can kind of see his logic here; after all, nowhere is the old “there’s always someone better” adage proven more dramatically true than in the realm of online gaming.
You can be the best player in your friend group and still get absolutely destroyed by tons of people online. He also talked about it having problems from a technical and networking sense, but that kind of ignores that other fighting game makers have been doing it without issue for years and years at this point. If anything is to blame for Smash’s online issues, it’s Nintendo’s utterly dismal network infrastructure.
He also seems to talk about it as an “either/or” kind of thing. Like you can either make a game good for online competitive play or make it a fun couch co-op experience. Nevermind that Smash itself has been doing both for over ten years at this point. There’s also the clash between how Nintendo wants fans to play Smash Bros. and how fans actually play it.
You’d think that you would take that into consideration at least a little bit when it comes to your multiplayer franchise, but I guess that’s just not the Nintendo mentality. Odd how it serves them so well with series like Mario and Zelda, and so very poorly with the likes of Smash Bros and Metroid.
What do you think of this? Do you agree?
Image is the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate title art