Sakurai Briefly Discusses Smash as an eSport


The following comes from Sakurai’s 502th Column “Reader Response #46” published in Famitsu. When reporting on this translation you must mention that it was translated by Soma for Source Gaming. Please include a link to either our Twitter account, or to this article WITHIN the actual article. For additional information, please read this post. This translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of Masahiro Sakurai. This column was originally published on March 24th, 2016.


Q: Recently, Smash has risen in popularity as an eSport. What do you think of the fact that Melee is as popular as Smash 4? (Male, Kyoto)

A: First off, it makes me very happy. They’re both games I made, after all. And I’m also surprised. Because it means that the players really understood the concept behind that game correctly. The one where skills gaps become very apparent, the one that’s highly competitive is Melee. But I want to avoid a design where stronger players utterly dominate weaker ones. We should make it so that new players can have fun as well. I’ve touched upon this idea in previous columns.

If you want to enjoy the strategy or competitiveness in playing against another person, then maybe normal fighting games are more suited for you. Virtua Fighter 2 had flashy, showy attacks, but it doesn’t appear at overseas tournaments, I wonder if that’s because of a cultural difference?



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  1. I always use the Smash series as my comfort food as I’ve rarely dipped my feet in other fighting games. However, the other games intrigue my interests every time I watch EVO or other tournament streams via twitch even though the learning curve is different from Smash. Perhaps one day I can try new things and pick up Pokken Tournament with even my love for the spin-off games, I was hesitant on getting at launch.

  2. But even in smash 4, there is a huge gap in skill level from top player down to new players. Sakuria plz, stop bring on the smash development team

  3. Hurts to read. Hes basically saying we are playing the wrong game and so doesnt see the true nature of it as a legitimate platform to test skills. A real sport is there to test skill in competition between two parties. You wouldnt say Tennis is bad because a novice can get obliterated by Roger Federer or in golf, Tiger Woods. Thats the whole point of a (e)SPORT. NOT that everyone has fun although I will say playing against someone who destroys me like Armada has its own fun in the challenge. THATS whats different and what Sakurai fails to see appearantly.

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