The Truth Isn’t That Simple, Sakurai’s Famitsu column vol. 505, published May 11th, 2016
Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs and link to this translation. For additional information, please read this post. This translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of Masahiro Sakurai.
I touched upon this once before, but MOTHER 2 wasn’t delayed because Shigesato Itoi was off digging for buried treasure!
Back in 1993, the reason MOTHER 2 kept getting pushed back further and further is because they were remaking the entire game. This is common knowledge now. At the time, however, Itoi’s pursuit of the Tokugawa Shogunate’s treasure* was widely known, and many fans were up in arms over what they mistakenly perceived as the reason for the game’s delay.
“A is a fact. I also know B. Therefore, A because B.” People hastily connect the dots to draw their own conclusion.
I suppose this cannot be helped, as people are only able to make judgments based on what they see and know for themselves. But on the internet, what people see can be rather limited, especially if they only look at things that interest them. I advise everyone not to get too heated up over every little thing they read.
I, too, have been targeted by such hastily-drawn conclusions. For instance:
Smash for 3DS/Wii U’s cover art features Kirby and Pit. You’re focusing too much on your own games!
- Nintendo designed the cover art, not me…
XX is strong because you are biased towards that character!
- We balance based on match results and play data we collect from our playtesting team.
The only Kirby stages are from games you made!
- At the start of the project, we had planned a stage from Kirby’s Epic Yarn. However, those plans changed due to the announcement of Yoshi’s Woolly World, and we revamped the stage into the Great Cave Offensive from Kirby: Super Star Ultra.
There are so many Fire Emblem characters because you’re a fan of the series!
- I agree there are a lot of Fire Emblem characters, but the decision to include so many was strategic.
As you see, people have often suspected me of putting in extra effort in certain areas. Do recall, however, that I do not approach Smash as a fan. Regardless of who wins or loses, the outcome is the same as far as I’m concerned since I work on all of them. The opportunity to create all these characters is taxing yet extremely fortunate as well.
Creators, performers, and famous folk alike, they all incur some sort of censure and misunderstandings. However big or small the criticism, someone out there is guaranteed to find faults. What can be done about this?
I’ve heard the opinion that if I don’t correct every misconception or misunderstanding, it will negatively impact some people’s enjoyment of the game. Normally, however, I don’t address these issues whatsoever. I think that letting people think what they want is the only feasible way. I can comment on every single one of these problems, or defend myself in a column or on Twitter, but people who don’t want to listen, won’t. I don’t think it feels good to listen to a creator constantly explain themselves either. In the end, all that remains is what they create.
At the same time, by letting these misconceptions blow out of proportion, I feel like there’s a misconstrued image of me floating around, unlike the Sakurai known to my friends, staff, or to myself. Perhaps it’s because so many kids fall into the target age range for the games I make, but people seem to love creating conspiracy theories about me. The truth isn’t that simple, though: I bear no ill will.
By the way, I occasionally block or mute people on Twitter. My criteria for blocking or muting someone has nothing to do with the subject of the tweet. I only block someone if they’re unreasonably rude to me. Good manners are the cornerstone that supports communication, so if you don’t even attempt to establish that foundation of consideration, then there’s no reason for me to try building any sort of relationship through contact with you. Politeness comes first.
*Tokugawa shogunate’s treasure: the Tokugawa shogunate’s treasure, supposedly buried in Mount Akagi, worth roughly 3.6 million ryo (in modern currency, 360 billion yen. It’s historical value would be much more than that). There was an episode on the variety show “Give Me A Break” focusing on an expedition team led by Itoi, which became a hot topic.
A Mario Land stage was planned to be on the 3DS version, but it was replaced by the Game Boy stage.
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