Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs, link to this translation, and credit Source Gaming. The following is a selection from Famitsu. This translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of Masahiro Sakurai. If you enjoyed this article, I would strongly encourage you to support Sakurai by buying his books.
Live in the Now, Vol. 559
Originally published in Famitsu on July 19, 2018
The previous two columns discussed Smash Ultimate. Those columns were written before the E3 presentation, so this is the first column that I’ve written after the big announcement.
Anyhow, the reaction to Smash Ultimate was amazing!!
I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen such a tremendous response to a simple promo video. A lot of people raised their voices with joy. To say the overwhelmingly positive uproar was encouraging would be a huge understatement.
Right after the announcement in the Nintendo Direct, I was supposed to make an appearance on the Treehouse Live. Since I was preparing for that, I couldn’t watch the Direct live. However, I still overheard a lot of Nintendo employees crying out in excitement at key moments of the presentation. That felt pretty good.
To be honest, I’m truly glad that there wasn’t a leak… If word had gotten out that “Everyone is Here,” then we wouldn’t have had this incredible reaction.
The staff and I have been pouring all our energy into this project for many years. We’ve been meticulous and methodical in our preparations. I also feel like we put a lot of effort into the presentation, including the initial promo video. I really didn’t want for this thing we’ve been working on for years to be ruined by someone’s petty sense of self-satisfaction.
Since the project is so big with so many people to confer with outside of the project, we were very cautious about what information we gave out. We took a number of precautionary measures: we opted against setting up displays, and we avoided printed materials. All we had was an enormous screen that showed nothing until the day of the announcement.
Even if the words “Everyone is Here” had leaked, everything would have been ruined. The reason those Nintendo staff members were cheering is because they had no idea what was coming. Even within the company, many people didn’t know about the project: Smash was of the utmost secrecy.
That’s why I felt so relieved once the presentation went live: it was one less thing for me to worry about.
But enough about that. I noticed the return of the Ice Climbers, Pokémon Trainer, and Wolf earned an especially enthusiastic reception. However, I think this was less about their popularity and more about the fact that they hadn’t appeared in the last Smash.
There are some people who are wondering, “What will you do for the next game?” No matter how you think about it, the number of fighters is likely to decrease, and you can’t really fake people out again by revealing that everyone’s coming back. The announcement that “Everyone is Here” was met with cheers and applause, but it can only happen once. In that sense, we may have opened Pandora’s Box and crushed the potential of future Smash titles.
But frankly speaking, I’m not thinking about what comes next! That’s how I’ve always been: my sole focus is working hard to provide the most satisfying experience possible.
Honestly, I’m not a young man anymore, and I don’t think I’ll be able to continue a job of this intensity forever, but the key is to ignore the later and focus on the now! So I’m going to continue doing what I need to do.
After the presentation, a number of people asked me, “Did you lose weight?” “You look emaciated,” they said. “Please take care of yourself.” It’s true that I’ve dropped about six kilograms, but I wouldn’t say I’m “emaciated”–I’ve just slimmed down. No need to worry…
There’s still plenty more work to be done. I’m so busy with development that I haven’t had time to play any games, but I will continue to do my best every day.