Super Smash Bros. Ultimate really did live up to its name. Even at launch, it was the most comprehensive ever package the series had ever seen, with every fighter that had ever appeared across previous instalments coming together in a game that was ridiculously packed and served as nothing short of a celebration of the games industry, not just Nintendo. Of course, after something like that, it’s only naturally to wonder where the series will go from here.
That’s a question that has been asked more than a few times in recent years, not only by fans and critics, but also by series creator Masahiro Sakurai himself. In a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Sakurai touched on the topic once again, saying that, at least as things stand right now, it’s hard for him to imagine Smash Bros. continuing without him, since there’s no one available yet who can serve as a suitable replacement- which is something he’s mentioned in the past as well.
“The question is, what happens next time? I mean whatever comes after Smash Bros. Ultimate,” Sakurai said (transcription via Nintendo Everything). “One option would be to separate the series itself from the original creator. But for now, at least, I can’t really imagine a Smash Bros. title without me. You might think that’s a natural stance for someone in my role, but I say so speaking objectively. I feel the same way president Iwata did when we formed the team for Smash Bros. Brawl. At present, we don’t have someone who can simply take the reigns.”
Sakurai went on to muse on what the next Smash Bros. game might look like. After acknowledging that, given the massive popularity and success the series enjoys, it’s fair to assume that there probably will be another new Smash game at some point in the future, he said that it’s hard to nail down right now just what it’ll end up being. According to Sakurai, it’s going to be a while before he and his team can figure out just what comes next for Smash.
“Smash Bros. is a massive, important title for Nintendo, so it’s fair to assume there will be another one at some point, but it’s going to take some work to figure out exactly how to make that happen,” he said. “For my part, I’d like to keep working with Nintendo however I’m able.”
In the past, Sakurai has said a few times that the next Super Smash Bros. game is likely going to have a much smaller roster of fighters than Ultimate did.
How long it’ll be before we hear something concrete about the future of Smash remains to be seen, but with it now having been nearly two years since the release of the last DLC fighter for Ultimate, the apetite for more Smash Bros. is certainly increasing amongst the audiences once more. Either way, as Sakurai himself says, sooner or later, it’s fair to assume that there almost definitely will be a new Smash game at some point in the future.