Masahiro Sakurai, director of the Smash Bros. Games for Wii U and 3DS, has already stated that there may not be another Smash game after this one. In an interview focusing on the Fire Emblem series and future inclusions in Smash, Sakurai gave a very vague statement that “I don’t know whether Fire Emblem will have many more games in the future… Moreover, we don’t even know if there’ll be another Smash game.”
That may sound like he plans on kicking both series into the furnace, but consider this: Nintendo representatives have made tons of vague statements about their games, some outright misleading (though usually as a well-intentioned joke). For example, Aonuma teasing that the character shown in one of the Zelda Wii U trailers might not be Link.
Smash Bros. for Wii U has sold over 4 million copies, and the 3DS version over 7 million. Sakurai himself may leave the series to pursue other titles, but Nintendo is a talented bunch. Someone will step in to fill his shoes. Smash Bros. is as much a part of the company’s legacy now as the franchises it brings together to beat the stuffing out of. Super Smash Bros. Melee, released for the Gamecube, was such a radical upgrade from the first; better graphics, tons more characters and stages, and the introduction of trophies and special rules.
Brawl went several steps further, transforming the Adventure mode into a full-on storied campaign nearly big enough to be an entire game all on its own. Stage building was introduced in this iteration, but possibly one of the most significant additions were Sonic and Snake, the first third-party characters to appear in Smash. With their arrival, the doors of possibility were opened, signaling that Nintendo was finally beginning to think about outside support. The Wii was already doing well, but this showed a willingness by the company to expand outward as well as forward.
Finally, Smash Bros. was brought to Wii U and 3DS. Puzzlingly, the story mode was removed for the newest version, though the 3DS’s technical limitations may have played a role in that. They were also the reason transforming characters like Pokemon Trainer were removed and Samus split into two separate characters.
Sakurai made one decision with this version that frustrates me. There seem to be twice as many clones as before, despite claiming he wanted to keep the number to a minimum. He also claimed characters were included based on how likely they were to be successful, yet he went on to include so many out of left field and very few fan-requested characters.
In spite of all this, Smash Bros. Wii U is a massive game. After weeks of playing, I still felt as if I’d barely made a dent. And with dlc support, Nintendo has the ability to complement an already polished game with even more popular content. Fans are deeply invested in the Smash series, and Nintendo is well aware of this, as evidenced by the sheer amount of work that goes into the games. Each new iteration has gotten bigger and better, and will continue to as new mechanics and ways of playing games are envisioned. Bottom line…
This is not the end.