Super Smash Bros. Creator Masahiro Sakurai recently made a surprising comment, saying that online play isn’t a “very good fit” for the fighting game series. The online game was first introduced not in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but the latest entry in the franchise has the most robust online gaming support in the franchise. Despite this, the application of online games to Super Smash Bros. has always been an unexpected topic of controversy, as some see it as a purely personal competitive experience.
First Super Smash Bros. The game was originally released in 1999 as an exclusive game for the Nintendo 64. While online multiplayer games became more popular on the PC, the consoles did not begin to support wired Internet connections for many years. As such, Super Smash Bros. was purely a couch multiplayer game with support for four players at once. Hand-to-hand combat Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo GameCube there is also a lack of online games that were first introduced with Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008.
Success Super Smash Bros. as offline multiplayer has fostered strong community sentiment about the “right” way to play for nearly a decade. This sentiment seems to be holding franchise creator Masahiro Sakurai, the same. Speaking on a recent YouTube show, Masahiro Sakurai on Game Making, Super Smash Bros. The creator directly said that he does not think that “playing online and Smash Bros. very well suited to each other.”
The reason why Sakurai holds this opinion may surprise some Super Smash Bros. fans He says that “one of the best parts” of the game is that players can become “champions among their friends.” On the contrary, Sakurai says that online games can “make people lose confidence”. Sakurai seems to think offline play is healthier for the game and the player.
Sakurai recognizes a more specific problem with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is that playing the game online isn’t technically perfect. He mentions that in-game network lag can lead to an “interruptive experience.” He only tacitly admits that it was partly due to Nintendo Switch hardware limitations and multiplayer server technology, saying that technically “it doesn’t matter what I think” and that “If it’s my job to do it, I’ll do it.”
In an alternate reality where Sakurai was able to stay true to his game development philosophy, Super Smash Bros. may never have added online multiplayer. There is undoubtedly a small number Super Smash Bros. fans who would prefer it. But it’s hard to deny what online gaming has done Super Smash Bros. a multiplayer game accessible to a much wider and more diverse audience. Besides, it wouldn’t be surprising for following Super Smash Bros.whenever it arrives to have even better online multiplayer gaming support and functionality.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate now available on Switch.
MORE: Super Smash Bros: 10 Best Final Smashes in the Game