Thursday, September 20, 2012

Masahiro Sakurai still directing new Smash Bros. game, Namco Bandai "providing expertise"

It was the announcement you either loved or hated.

Back in June, Nintendo revealed Namco Bandai will develop the next Smash Bros. game set for a Wii U and 3DS release. Project Sora still has a role in the game's progress during development. Despite this, fans had mixed reactions.

Those in favor of the change felt Namco Bandai would add legitimacy to the game as a competitive fighter. Those opposed to it felt the change was unwarranted and the Smash community is fine as it is.

Talk about the double edged sword.

What does this mean for the man who started it all? Masahiro Sakurai is still the lead man says Katsuhiro Harada, but he won't have the Tekken team with him. Harada and Namco Bandai explain to Kotaku:

"When asked by Kotaku whether or not the Tekken team was involved with the new Smash Bros., Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada stressed this: 'Sakurai is directing.' Harada also added that Namco, of course, has lots of experience making fighting games.

However, said he would not be saying how the new Smash Bros. should play or saying what characters should appear in the game. Harada was very clear that even though Namco is developing the new Smash Bros., Sakurai is in charge of them. They are still very much Sakurai’s games.
'We’ll be providing our expertise when asked,' said Harada, 'but it’s not like we’ll (the Tekken Team) be making the game.'

That does not mean developers with Tekken experience won’t be working on the Smash Bros. games. When asked for clarification, Namco explained that developers who might have worked on the Tekken games or even as part of the Tekken Team could be assigned to work on the Smash Bros. games."
Fernando's POV: I imagine some Tekken developers will help Sakurai with some technical stuff but make no mistake about it, this game should have the Smash Bros. feel. I think Namco Bandai is smart enough to leave the good alone, but add things that will make the game polished.