Sora’s Smash Bros inclusion was difficult, according to Sakurai

Sora is the most recent and last addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s huge lineup, and he might have been the hardest character to protect for the series. Masahiro Sakurai, the video game director for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, composed a column for Famitsu, the Japanese publication, about the trouble of consisting of Sora in Smash. PushDustln and Kody NOKOLO on Twitter enrolled to equate the post for English-speaking fans, and provided information in 2 threads.

Unlike other high-ranking survey fighters (like Banjo & Kazooie) Sora was much more difficult to get — at one point Sakurai believed that Sora would be “highly unlikely” to get. However at an award place (PushDustln didn’t call out a particular one, so it’s most likely Sakurai didn’t define), Sakurai ran into a Disney agent who appeared thrilled about Sora signing up with. Despite that fortunate meeting, it still took some long discussions to get Sora into Smash. In fact, Fighter Pass 2 was only supposed to come with five fighters, and Sora was added on to make it six.

Even after all the studios reached an agreement, Sora wasn’t an easy character to implement. Sakurai’s team had to seek approval through two supervisors: Square Enix and Disney. The studios imposed a lot of guidelines, and Sakurai joked about how difficult it was to please everyone.

Outside of Sora, Sakurai spoke about the length and difficulty of developing the DLC packs’ 11 fighters. After the team was paired down post-launch, and also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sakurai spent the same amount of time building the DLC as he did developing the full title. It’s been three years since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s release, and it’s only now complete with Sora’s launch.

Finally, Sakura said he will only work on “a few more games,” and considering how long the development took on the DLC, he’s “worried about the future.” It’s unclear if Sakurai plans to work on another Smash Bros. game before his assumed retirement. He finished his blog saying that his bi-weekly Famitsu column is also ending. The director feels that Smash Ultimate was a “celebration of gaming,” and appeared pleased that so many developers from different studios could come together and make it happen.

If you’re interested in reading the full column, the two translators said they will publish a complete translation in two weeks.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long included to this report.