Famed and beloved Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai spent his most recent Famitsu weekly column discussing his preparation for the Hero livestream presentation. Thanks to translation work by Twitter user @PushDustin and support from Japanese Nintendo, we can dissect the most interesting parts of Sakurai’s article.
Sakurai, famous for his unbelievable work ethic that has driven fans to the point of concern, explained early on in the column how he helps out with advertising and trailers for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Due to his own limited schedule and the fixed budget associated with DLC character development, he had to get creative in order to get the word out on Hero. Since it was the most cost-effective method, Sakurai conducted the livestream on his own–during the video, he was not joking during the program when he mentioned not having much of a budget.
The livestream was fast and cheap. It did not involve any script-writing and took less than two hours of editing. Sakurai ad-libbed the presentation, aided by nothing but a shortlist of general discussion points. During the video, he also controlled Hero by himself without any assistance.
The main negatives from the livestream? Sakurai was unable to work with the studio for a while, and his hands were in pain as a result. This is concerning to many fans who wish he would give himself a much-deserved break, but Sakurai viewed his hand pain as a necessary cost to effectively communicate his vision with Hero. He asserted that the ability to effectively convey ideas is one of the most important aspects of being a director.
Sakurai’s column this week was an interesting look into his approaches to work and on-the-job problem-solving. I cannot imagine many other studio heads simply livestreaming themselves playing their game and discussing features without a script, but for Sakurai, it seemed quite natural.