Nintendo doesn’t really care if Kid Icarus: Uprising and Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai has anything going on in his personal life and can’t make a game. If Nintendo wants him to make a new Super Smash Bros. he’s going to do it, no questions asked. Company president Satoru Iwata has now announced a new Smash Bros. game before work even started on it or Mr. Sakurai even knew it would be happening. The first time was when the Wii was newly released and Iwata promised Super Smash Bros. Brawl would have online play. More recently, Iwata said at E3 2011 that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U would feature cross play of some kind with Nintendo 3DS. Mr. Sakurai is just one man! Nintendo can’t expect him to just keep pumping out these fighting games.
He’s not in the case of the game currently referred to as Super Smash Bros. 4. At the Friday Nintendo Direct event in Japan, Iwata reconfirmed that the game is in development for both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, but in a dramatic shift from past Smash Bros., this game won’t be made by HAL Laboratory. Instead Super Smash Bros. 4 will be a collaboration between Sora, Sakurai’s team that made Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Namco Bandai.
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Namco Bandai has helped out on Nintendo games in the past. It was responsible for the mediocre Star Fox: Assault on Gamecube and the Mario Kart GP arcade game. An all-star team of Namco talent will be working on Super Smash Bros. 4 though, potentially saving it from the same fate as those games. Producer Masaya Kobayashi, director of Ridge Racer for PSP, is working alongside Yoshito Higuchi, director of the Tales series, and Tetsuya Akatsuka, a lead from the Soul Calibur series. Staff from the Tekken series will be helping out as well.
With these guys on board, we can reasonably expect Super Smash Bros. 4 to have some slick music. Also, with Akatsuka’s Soul Calibur experience, we can also expect Samus, Princess Peach, and Princess Zelda to have remarkably increased bust sizes.
Sakurai said in April that the new Super Smash Bros. needed more than just a bigger roster of characters to succeed. “[There] is a certain dead end we come to if we just expand the volume of the game. I intend to change direction a little as we go. The key to that’s going to be its dual support for 3DS/Wii U.”