While it’s not clear whether Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai is leaving the franchise forever, or just saying goodbye to the Switch’s Smash Bros. Ultimate, it looks like the notoriously hard-working developer is finally taking a break. After saying goodbye in the presentation that revealed Kingdom Hearts’ Sora as the final DLC fighter, Sakurai has thanked fans for their support on the project.
In a tweet, Sakurai acknowledged the #ThankYouSakurai hashtag that trended after Sora was revealed, with fans posting anecdotes, fan-art, and reactions under the tag. “The hashtag is on the trend and I was watching it,” Sakurai tweeted, in the translation provided by Twitter. “This is the one who is really grateful. It is the result of the support of many people!”
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In the leadup to the big reveal, Sakurai hoped that all kinds of gamers, not just Smash fans, would tune into the final character video, calling it a “celebration of gaming”. In a tweet announcing the beginning of the stream, Sakurai said “this will also be my final fighter presentation. It’ll be sad to say farewell, but I hope you all enjoy it.”
“I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone,” Sakurai said while wrapping up the reveal video, after a short summary of everything Ultimate had achieved. “To the development team and all the people who worked to promote the game. To those involved in the original games, and to everyone who has enjoyed playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Thank you very much. Please let me say goodbye.”
Whether or not this event marks the end of Sakurai’s involvement with a series he helped begin all the way back in 1999, it’s clear the developer is very proud of what Ultimate has achieved–and that he’s ready for a break.
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