Smash: Masahiro Sakurai doubles down on his no licensed characters rule

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nintendoboy16

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#1 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 36629 Posts

IGN

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate creator and director Masahiro Sakurai has stated that the series will continue to only feature video game characters, despite numerous requests from fans to add characters like Goku and Iron Man.

The comments were made at Tokyo Game Show, where Sakurai took to the stage to accept an award for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. His words were published on Twitter by user naruki, translated by PushDustin, and verified by IGN Japan.

“I get all these kinds of requests from abroad like, ‘Where is my believed Iron Man?’ or ‘Where is my beloved Goku?’” Sakurai said. “However, basically [Smash] will only have content from video games in it.”

Since launch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has added a variety of new DLC characters, many of which hail from non-Nintendo games such as Banjo and Kazooie and the heroes from Dragon Quest. It was recently announced that Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard will also be added to the game.

Despite this, it seems like third-party Switch games is as far as Sakurai is willing to go, with games based on anime, comic books, or film being a step beyond his boundary.

Sakurai also noted that he strives to work hard on DLC characters as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was his final assignment from the late Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s beloved president.

“I’m sorry for bringing up this personal story at a time like this… but making Smash Bros on the Switch was the last mission the late Satoru Iwata gave to me,” Sakurai said. “I’ve put my all into the game, and with more DLC I will continue to work hard.”

First things first: Anyone else find that last bit about being the 'last mission the late Iwata gave him' kind of heart tugging?

On topic: We have the Dragon Quest Heroes, which look like Dragon Ball characters already, much to the point of being drawn by Akira Toriyama. Better luck trying to import a copy of either Jump Super Stars and Ultimate Stars or Battlestadium D.O.N if you want Dragon Ball characters in Smash so badly (two of those I got by dumb luck at local game shops and cons).

People asking for Lara Croft have better chances (and even then when Square Enix already has two reps, both being from their JRPG's, I don't think that will happen).

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R-Gamer

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#2 R-Gamer
Member since 2019 • 811 Posts

Goku wouldn't fit into SSB. He's ridiculously overpowered.

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DaVillain-

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#3 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 38506 Posts

I don't always agree with Masahiro Sakurai game design philosophy but goddamn, he is the hardest working game developer out there. He always gives it his all no matter what game he's working on! I can see Sakurai’s point. Goku & the rest of DBZ did start out as anime character, not video games. It makes sense.

Fun fact: I wouldn't mind Starkiller being in SSBU since he's still a Star Wars video game character technically :P

@r-gamer said:

Goku wouldn't fit into SSB. He's ridiculously overpowered.

Gamers not understanding the difference between video game character and anime character is where most of this problem lies. It doesn’t matter if Goku has been in a 1000 games, he’s not a video game character. He’s still an anime character, and that’s the point.

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jaydan

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#4 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@davillain- said:

@r-gamer said:

Goku wouldn't fit into SSB. He's ridiculously overpowered.

Gamers not understanding the difference between video game character and anime character is where most of this problem lies. It doesn’t matter if Goku has been in a 1000 games, he’s not a video game character. He’s still an anime character, and that’s the point.

None of these points are true. The one and only reason why Goku is not in Smash Bros. and never will be, is because he is not a video game character. There have been enough video game adaptations of Dragon Ball Z and its characters, but they are adaptations, not video game characters.

Goku's power level is irrelevant because if he was a video game character then he'd be in the game by now and they adjust the power of all the characters to keep the balance in check. Characters like Mewtwo and Ganondorf are very powerful characters in their respective worlds but they're balanced so they can still get their ass handed to them by a Pichu.

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Ant_17

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#5 Ant_17
Member since 2005 • 12935 Posts

Can't wait for John Wick in Smash.

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lebanese_boy

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#6 lebanese_boy
Member since 2003 • 15147 Posts

I dunno, I wouldn't mind Goku in Smash. Who the hell has been requesting Iron Man though?

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R-Gamer

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#7 R-Gamer
Member since 2019 • 811 Posts

@jaydan: Yea to me it's just stupid. Goku doesn't fit In SSB. I mean i get they adjust power levels but to me I'm happy with Goku in Dragonball FighterZ.

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jaydan

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#8 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@r-gamer said:

@jaydan: Yea to me it's just stupid. Goku doesn't fit In SSB. I mean i get they adjust power levels but to me I'm happy with Goku in Dragonball FighterZ.

Yeah it's not as mysterious as people are making it seem as to why Goku is not in the game. His power level is not an issue at all as they simply balance him in with the rest of the roster.

It's purely because Goku is not a video game character. There is literally no other reason why he will never end up in a Smash game.

Super Smash Bros. at the end of the day is a sort of love-letter for video games, and that's just how it should always be. Keep movie and anime characters far away because they don't belong in this mix.

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93BlackHawk93

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#9 93BlackHawk93
Member since 2010 • 8605 Posts

Kirby is stronger than Goku.

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ArchoNils2

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#10 ArchoNils2
Member since 2005 • 10431 Posts

Goku was in more games than all currently released DLCs together xD

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#11 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@ArchoNils2 said:

Goku was in more games than all currently released DLCs together xD

Once again, Goku is not a video game character. He is a video game adaptation. At that rate we might as well consider Batman and James Bond to be Smash Bros. fighters since they've had plenty of video games too.

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#12 ArchoNils2
Member since 2005 • 10431 Posts

@jaydan said:
@ArchoNils2 said:

Goku was in more games than all currently released DLCs together xD

Once again, Goku is not a video game character. He is a video game adaptation. At that rate we might as well consider Batman and James Bond to be Smash Bros. fighters since they've had plenty of video games too.

I'd love to see them as well. They all sound more exciting than the most recent announcement

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jaydan

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#13 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

Anyways, I have made a few posts in this thread but have not quite given feedback towards the subject:

I think it's an interesting position that Sakurai has found himself in, and I fully support his decision. I know some people will be quick to say "they're just going to milk every bit of life out of this game" but I think people need to understand just what kind of position Sakurai finds himself in: he is out to hold records.

Sakurai truly finds himself in a "once in a lifetime" position that no other gaming developer has ever found themselves in position for. Sakurai has on his hands the largest gaming crossover of all-time. Through his continued long-term support for them game's DLC and expansions, that bar is going to keep getting set higher that he might never get dethroned with the biggest crossover game of all time.

He wants Super Smash Bros. to live up to its Ultimate name. He knows even if Smash Bros. were to continue on with later games, any future Smash Bros. games will never be as lucky as having all the game worlds that he currently has. Do you like having Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy and Banjo-Kazooie worlds all in one game? Let's not take for granted these characters/worlds will be mainstays in the franchise. Metal Gear Solid already stepped out of the spotlight in Smash for Wii U/3DS, and it can very easily step out of the light again.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is an unprecedented game that will likely never happen again, and even Sakurai recognizes that. So since he recognizes just how significant of a game this is becoming, hell yeah keep that flame going.

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#14 madsnakehhh
Member since 2007 • 16433 Posts

Thank God for Sakurai.

Garbage characters like Goku should never be in Smash, not only because Smash is a videogame love letter, but because Goku is probably the most boring Anime character out there.

Couldn't be more hyped for the remaining of the DLC's ... i really want characters like Dante or Lloyd Irving in the game, however, the most interesting aspect of all ... i really, really want to see someone else from MS and even Sony ... can you imagine Kratos and Master Chief in the game ... i have no doubt Sakurai is actually trying to get those characters.

Regardless, i feel the current choices have been fantastic and i can't wait for my favorite figthing game character is finally added, going to main the heck out of Terry like i always do.

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#15  Edited By KungfuKitten
Member since 2006 • 26840 Posts

We wants a MonHun character, because we have a MonHun stage and boss.

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#16 Basinboy
Member since 2003 • 13936 Posts

“Licensed” is the incorrect term to describe what Sakurai is stating. All non-Nintendo characters are licensed from their respective owners. What Sakurai is saying is he wants to keep Smash exclusively a haven for videogame characters and not those whose origins are tied to other media. And on that point, I can sympathize.

Now, how do we justify getting a Senran Kagura character? XD

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#17  Edited By nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 36629 Posts
@madsnakehhh said:

Thank God for Sakurai.

Garbage characters like Goku should never be in Smash, not only because Smash is a videogame love letter, but because Goku is probably the most boring Anime character out there.

Couldn't be more hyped for the remaining of the DLC's ... i really want characters like Dante or Lloyd Irving in the game, however, the most interesting aspect of all ... i really, really want to see someone else from MS and even Sony ... can you imagine Kratos and Master Chief in the game ... i have no doubt Sakurai is actually trying to get those characters.

Regardless, i feel the current choices have been fantastic and i can't wait for my favorite figthing game character is finally added, going to main the heck out of Terry like i always do.

Personally, I'd pick Joanna Dark over Master Chief or other FPS characters some others want (like Tracer or Doom Marine/Slayer). Mainly because she's the only FPS character with major Nintendo history (in that she was made on the N64) and would be a perfect round out to Rare's representation AND be a perfect counter character to Snake.

Still, SNK will duke with Capcom (Ken and Ryu, but fighting Mega Man for the first time) once again (we need another CvS), alongside...

-Nintendo (of course...)

-Namco (no fighter characters like Geese and Haohmoaru are/will though)

-MS/Rare

-Square Enix

-Konami

-SEGA

And THAT will be hype!

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#18 sakaiXx
Member since 2013 • 6211 Posts

Why is this guy having reigns over the title? He is just a developer nintendo is the publisher, nintendo can override this guy opinion pretty easily.

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dotWithShoes

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#19 dotWithShoes
Member since 2006 • 5558 Posts
Loading Video...

Yes!

@nintendoboy16 said:

First things first: Anyone else find that last bit about being the 'last mission the late Iwata gave him' kind of heart tugging?

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#20 freedomfreak
Member since 2004 • 51303 Posts

Still awaiting Brick Top to be announced.

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#21 Star67
Member since 2005 • 4477 Posts

I'd like at least one Sony Character to be in the game, like Kratos.

But I guess Snake and Cloud will have to suffice

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#22 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@sakaixx said:

Why is this guy having reigns over the title? He is just a developer nintendo is the publisher, nintendo can override this guy opinion pretty easily.

Nintendo is not going to override Sakurai here. Nintendo is embracing the long-term goals of the game. If they weren't going to then they would not have announced more DLC fighters at the last Direct.

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#23 R4gn4r0k
Member since 2004 • 31690 Posts

@Star67 said:

I'd like at least one Sony Character to be in the game, like Kratos.

But I guess Snake and Cloud will have to suffice

Sony has their own Smash Bros game called All Stars Battle Royale.

Which is funny thinking back, because Sony had a "Battle Royale" game back before everyone else did.

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jaydan

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#24 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@R4gn4r0k said:
@Star67 said:

I'd like at least one Sony Character to be in the game, like Kratos.

But I guess Snake and Cloud will have to suffice

Sony has their own Smash Bros game called All Stars Battle Royale.

Which is funny thinking back, because Sony had a "Battle Royale" game back before everyone else did.

I think that would make it even more of a diss towards Sony if Nintendo grabbed more of their characters to be in Smash when they already have All-Stars. I don't see Nathan Drake or Kratos ever being in Smash, but even if we got Crash or Spyro I'm pretty sure Sony would be rolling around in dirt over there because they're losing out on this brawler competition.

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#25 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 36629 Posts
@sakaixx said:

Why is this guy having reigns over the title? He is just a developer nintendo is the publisher, nintendo can override this guy opinion pretty easily.

Dude, if they did that, you'd still find a way to nag about it.

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#26 R4gn4r0k
Member since 2004 • 31690 Posts
@jaydan said:

I think that would make it even more of a diss towards Sony if Nintendo grabbed more of their characters to be in Smash when they already have All-Stars. I don't see Nathan Drake or Kratos ever being in Smash, but even if we got Crash or Spyro I'm pretty sure Sony would be rolling around in dirt over there because they're losing out on this brawler competition.

Ratchet & Clank would be a fun duo to go up against Banjo-Kazooie

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#27 uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 35482 Posts

Man sticking to his guns, I admire that.

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#28  Edited By Jag85
Member since 2005 • 13669 Posts

People keep saying Goku is not a video game character... despite the fact that Dragon Ball sold more video game software than any fighting game franchise (not sure if Smash has overtaken it yet).

Sure, he didn't originate as a video game character. But he didn't originate as an anime character either. He was a manga character first. By that same logic, he's not an anime character either.

And while the anime is what Goku is best known for internationally (outside of Japan, where the manga is more popular)... Dragon Ball makes more money from the video games than from the anime. The anime has essentially become an ad to sell video games and merchandise.

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DaVillain-

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#29 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 38506 Posts

@Jag85: Correct me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't Goku based on Monkey King?

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#30 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@Jag85 said:

Sure, he [Goku] didn't originate as a video game character, and that's why he will never appear in a crossover franchise that pays tribute to video games.

I fixed your post to avoid confusion why Goku won't be in Smash.

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#31 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 13669 Posts
@davillain- said:

@Jag85: Correct me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't Goku based on Monkey King?

Correct.

Goku was a Japanese interpretation of the Chinese character Sun Wukong (Monkey King)... who was in turn a Chinese interpretation of the Indian character Hanuman. But besides the obvious Monkey King connection, Goku is also partly based on Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, who Akira Toriyama was a big fan of.

@jaydan said:
@Jag85 said:

Sure, he [Goku] didn't originate as a video game character. But he didn't originate as an anime character either. He was a manga character first. By that same logic, he's not an anime character either.

I tried to un-fix your post. Sorry.

Apology accepted.

Another point to add to my previous post: the "media mix". Unlike the West where mainstream IPs originate from a single medium and then branch out to other media, in Japan it's very much the opposite: mainstream IPs are designed to be made for multiple different media. Most of the big Japanese franchises are "media mix" franchises which are designed for multiple media. So when it comes to Japanese franchises, they're not usually categorized as "this is a video game franchise" and "this is an anime franchise", but they're usually just "media mix" franchises.

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jaydan

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#33 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@Jag85: Fixing your unfix to my fix.

I totally get all your points you are trying to justify, but at the end of the day we are not paying attention to the Japanese multimedia market, we are paying attention to Mr. Sakurai himself as he is the creator of the Super Smash Bros. series.

The interview that is linked in this thread specifically covers Sakurai's statement and vision for the series that it will always be about video games and nothing more. He also specifically used Goku as an example as a character that will never come to the series and for the same reason I told you that he originated in other media before he made it to video games.

I must clarify I am not harshly against the idea of Goku being a playable fighter. He would have a fun moveset and he's iconic to the entire world. His presence would get a lot of heads to turn. The only reason why I'm sticking to the bullet that he'll never be in Smash is because I'm going by the law that Sakurai already laid out.

If it was the other way around and Goku actually did originate as a video game character, then my attitude would be a lot different and I'd be saying "hell yeah put him in the game", but unfortunately history is not serving those odds in his favor.

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#34 Ant_17
Member since 2005 • 12935 Posts

lol

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jaydan

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#35 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@Ant_17 said:

lol

Yikes, at that rate I'd hope the Minecraft rumors become true. lol

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#36  Edited By Jag85
Member since 2005 • 13669 Posts

@jaydan: It doesn't make a difference to me either way whether or not he appears in Smash. DBZ is already a big enough fighting game franchise on its own. Goku doesn't need to be in Smash for any reason other than fanservice.

But the idea that Goku isn't a video game character is what I take issue with. He didn't start as a video game character, but he's definitely one now. Like how Pikachu is widely recognized as an anime character despite its video game origins. In Japanese media, there's a thin line between manga, anime, light novels, visual novels and video games. All of these Japanese media are heavily intertwined.

And finally, never say never. Developers change their minds all the time. They always say something will never happen. But when the demand reaches fever pitch, they eventually cave in to those demands. If the demand is high enough, they'll eventually give in. And knowing DBZ fans, they're surely going to be on Sakurai's case.

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#38 jaydan
Member since 2015 • 2529 Posts

@Jag85 said:

@jaydan:

And finally, never say never. Developers change their minds all the time.

That is a true sentiment, and Mr. Sakurai has a history of making statements and then changing his mind later on.

He once said Ridley would not be a playable fighter, because he is "too big" which subsequently became meme-status and only made the demand for Ridley that much greater - he finally made it happen after so many years.

He once said Animal Crossing would not have playable fighters because the play style of those games don't fit with the action of Smash Bros., but he later found a way to make Animal Crossing work in the games.

He once even expressed there are no odds to put Little Mac in.

And there's a greater line of examples where he's changed his mind on things - over the years. It is saying quite something that he would mention Goku at all - it shows he is aware of the demand. While he says it now that with Smash Bros. Ultimate being an exclusive club for video game originated characters and worlds, that is not to say Goku can't happen in a later entry in the series.