Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the Super Smash Bros. series, has touched on a potential followup to Ultimate, saying that Nintendo would need to "figure out" how to make it.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was obviously a massive undertaking for Sakurai and his team, as it brought back every single character ever featured, and added a bunch more too. It's a culmination of a lot of video game history, and it's a tough act to follow. Sakurai seemingly decided to not jump straight back into game development last year, though, as he started a YouTube channel focused on… well, game development, instead. And in the developer's most recent video, he spoke about the team behind Smash Bros. Brawl, also reiterating that he doesn't think the series can go on without him.
In the video Sakurai did note it was "safe to assume," that there will be another game, but Nintendo will need to "figure out" how to make it. "For an ongoing game series, not using the original development studio and instead assembling a new team around a freelance director is an extremely rare occurrence," Sakurai said of Smash Bros. Brawl, the Nintendo Wii title for which he did serve as a freelance director.
"The question now is, what happens next time? I mean whatever comes after Smash Bros. Ultimate. One option would be to separate the series from the original creator. But for now, at least, I can’t really imagine a Smash Bros. title without me.
"You might think that’s a natural stance for someone in my role, but I say so speaking objectively. I feel the same way President Iwata did when we formed the team for Smash Bros. Brawl. At present, we don’t have someone who can simply take the reins…"
Sakurai also noted how important the series is for Nintendo, "so it’s fair to assume there will be another one at some point, but it’s going to take some work to figure out exactly how to make that happen. For my part, I’d like to keep working with Nintendo however I’m able."
If there will be another Smash Bros., the simple fact that Sakurai is talking so plainly about it shows that there are no early plans that he is involved with at the very least. We can also expect it to launch on Nintendo's next console, whatever that might be.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launched in 2018, and released two fighter passes post release that added characters like Persona 5's Joker, Banjo and Kazooie, and ended with Kingdom Hearts' Sora, the character that was most requested to be added to the game in the Wii U era of Smash Bros.