'Making Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was the last mission Iwata gave to me' - Masahiro Sakurai's Game Awards speech pays tribute to late Nintendo boss

Smash Ultimate takes home most of the awards

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • September 13, 2019 at 7:49 a.m. PDT

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is easily the greatest video game crossover title ever, and its ambition was realized by the hard work of director Masahiro Sakurai and the teams at Sora ltd. and Bandai Namco.

The Japan Game Awards were held earlier this week where all of that effort was recognized as Smash Ultimate was the biggest winner of the night taking home the Grand Award — likely equivalent to the game of the year award — among many others, and Sakurai himself took the stage to give the acceptance speech.

The longtime Kirby and Smash creator / director took a moment during his presentation to honor Nintendo's former president and CEO, the late Satoru Iwata, who passed away in 2015.

"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," said Sakurai as translated by SourceGaming's PushDustIn. "I've put my all into the game, and with more DLC I will continue to work hard."


Click image for animated version

Iwata and Sakurai worked together for years at HAL Laboratory creating their business and personal relationship and making the Kirby games and even the first Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64.

"Our positions and locations changed throughout our long association," said Sakurai in a Famitsu article follwoing Iwata's passing. "He was the best superior I ever had and a man who understood me better than anyone."

On a lighter note, Sakurai also once again brought up fans asking him for characters like Goku from Dragon Ball Z or even Marvel's Iron Man, but he reiterated that Super Smash Bros. is a celebration of video games.

"[Iwata] was the best superior I ever had and a man who understood me better than anyone" - Masahiro Sakurai

"I get a lot of requests, even from overseas, asking when their beloved Iron Man or when their beloved Goku are going to get into Smash, but I really have to stress that this is a game celebration," said Sakurai. "It has to focus on characters whose origins are in games."

Aside from winning the Grand Award, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also took home awards for best sales, the global award for a Japanese product, an award of excellence and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award.

SNK's Terry Bogard will be the next DLC character to hit Smash Ultimate in November, and as Sakurai mentioned above, his team will be working on additional fighters for the game beyond the originally planned six.

Contributions to this story were made by Nick "MajinTenshinhan" Taylor.
Image source: Nintendo Direct.

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