Nintendo Treehouse employee and localization writer/editor Chris Pranger recently opened up quite a bit about life at Nintendo in a recent episode of the Part Time Gamer podcast. First, he talked about the high cost of localization and said that vocal fans often don't realize they are part of a small fanbase. From there, the conversation moved to another small, but vocal fanbase: hardcore Super Smash Bros. players.
Chris and the Part Time Gamers discussed how Sakurai has been criticized in the past for focusing more on the "casual" or general crowd rather than competitive fighters. Changes in the games after Melee have upset some fans, and in turn, criticism from fans upsets Sakurai. According to Pranger, Sakurai has a "very dire" outlook on the series.
"Sakurai's outlook on the games is very dire. He gets really sad when he finds out how people are reacting and he gets sad whenever there's a leak, because he really wants to create. And he's an auteur in the most crazy sense. He's basically Vincent Van Gogh cutting off his own ear and we're sitting there going "Frick! Stop doing that!" And he's like "You don't get it, guys, my vision!"" — Chris Pranger
It's unclear how much of this comes from Sakurai himself versus how much of it is speculation on Pranger's part, but Sakurai has talked publicly about how disappointed he was when the Subspace Emissary scenes from Brawl were posted online before the game's global release. Are you happy with the changes to the Smash Bros. fighting formula over the years, or do you long for the days of a more competitive Smash experience? Leave your thoughts below!
Source: Chain Gang Media (Sakurai discussion begins around the 11:30 mark)