Super Smash Bros. 4 Release Date Confirmed for 2014, But Why is It Taking So Long?

February 17, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Nintendo recently confirmed that the Super Smash Bros. 4 release date for Wii U and 3DS will indeed be sometime this year, but why is it taking so long?

A fan asked the game’s creator Masahiro Sakurai why game development seems to take longer in Japan than in other countries.

Sakurai responded in his semi-weekly column in the Weekly Famitsu:

“Whether it’s domestic or international, development speed is a case-by-case scenario, so I feel this may be a biased opinion. I think the Yakuza team is quite fast considering the scale of their games, and some foreign games can take over 5 years from initial proposal to the actual product release.

“However, the fact that someone asks this does seem to indicate that it’s not completely unfounded. If I were to guess, it seems that foreign studios have the appearance of a stricter product schedule and organization. Then again, in some cases, even if the development period is long, the development staff can be small, so the entire picture is a mystery.

“Also, the time between announcement and release does not necessarily equal the development period. In most cases, when development actually started is never publicly announced.

“In any case, whether it’s cost-effective or not is what’s important. Whether the development period is long or short, the real questions is if the man-hours spent can bring about a profit or results. Of course, this is also a case-by-case scenario.”

Sakurai has been working so hard on the upcoming game that both of his arms have developed inflammatory symptoms that make work–and playing Super Smash Bros–difficult, reported Kotaku.

Super Smash Bros. 4 will include multiple new characters, including the latest to be announced–Little Mac from Punch-out.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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