Sakurai reveals Super Smash Bros. Brawl was nearly the “end of Smash”

Philip Trahan
masahiro sakurai smash bros brawl header

Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai revealed in a recent video how Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii was nearly the “end of Smash as we know it.”

The Super Smash Bros. series has a long history with Nintendo, with the first game in the series releasing on the Nintendo 64 back in 1999.

Since then Smash Bros. has become one of Nintendo’s biggest IPs, boasting impressive sales figures for each release and even spawning a massive competitive scene encompassing multiple games.

However, the series’ creator Masahiro Sakurai revealed that the franchise almost ended with Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii, and said it could have been the “end of Smash as we know it” had things gone differently.

Super Smash Bros. creator says Brawl was nearly the end

Sakurai revealed this info during one of his YouTube videos on his ‘Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games’ channel. The video, titled, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl [Game Concepts]” featured Sakurai discussing the design philosophy behind Brawl and Melee, and explained why the two games ended up playing so differently.

Sakurai opened the video by explaining that, at the time of Brawl’s reveal, then-president Satoru Iwata approached Sakurai with an offer to develop Brawl for the Nintendo Wii.

As Sakurai explained: “I had already gone freelance, and had I turned the work down, they might have left Smash Bros. Melee’s 26 fighters completely untouched and simply rereleased the game as-is for the Wii. That’s what Mr. Iwata once told me.”

Sakurai ended up taking on the project, despite being essentially blindsided by its announcement. Though he teased that a full explanation of how Brawl’s development team came to be was “a conversation for another time,” he gave another bit of new information at the end of the video.

Aftter explaining that Brawl ended up being the second best-selling game in the series, Sakurai said things could have ended much differently. “If we hadn’t been able to make the game at all, that may have spelled the end of the Smash Bros. series as we know it.”

Thankfully, Brawl ended up being a critical and commercial success, and the Smash Bros. series has continued on with the latest entry on Switch: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

While Brawl may not be the most loved game in the competitive space, it’s undeniable that it was a pivotal entry in Nintendo’s beloved fighting game series.

About The Author

Philip is a Staff Writer at Dexerto based in Louisiana, with expertise in Pokemon, Apex Legends, and general gaming industry news. His first job in the games industry was as a reviewer with while attending college. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication focusing on Multimedia Journalism, he worked with for nearly two years before joining Dexerto. When he's not writing he's usually tearing through some 80+ hour JRPG. You can contact him at