Tekken producer believes Sakurai is probably the only person that could properly make Smash Bros.
Tekken producer and Bandai Namco Entertainment general manager Katsuhiro Harada has commented on how Sakurai worked to bring Kazuya to Smash Bros. Ultimate, ultimately stating that “he’s probably the only one that could properly make that game.”
Harada thought Sakurai would ask questions to make sure the character was represented properly, but he “already had his own thoughts about what makes Tekken ‘Tekken.'” This is in part due to how familiar Sakurai was with the series. Harada was impressed by how much Sakurai knows about so many different gaming IPs and having them all integrated into Smash Bros. so successfully.
Harada shared the following with IGN:
“So working with Sakurai-san, you mentioned collaboration on the character Kazuya, but actually, Bandai Namco Studios, when they were developing Smash Bros… Sakurai-san was there all the time, just normally coming to work, I guess you could say. So we knew quite well what to expect and his personality. And even that said, we were also surprised when it came time to make Kazuya for Smash Bros., because we thought since we’re the experts at Tekken, maybe he’s going to ask what’s the points that I need to definitely get right to make this feel like Tekken, but actually that wasn’t the case. He had already had his own thoughts about what makes Tekken ‘Tekken.’ So it was surprising but also refreshing to see that he came in and didn’t ask questions, but said, ‘I’ve played a lot of Tekken and studied it, and this is what I feel is important for the game,’ right off the bat.
So that was quite a shock, I mean in a positive way. But then also it made us think that he has all these characters from other different franchises and games in Smash Bros., so to know so much to a deep extent about all of these different IPs to be able to do that… he’s probably the only one that could properly make that game. In creating Tekken series we always look at various different fighting games or other games outside the genre and think about what to maybe draw from that experience. But he just went so much deeper on all of them, we thought there’s still a lot we can learn ourselves from different products outside of Tekken by looking at his example.”
Kazuya was featured as part of Fighters Pass Vol. 2 for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He can also be purchased individually via Challenger Pack 10.