Masahiro Sakurai talked about the effect the COVID pandemic had on the team behind the development of Super Smash Bros Ultimate DLC content. He shared this information through his YouTube channel, called “Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games,” through which he has been sharing his views and experience on video game development and design.
At the time workers had to start working from home in early 2020, the SSBU development team had successfully completed the first Fighters Pass, and they were on the way to deliver a second volume. The second Fighters Pass increased the number of characters from 5 to 6, 7 if you count Pyra and Mythra as two different fighters, and with it the workload for the team.
You can check out the video below:
Sakurai and the development team for Super Smash Bros Ultimate had to move their workspace to their own homes, which brought some benefits, but a significant number of issues as well. Some of these included workers not having the proper equipment, such as office chairs and desks, or lacking the appropriate internet quality to work. Likewise, Sakurai explained that he had to do fight tests for the game online, with the lag associated with it and not being able to test the conditions of the game in a local environment.
Sakurai estimated that the effect of the COVID pandemic resulted in the development team working about 30% slower than they normally would. The people at Sora Ltd. decided to respond to the workers needs by supplying them with the equipment they needed to work comfortably.
On a lighter note, if you are interested in hearing what Sakurai has to say about topics like accessibility in videogames, or even a video of him showing his cats, you can check out his YouTube channel.