If you ask modern game developers about how they got into their field, many will point to iconic and beloved franchises from the early days of gaming that blazed a trail and inspired them in their youth. Games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid have served as a foundation for countless adventures that followed.

However, if you ask Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai about his origin story, you’ll get a completely different take. Speaking with The Guardian, Sakurai revealed that he (like many gamers) got a part-time job so that he could buy more games. Instead of focusing on critically acclaimed masterpieces, Sakurai went out of his way to buy games he expected to dislike.

“I was striving to become an engineer, but something happened that made me think, maybe I can make games instead. There was a two-year-period in school where I would do a part-time job to make enough money to buy games, that I would play to research. I went out of my way to play games I didn’t like or find interesting. Those ended up being a lot more informative for me. At home I have literally thousands of games, and I think of them as pearls of wisdom from my predecessors. Game development is very difficult. Nobody sets out to create a game that’s not fun. It’s all of the challenges and difficulties that happen throughout development that determine whether a game is a failure or a success. I think playing those thousands of games is the single best and easiest way to learn from my predecessors.”
— Masahiro Sakurai

As Sakurai’s story shows, it’s possible to learn just as much (or even more) from gaming missteps than success stories. And who knows, perhaps one or two of those “uninteresting” games changed Sakurai’s mind once he got the controller in his hands.

Source: The Guardian

Ben Lamoreux


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