A lot of people are talking about Tekken 8 right now due to its announcement trailer and how great the game looks on PS5. But for the man behind it, Katsuhiro Harada, he was actually asked in an interview what it was like working with Masahiro Sakurai on bringing Kazuya Mishima to Super Smash Bros Ultimate. And he gave some unique insights into how Sakurai works:
Bandai Namco Studios, when they were developing Smash Brothers… Sakurai-san was there all the time, just normally coming to work, I guess you could say. So we knew quite well.
It was later noted that Sakurai didn’t just help make Kazuya a part of Smash Bros, he ‘Had his own ideas” on how to make it seem like the two meshed:
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.
Yeah, Sakurai takes his work seriously, and that made Harada think even more about all that Sakurai does for his own gaming series:
it made us think that he has all these characters from other different franchises and games in Smash Brothers, 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.
One of the ironies here is that Harada admitted that Masahiro Sakurai inspired him and his team to do similar diligence and effort with their own titles, like Tekken 8,and ensure that they learn from other fighting series like Smash Bros in order to grow.