Bug-testing is arguably the most critical part of the end-phases of a game’s development and creation. Game director Masahiro Sakurai wrote a response to the bug-testing process as well as simultaneously explaining why Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U have different release dates.
In his semi-weekly column in Weekly Famitsu (translated by Kotaku), Sakurai explains that he is in the midst of the 3DS debugging process, a time where players find potential issues with gameplay that the programmers can fix prior to release. Sakurai continues, “ Debugging alone becomes a huge project. So much so that one of the biggest reasons for the separate release dates for the 3DS and Wii U versions was so that we could shift the debugging periods.” With all the characters, stages, minigames, items, modes, and more, the combinations can seem daunting.
Sakurai went even further and states:
“In a previous Smash Bros., we found a bug during the debugging process where if fighter A hits item B and fighters C and D are simultaneously affected, the game would freeze. Considering not only the different fighters, but items, stages, color settings, play rules, and game modes, the number of varying combinations are astronomical. In order to properly debug, every pattern must be tried, but such a task would be impossible no matter how many decades or centuries you take.”
With this, the game developers want to make sure each game is top notch. Sakurai also addresses the games’ delays: “There are many reasons why a game’s release date will be delayed, but eight or nine times out of ten, it’s usually because a bug couldn’t be fixed in time. But it’s better than releasing a product like that.” This seems to be a major reason as to why the games were delayed as well as have two different release dates.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is scheduled for release in Japan on September 13th, and in North America and Europe on October 3rd. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is scheduled for release holiday 2014.
Super Smash Bros. is a game that has thousands of combinations and possibilities. I am absolutely ok with a delay that will only enhance the game. As Sakurai put it, it’s better to release a game with a delay, then to have some game breaking glitch. Regardless, I think the game is going to be phenomenal. I mean, it’s only 39 days and counting….