News continues to pour out for the Nintendo Switch’s most-anticipated title, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but as the December 7th release date for the jam-packed title approaches, many might be wondering why we’re not receiving news and updates from the source closest to the project – Super Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai.
Simply put: Masahiro Sakurai doesn’t tweet or answer questions on Twitter, at least in regards to the content within the games he develops.
This is really nothing new, though. Sakurai’s current sentiment surrounding his personal Twitter account usage is the same as it was as far back as 2015.
“I can’t carelessly tweet, so my tweets are very brief. I have to speak in a way so there’s no misunderstanding…,” Sakurai stated in an interview. “There are a lot of fanboys, so there are a lot of strange requests and questions, but really, I’m just a person who makes video games.”
Sakurai’s follower count on Twitter has grown from over 115,000 – at the time of the 2015 interview – to over 214,000. That number, of course, factoring out all of the people that Sakurai has blocked. This number has recently grown, as Sakurai saw in influx in rude and offensive tweets directed at his account, primarily due to the report of Waluigi being omitted from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable character.
“I usually just stay quiet and maintain my composure, but if someone is being really rude I’ll block them.”
While the action of blocking hateful accounts may be the ultimate response, it is a shame that it is essentially the only immediate response that users can control; especially those who are in the limelight or widely known. Reporting hostile accounts has not proved itself as a statistically significant deterrent for harassment on Twitter, which has led to celebrities and other well-known individuals – such as Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, and newly-casted Batwoman, Ruby Rose – to delete their accounts entirely.
Sakurai appears to have had enough composure and patience thus far to withstand the online backlash he may personally receive in regards to the Super Smash Bros. franchise, but even he undoubtedly has a breaking point. Maybe if Twitter could “clean house” and properly address the barely-regulated negative aspects of its platform, users such as Sakurai might be able to feel safe enough to be a little more transparent and accessible to the community.