Once Nintendo confirmed that the end of Fighters Pass Vol. Two would mark the end of DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, fans of the series have been reflecting on all of the content that the game has received since launch on Dec. 7, 2018.
From a reveal at E3 2018, all the way to revealing Sora from Kingdom Hearts as the final DLC fighter in the “The Final Mr. Sakurai Presents,” the last several days have felt like a celebration. As part of that celebratory nature, #ThankYouSakurai has been trending globally on Twitter for the last two days, with players showing their appreciation for Smash series creator and long-time director, Masahiro Sakurai. This hashtag included fan art, discussion about the game franchise, and general posts thanking the developer.
The joke of “let Sakurai rest” has been a constant since Smash 4 on the Wii U, but actually hearing him say goodbye at the end of what could potentially be his final Smash-related project put some actual weight behind the meme.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone,” Sakurai said. “To the development team and all the people who worked to promote the game. To those involved in the original games, and to everyone who has enjoyed playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Thank you very much. Please let me say goodbye.”
Following the presentation, Sakurai also confirmed he was aware of the trend and was very thankful for it because it is “the result of the support of many people.”
Whether this is the end of Sakurai’s time heading up the Super Smash Bros. franchise, which he helped launch in 1999, fans can look back at the monumental crossover that Ultimate became and remember Sakurai waving at the camera to send it off after eight years of hard work.