In a recent interview, Masahiro Sakurai, the director of Super Smash Bros, was asked why there was a gap in between the release of the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game. In short, Sakurai said that the reason was solely due to extensive bug testing of both games and the months it takes to make sure that Nintendo ships a perfect version of the title.
“Checking is done both domestically and overseas, so for a game like Smash Bros., several hundred people are employed. So, 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.”
“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.”
From the daily Smash Bros image to the Smash Bros Invitational, it seems like Nintendo is being incredibly open about the development and release of Super Smash Bros on the 3DS and Wii U. Hopefully this transparency continues throughout the development of other titles.