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Next 'Super Smash Bros.' might not have a much larger roster

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"I think a change of direction may be what's needed."

Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros.

The forthcoming Super Smash Bros. game may reassess the number of playable characters, according to the game's director.

The forthcoming Super Smash Bros. title headed for Wii U and 3DS may herald a "change of direction" for the franchise by reassessing the number of playable characters, according to the game's director Masahiro Sakurai.

"In terms of quantity, we've probably already reached the limit of what's feasible, " Sakurai told Nintendo Power. "I think a change of direction may be what's needed."

The number of playable characters invited into the ring has steadily increased with each iteration of the franchise. The original N64 Super Smash Bros. included 12 playable characters, the GameCube's Super Smash Bros. Melee brought 25, and the Wii's Super Smash Bros. Brawl topped out at 35.

"It isn't a matter of ‘If the next game has 50 characters, that'll be enough,'" Sakurai said. "There is a certain charm to games that have huge casts of playable characters, but they tend to have issues with game balance and it becomes very difficult to fine-tune each character and have them all feel distinctive."

During its recent Nintendo Direct livestream, Nintendo announced that the next Super Smash Bros. game would be a collaboration between Nintendo and Namco Bandai Games, developer of the Tekken and SoulCaliber series of fighting games.