Masahiro Sakurai is known for many things. He created Kirby and the Super Smash Bros series, but also works too damned hard on the latter. Sakurai's workaholism is well known by now and it seems he didn't slow down during the development of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
In a new interview with Nintendo Dream (translated by Nintendo Everything) Sakurai revealed that he did take some positive steps to curb his workload. For instance, he said that he "always left the office by 10 PM, no matter what." Sakurai references how "many companies are discouraging extreme overtime these days, too."
However, it's one step forward, two steps back it seems as Sakurai detailed a time when he may have gotten food poisoning during Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's development. Rather than taking time off, Sakurai revealed, "I just get an IV drip and go to work like normal."
When the interviewer displayed shock at Sakurai's answer, he apparently laughs it off. "I guess I'm a hard worker?" Sakurai says that as a freelancer he has less rules on how he uses his time, and even says he could probably get away with going to work just once a week. But instead he says, "I make sure I come to work every day and write proper daily reports and such."
We admire Sakurai's dedication, but we really wish he'd take some time to focus on decompressing. Sakurai admitted that development of Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U was impacted by calcific tendinitis in his right hand, which caused him pain. He even said it could be his last Smash Bros. game.
Instead Sakurai now says that he's working hard developing the DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While he did take a three-day vacation back in December, he says, "I don't think I can take a lot of time off around the holidays," because of the DLC development.
With reports of crunch so prevalent in the industry, it sounds like Sakurai is at the very least aware of the overwork culture in video game development. It also sounds like he just pushes through, even as his fans on Twitter beg him to take a rest. For his sake, I hope he listens to them this time.
Smash DLC Pack 5 won't have a fighter but will instead send Sakurai on holiday— Jon Cartwright (@JonComms) March 4, 2019