Smash Bros.’ Masahiro Sakurai discusses potential retirement in new column

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

That’s according to snippets of Sakurai’s next Famitsu column published by Japanese blog ryokutya2089, in which he reportedly states that he’d recently thought about his life after game development, and that the idea of early retirement could appeal to him.

“Everything must come to an end,” the director is said to have written, adding that he feels that right now, “it’s better to stay busy and do my best, as long as I can put up with it”.

Ryokutya has a long record of reporting accurate early Famitsu excerpts, though a full translation of Sakurai’s column will likely provide clearer context later this week.

Sakurai reportedly goes on to state that he’s also considering ending the Famitsu column after Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s DLC schedule is finished later this year. However, he reportedly says “this doesn’t mean I’ll stop working on games” at the same time.

Sakurai has penned his Famitsu column since the early 2000s.

The Smash Bros. director has discussed his punishing work-life balance many times in the past, including claims that he would use an IV drip and “go to work like normal” during the development of Ultimate, to avoid taking time off.

Last year, the designer said in a column that he passed out during a trip to the gym because he was tired and dehydrated.
 

NewChoppa

Member
 

Davey Cakes

Member
Thanks a lot Smash die hards. He's probably close to suicidal from all the work load on that series. Kid Icarus Uprising was far better than any game in that series other than maybe Melee.
No one asked him to be a workaholic. It’s just in his nature.

He can pass the torch whenever he wants.

That said, Smash Ultimate is pretty great and will be the only Smash game we need for years.
 

Sidesalad

Member
Just let the dude "retire" for a few years before someone gives him a blank check to make his dream game. The world has enough Smash, he should be able to move on.
 

Animagic

Banned

That’s according to snippets of Sakurai’s next Famitsu column published by Japanese blog ryokutya2089, in which he reportedly states that he’d recently thought about his life after game development, and that the idea of early retirement could appeal to him.

“Everything must come to an end,” the director is said to have written, adding that he feels that right now, “it’s better to stay busy and do my best, as long as I can put up with it”.

Ryokutya has a long record of reporting accurate early Famitsu excerpts, though a full translation of Sakurai’s column will likely provide clearer context later this week.

Sakurai reportedly goes on to state that he’s also considering ending the Famitsu column after Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s DLC schedule is finished later this year. However, he reportedly says “this doesn’t mean I’ll stop working on games” at the same time.

Sakurai has penned his Famitsu column since the early 2000s.

The Smash Bros. director has discussed his punishing work-life balance many times in the past, including claims that he would use an IV drip and “go to work like normal” during the development of Ultimate, to avoid taking time off.

Last year, the designer said in a column that he passed out during a trip to the gym because he was tired and dehydrated.
It’s a tragedy this man is going to retire before Miyamoto.
 

carlosrox

Banned
This guy works way, way too hard.

But man has he done Smash well. I don't mind him leaving as long as Smash continues, and continues being so excellent.

He seems truly obsessed with his work though. Smash is his and Iwata's baby, surely it means a lot to him. He must be super proud of the success of the series, mostly recently Ultimate with its ridiculous sales numbers.

I do need to see Smash on Nintendo's next console though. I need to see the magic they can pull off with better tech.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

This week Japanese magazine Famitsu has published a special interview with series lead Sakurai, in which the creator reflects on the lengthy development of Ultimate and answers questions about his future.

In early excerpts published by Ryokutya2089 (translated by VGC), Sakurai reveals that he’s unsure if he’ll continue with the Smash Bros. series beyond Ultimate, which eventually became so large that he previously claimed there was “no way” the series could ever be as big again.

“I’m not thinking about a sequel,” Sakurai told Famitsu. “But I can’t say that this is definitely the last Smash Bros.”

He added: “I need to think about whether we should release another Smash Bros. game at the risk of disappointing the users.”

Later in the interview, Sakurai reportedly told the publication that he did not believe the Smash Bros. series could continue without his involvement.

“I can’t see any way to produce Smash Bros. without me,” he said. “To be honest, I’d like to leave it to someone else, and I’ve actually tried that, but it hasn’t worked out.”

He continued: “If we’re going to continue with the series, Nintendo and I need to discuss and seriously consider how to make it a success.”
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

That’s according to a newly-publushed Japanese conversation, translated by Japan-based PushDustIn.

“Sakurai confirms that he is semi-retired,” the translator summarises. “He is 52 after all. When Smash for 3DS / Wii U and Ultimate he spent 9 years in active development. Sakurai felt that if he is just continuously making games full time, his life will be over before he realizes it.”

Sakurai reportedly adds that he is doing well health wise, and that he’s currently “taking it easy” on weekends, in addition to running his new YouTube channel in which he shares game design tips.

The game designer previously hinted that he could retire in one of his final Famitsu columns published last summer.

Sakurai stated in the column that, following the completion of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s final DLC character, he would consider his life after game development, and that the idea of early retirement could appeal to him.

“Sakurai believes the question of how long work will continue is apparent,” reads a translation of the column. “While he’s getting older, the amount of time new game developers can work is relatively long. He continues by pointing out how young game developers are, and how talented people in entertainment are.”

Last November Ultimate’s final DLC character, Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series, was released. This marked the completion of nearly three years of DLC for the fighter, which has seen 11 new characters added to the game.

At the time, the game’s director said he wasn’t thinking about creating further entries in the series.

“I need to think about whether we should release another Smash Bros. game at the risk of disappointing the users,” he wrote.

Later in the interview, Sakurai told the publication that he did not believe the Smash Bros. series could continue without his involvement.

“I can’t see any way to produce Smash Bros. without me,” he said. “To be honest, I’d like to leave it to someone else, and I’ve actually tried that, but it hasn’t worked out.”

He continued: “If we’re going to continue with the series, Nintendo and I need to discuss and seriously consider how to make it a success.”

 

Gambit2483

Member
Smash Bros Ultimate is one of those very few true labor of loves.

The sheer amount of work and coordination that went into making that game cannot be understated. He more than deserves it.
 

Celcius

°Temp. member
Theres really no where else to go after smash ultimate
yep, I bet that once the next nintendo console comes out they give it the mario kart 8 treatment, aka add "Deluxe" to the title and then include all of the DLC. Probably with a resolution bump as well, assuming the hardware is more powerful.
 

remember_spinal

Gold Member
yep, I bet that once the next nintendo console comes out they give it the mario kart 8 treatment, aka add "Deluxe" to the title and then include all of the DLC. Probably with a resolution bump as well, assuming the hardware is more powerful.

Only they won’t be able to sell it again if switch 2 is BC, that trick ain’t gonna work twice
 
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AREYOUOKAY?

Member
Theres really no where else to go after smash ultimate
I'm sure you'd change your mind if a Killer Instinct character was added in. Believe me they have tons of new and old characters still left to add in future installments.

The gameplay? Well they don't need to dramatically change certain things about it otherwise you'd end up with big mistakes like Brawl tripping again.
 
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remember_spinal

Gold Member
I'm sure you'd change your mind if a Killer Instinct character was added in. Believe me they have tons of new and old characters still left to add in future installments.

I feel like whatever they get in there will pale in comparison to the amount of characters they will lose due to licensing and people have already grown accustom to a lot of these characters
 
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AREYOUOKAY?

Member
I feel like whatever they get in there will pale in comparison to the amount of characters they will lose due to licensing and people have already grown accustom to a lot of these characters
Maybe but I'm sure some consider it to be free advertisement of some kind even if it didn't work for most of the characters like not having any Tekken port at all for the Switch and Joker with his very late P5 port.

Some developers practically beg to get someone in. Poor Suda 51 could have used a better No More Heroes 3 boost than a measly Mii costume for Travis Touchdown.
 
Later in the interview, Sakurai told the publication that he did not believe the Smash Bros. series could continue without his involvement.

I can’t see any way to produce Smash Bros. without me,” he said. “To be honest, I’d like to leave it to someone else, and I’ve actually tried that, but it hasn’t worked out.

He continued: “If we’re going to continue with the series, Nintendo and I need to discuss and seriously consider how to make it a success.”
This is actually the saddest news here. He couldn't find a single worthy soul to replace him as a protégé after 4 games in the same franchise.
 

Robb

Gold Member
I’d say go for it. Smash Ultimate would be a great magnum opus to end on. I still can’t believe that game even exists, the amount of work it must have taken to get the rights to all those characters is absolute madness.

I’d be sad to see him go though, of course. Love most of his stuff.
 

Kenpachii

Member
New guy will take over and maybe make it even better.

Let's be honest here, smash isn't that hard to build, its a pretty simplistic game.

Also lol at a workaholic going on retirement, what is he going to do? sit still and do nothing? if he wanted to do that he would have done that already. So yea. He will be back in making another one.
 
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Bridges

Member
Dude deserves to rest, but also he says he's done after every Smash Bros. game. I'm in wait and see mode on this.

With Iwata gone though, I wonder if he'll still feel the obligation when he gets the call from Nintendo.
 

AREYOUOKAY?

Member
New guy will take over and maybe make it even better.

Let's be honest here, smash isn't that hard to build, its a pretty simplistic game.

Also lol at a workaholic going on retirement, what is he going to do? sit still and do nothing? if he wanted to do that he would have done that already. So yea. He will be back in making another one.
I mean Namco pretty much has everything they need. No way would Nintendo allow one of their biggest cash cows to stay locked up forever with almost 30 million Smash Ultimate copies sold.

Someone please ban him for life.
 
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travolta88

Neo Member
This is actually the saddest news here. He couldn't find a single worthy soul to replace him as a protégé after 4 games in the same franchise.
He suffers from some delegation issues. He obviously loves his game and does a fantastic job, but is having difficulty letting go and giving others enough control over the details.
He could still oversee or work on games without to sit there and tweak every variable personally into the night until he passes out at the gym one day.
 
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