Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai is pretty well known for taking the concept of “work ethic” to the extreme. However, he might have taken things a bit too far when he got food poisoning, according to a recent interview.
Speaking to Japanese publication Nintendo Dream (via Nintendo Everything), Sakurai stated that “once or twice” while he’s worked on Smash games, he’s gotten so sick to his stomach that he had to go to the hospital. But instead of taking a few days off, Sakurai got an IV drip to keep himself hydrated and kept on working.
Thankfully, it sounds like Sakurai is cooling it a little bit when it comes to overworking himself. Sakurai said that, during Ultimate‘s development, “as a principle, I always left the office by 10 p.m., no matter what. Many companies are discouraging extreme overtime these days, too.”
In 2018, Sakurai only took three days off—December 22nd through December 24th—before returning to work on more DLC characters. All in all, however, it sounds like Sakurai’s taking it a little easier these days. Back in 2014, the Smash boss made it seem like he’d never return to develop another game, and that the workload was getting to him.
“On a personal note, during development I cast aside almost everything in my private life, immersing myself in my work,” he’s previously written. “I took no time off, and there were days when I went home only to sleep then return to work again. Indeed, I overdid it and nearly fell apart.”
Now, Sakurai sounds like a man at peace with what he’s done, striking a healthier work-life balance. However, as with any future Smash game, Sakurai’s involvement going forward still seems up in the air.
“I never thought it would turn into this successful of a series,” he told Nintendo Dream. “It’s become sort of like my life’s work. At the same time, I don’t see this as a series that I’ve continued to work on out of necessity, nor do I think it’s a series that I can continue to make forever.”