Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai could really use a break. After the game's latest Piranha Plant DLC release earlier in the year and new rumors that the next character being developed for Nintendo's fighting game is going to potentially be one from Dragon Quest, it's looking like a busy time for those working on the title. Sakurai is arguably the busiest of all, and his work ethic has made fans concerned for his wellbeing; he revealed in a recent interview that he didn't take any time off during the game's development despite requiring hospitalization a few times.
Sakurai's work ethic has become legendary over the years. Fans took to Twitter late last year in the lead up to Smash Ultimate's release to champion letting Sakurai take a rest after all of his hard work on the series, but it looks like the director has a ways to go until he takes any of those comments to heart.
In an interview with Nintendo Everything, it was revealed that Sakurai didn't take any time off when working on his beloved series. What makes that concerning, however, is his own admission that even going to the hospital for treatment didn't stop him from continuing to work. Sakurai notes in the interview that when he had symptoms reminiscent of food poisoning during development, his response was to "get an IV drip and go to work like normal."
Sakurai wondering aloud about when he'll ever get to take a break during Pirahna Plant's initial Nintendo Direct reveal has become something of a meme on the internet circuit. While some jokingly speculated that it may have been a cry for help, the director telling Nintendo Everything that he took only three days off over Christmas because of the upcoming Persona Joker DLC is probably a worrying sign for those concerned about his health.
The video game industry talks a lot about crunch and the effect of working unprecedented hours on titles that are in development. Games have been moving increasingly towards a service model, and Nintendo clearly isn't immune to that and its consequences. Studios have to put together a constant carousel of updates for their titles, and this will undoubtedly have its share of negative effects on the employees and stakeholders involved. Sakurai really, really needs to take a break after working so hard on the latest Super Smash Bros — here's hoping that it won't take a fatal health scare for him to do it.
Source: Nintendo Everything