Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai is one of the hardest working people in the video game industry, often at great consequence to his own well-being. Throughout the development of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, Sakurai suffered from calcific tendonitis. Since then he has made a recovery and is working fewer hours, but he’s still pushing himself pretty hard.
These days Sakurai usually works from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (which is somehow a shorter shift than he used to work), and his tendonitis is no longer an issue. However, in a recent interview with Nintendo Dream, Sakurai revealed that he’s been struggling with stomach issues. Rather than take time off to rest, Sakurai says he simply takes an IV drip to work.
So you didn’t have any stomach issues or anything?
Sakurai: Well, actually… I still had a lot of stomach problems.
You did? (laughs)
Sakurai: Yeah, a ton.
So what do you do when that sort of thing happens? I actually had a case of acute gastroenteritis recently.
Sakurai: That sounds rough. When you’ve got symptoms like food poisoning, you definitely have to go to the hospital, right? I’ve had that situation once or twice before during development. It was like I got food poisoning from some oysters that I didn’t eat.
Even though you hadn’t eaten any. (laughs)
Sakurai: It was like my food had come into contact with them or something. But I cook my food thoroughly… Why did I get sick?
Uh, so… Do you take some time off when that happens?
Sakurai: No, I don’t. I just get an IV drip and go to work like normal.
Are you serious?!
Sakurai: I guess I’m a hard worker? (wry laughter) I’m a freelancer, so I don’t have any strict rules on my time. As long as I can complete the game, I could show up to the office once per week and I think it’d be within the realm of forgiveness. But instead I make sure I come to work every day and write proper daily reports and such. I’m always working, but there’s a lot of things that keep me in good spirits!
Sakurai’s history of quality game releases is impressive, but it’s disheartening to hear that he still seems to be prioritizing game development well above his physical well-being. It’s good to hear that he’s scaled back his hours somewhat, but it sounds like he’s still putting himself through a lot of pain. Please take care of yourself, Sakurai!