Masahiro Sakurai's Super Smash Bros. Switch work schedule appears to be much healthier this time around

During the development of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Sakurai worked 13 months straight without a day off and ended up in the hospital

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • May 12, 2018 at 10:01 a.m. PDT

It's no secret that Masahiro Sakurai has worked long and grueling hours on game projects that he was a director of. You could really say that he put his blood, sweat, and tears into making fans happy.

During the development of Super Smash Bros. 4, Sakurai mentioned that he was suffering from "calcific tendonitis" in his right arm due to a hectic work schedule as he would often work on the project during his days off. He would essentially have to force himself to use his left hand more during playtesting as a result of this.

Not only this, but the idea of cutting characters that were present in the game was incredibly stressful to the game director. Sakurai mentioned that it felt stressful "almost to the brink of death." It's easy to see how passionate Sakurai is with his work.

With all this passion, one can't help but worry about Sakurai's physical and mental health now that a new Super Smash Bros. title was recently announced for the Nintendo Switch. Luckily, it seems that he is taking a healthier approach this time around.

According to a translation of a Famitsu column by Source Gaming, Sakurai is only working ten hours per day. Not only that, but he also gives himself two days off a week.

"In the game industry, there’s a lot of overtime, all-nighters, and coming in on holidays! It’s a practice that has been occurring for a long time." said Sakurai. "That suddenly changed in recent years, though."

It seems as though this might be becoming a more common practice. Apparently, working 45 more hours overtime in a month can cause an investigation.

"I go to work at 10:00 a.m., so I usually spend about 10 hours working each day. In the past, it wasn’t that uncommon to work until 1 or 2 in the morning so compared to those days, I’m taking it easy." - Masahiro Sakurai

Sakurai continued by stating that "actually, if you look at other companies and even myself, 10:00 p.m. is when everyone goes home. Or rather, maybe we’re getting shut out?"

"I go to work at 10:00 a.m., so I usually spend about 10 hours working each day. In the past, it wasn’t that uncommon to work until 1 or 2 in the morning so compared to those days, I’m taking it easy."

This is quite an improvement considering his previous working conditions. According to Kotaku, "Sakurai noted that he worked for 13 months straight with not a single day off" during Melee's development cycle.

Not only that but he would "work for 40 hours straight and then take 4 hours off to go home and sleep" towards the end of that game's particular creation process. Eventually, Sakurai collapsed and was admitted to the hospital.

Fortunately, those days might be behind Sakurai. While it may still seem a bit crazy that he went to work on the next Smash game immediately after DLC wrapped up for Super Smash Bros. 4, we do know that he did treat himself to an extended vacation before starting this latest project.

It helps that there is most likely only one version of this mysterious Super Smash Bros. game for the Nintendo Switch. Super Smash Bros. 4, on the other hand, had two separate versions of the game that Sakurai had to oversee -- the Wii U and the 3DS.

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