Masahiro Sakurai's dedication causes him to use an IV drip when he gets sick to continue his work as normal

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • March 3, 2019 at 7:13 p.m. PST

One could probably say that Masahiro Sakurai is a bit of a workaholic when it comes to overseeing his game projects. Needless to say, the man very clearly has a lot of passion for his craft.

For example, he went 13 months without a single day off during the development of Super Smash Bros. Melee. He would work 40 hours straight while only taking four hours to rest before coming back. This lifestyle would eventually cause Sakurai to be admitted to the hospital due to a collapse.

While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was being made, Sakurai limited himself to only working 10 hours per day while giving him two days off per week. Nintendo noted that Masahiro Sakurai was in good health despite previously being diagnosed with calcific tendonitis in his right arm during Super Smash Bros. 4's cycle.

It appears that some things may never change for Sakurai. You just can't keep him away from dedicating himself fully to his profession.

In an interview with Nintendo Dream (translated by Nintendo Everything), Sakurai revealed that he just takes an IV drip with him when he's sick rather than taking time off. This allows him to continue his work as though things are normal.

"Do you take some time off when that happens," asked Nintendo Dream. "No, I don’t. I just get an IV drip and go to work like normal," responded Sakurai.

At the very least, Sakurai does maintain his limits better than when he was younger. He keeps himself on a strict curfew. It sounds like he stuck with it even during crunch time for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

"I made some changes from what I used to do compared to now," said Sakurai. "For example, as a principle, I always left the office by 10 p.m., no matter what. Many companies are discouraging extreme overtime these days, too."

"I just get an IV drip and go to work like normal."
— Masahiro Sakurai

It does not appear that Sakurai is particularly comfortable with taking vacation time during the development cycle of a game project that he is directing. Apparently his only time off (outside of the two days per week) was December 22nd-24th — after Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released.

Since the team is still developing Joker and the rest of the DLC roster of the Fighters Pass, Sakurai wants to keep himself available so his team can consult him when needed. Otherwise, they would have to handle his share of work during his absence.

Sakurai apparently doesn't really take time off during holidays either. This really does help explain the massive scope of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and its "everyone is here" theme.

Of course, Sakurai once again reiterated that he won't be able to work on the series forever. Still, he maintains that he's thankful towards the fans for the five million sales after just the first week.

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