Masahiro Sakurai has created some incredible games, but he’s most commonly connected with the Super Smash Bros. series.

Sakurai is forever hinting that he can’t be in charge of Smash forever, and in a recent interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu – which is in the process of being fully-translated by the folks over at Source Gaming – he repeats this prediction, even suggesting that he could transition into a consulting role instead of being fully in-charge:

…Well for me, every time I always think, “This might be the last one.” If it’s a request from a client then I’ll consider it, but I do wonder, “Is it alright if I’m not the director?” It might be good to take on more of a consulting role.

It’s a given that Sakurai can’t keep directing Smash entries indefinitely, but could this comment suggest that he’s already aware of the scope of his involvement in the next instalment?

If, as rumours have suggested, Smash on Switch is simply a remastered version of the Wii U and 3DS outing, Sakurai’s involvement might not be that important as all of the groundwork has already been done.

However, beyond that, we could see Sakurai providing advice on the next “true” Smash sequel rather than sitting in the director’s chair – a process he has already admitted is quite taxing.


Kirby and Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai has revealed in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine that he’s picked up a painful injury which is hindering his work — although it’s worth pointing out that he stopped short of saying his situation will result in any kind of delay for the latest Smash Bros. instalment, which is coming to the Wii U and 3DS.

Here’s the full translation of what he said, via Polygon:

I think the one word I’ve said the most this year, by far, is ‘Ow!’ Not only am I getting calcific tendonitis, but they’ve also found what are apparently several ruptures in the muscles. My upper arm hurts, and there’s this chronic dull pain in my elbow joint as well. On the lower arm, there’s this feeling of fatigue around the flexor muscles that turns into pain when I use a keyboard or game controller with my fingers.

There’s no instant cure for it, so all I can do is either block the pain with injections or put my arm in a cast to keep the ruptures from spreading. I was told that the important thing was to keep my arm as rested as possible. In order to get it fully healed, the only thing is to not use my right arm or hand. So not only am I using a trackball with my left hand; now I’m using it to eat, brush my teeth, wash my hair, and even drive as much as I’m able to.

As a director, I don’t have much time in the weekdays to proceed along with my own work. The entire day is spent overseeing other people, holding meetings, working on other proposals, making visits elsewhere and so on. If I can get everything squared away, then I can work on my own stuff, but most of the time there’s just an overwhelming lack of time. Often I go in on my off-days to catch up on my own work, but with my body going on me like this, I have to cut these extra days out of my schedule and even with that I can’t use my right arm very much to control things. If this disorder lingers, or if it never gets fixed, there’s no telling what impact that would have on the project.

I’ve had to control two characters at once in a lot of game projects up to now, so as long as I keep it to simple moves, this works well enough. It doesn’t go that easy with the Nintendo 3DS version, though, and the debug camera is pretty hard to control. Still, now I realize how important it is to have your health. I’m glad I’m still in good enough shape to work.

Everyone at Nintendo Life wishes Sakurai a speedy recovery.