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Masahiro Sakurai is considering early retirement



Masahiro Sakurai is considering early retirement

Sakurai is once again considering early retirement, although he confirms that he will continue working on games after finishing the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC this year.

Masahiro Sakurai, director of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and developer at HAL Laboratory since 1992 (when he created Kirby) has once again toyed with the idea of early retirement. He did so in his column in Famitsu magazine.

Sakurai reflected on his age and his desire to retire during Golden Week (a holiday in Japan), but for now, he still wants to keep busy and work, at least for as long as he can.

The 50-year-old developer and director have already brought up the subject of retirement in his Famitsu column, where he often talks about his difficult work-life balance, which has taken a toll on his health. During the development of his last game, Sakurai took measures to reduce his workload, such as forcing himself to leave the office every day at 22:00, no matter what.

In 2015, he had already toyed with the idea of retiring after finishing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, though for now, he is still working on the final two DLC characters for Nintendo Switch’s Smash. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released in December 2018 and will finish receiving DLC characters sometime in 2021. Sakurai has already announced that the two remaining characters will be the last, and at various points, he has questioned the series’ continuation after Ultimate… and his involvement in the event of a new Smash sequel on a future Nintendo console.

Sakurai to continue working on video games after Smash is over

In fact, when the last of the Smash characters is released, Sakurai will also be shutting down, at least temporarily, his Famitsu column, which he has been writing for almost 20 years. However, he has shown his intention to continue working on video games after the end of Smash.

Will he continue to work on Nintendo Switch, will he somehow return to the Kirby series, from which he left to work on Smash Bros., and will he come back with a new Kid Icarus game? He’ll probably decide after taking a nice holiday, although Sakurai himself said two months ago that Pit’s return is unlikely…



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