Masahiro Sakurai Contemplates Early Retirement; Will Work as Long as He Can as Society is Built on Entertainment

Masahiro Sakurai

UPDATE: The original story misquoted Ryokutya2089‘s own speculation as a quote from Masahiro Sakurai. We have adjusted the original story to reflect this.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai has reportedly considered early retirement, but wishes to soldier on for as long as he can.

Ryokutya2089, a Japanese blog dedicated to sharing information from Japanese gaming print magazines, has shared information from the latest of Sakurai’s Famitsu columns. Therein, Sakurai gave his thoughts on retirement and how, in Ryokutya’s words, “The End Comes to Everything (translation: DeepL, adjusted).

He reportedly explained how he was considering early retirement and quitting game production; but also that as he is able to work he should stay busy and work as hard as he can. He also thought about finishing his column in Famitsu once all the the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC was released. “At least this year” (in Ryokutya’s words).


In addition, Twitter users Kody Nokolo (Director, writer, and programmer of Gnomonic) and Robert Sephazon translated the entire Famitsu Column #629 [1, 2].

Sakurai reportedly began the column explaining he had written it right after the end of Golden Week; Japan’s major spring holiday celebrating several events. While reluctant to part with his time off during Golden Week, he enjoyed driving without anywhere to be. He also finished Resident Evil: Village, and enjoyed the game’s scenery and backgrounds.

He had also stopped working long enough to reflect during his time off. Sakurai explained he did not want to work forever once after he was older, and that he would have more fun in his day if he had a little more free time; hence the appeal of early retirement.

Sakurai stated that the question of how long he could work will continue to be apparent. As he gets older for example, the length new game developers can work is relatively long. Sakurai then points out how young game developers are, and praises how talented people in entertainment are.

Once again, Sakurai turned towards how finite time can be. While the experiences people create can last forever, personal work will come to an end eventually.

The Nokolo and Sephazon translation provides more context to Ryokutya’s; as Sakurai states that as long as he can work, he will do his best to entertain people. He feels society is built on such experiences; regardless of the medium and genre.

As long as Sakurai can create new experiences, he states will; and even if he is busy, he believes it is best to push on and do as much as he can. Though he relents a little in doubting whether this feeling is best suited for the times.

Sakurai then revealed the final two Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC characters will launch this year. Ryokutya claimed Sakurai stated “That doesn’t mean I’ll stop working on games after that;” and the Nokolo and Sephazon translation reveals this is in connection to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate being finished.

Concluding, Sakurai states he will work hard to the finish, and that after writing Famitsu columns for 18 years, he will continue for just a bit longer.

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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