News Article

Masahiro Sakurai's Arm Injury Impacts His Work On Smash Bros.

Posted by Damien McFerran

"Now I realize how important it is to have your health"

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.

[via polygon.com, gonintendo.com]

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User Comments (72)

Znerd

#1

Znerd said:

WOW hope you get better soon Masahiro Sakurai and dont rushed take your time in recorverying so we can get the best smash bros yet on 2 consoles

ajcismo

#2

ajcismo said:

Sucks. I'd say take a few days off and get some rest. Whats so ironic is many of us will be taking sick days to play the new Smash Bros when its all done.

BenAV

#3

BenAV said:

Poor Sakurai.
Must be a tough job, being in charge of two Smash Bros. projects at once.
I hope he gets better, finishes the project and then hopefully can relax a bit more and work on something different (and awesome, his games are always awesome) with a bit less pressure.

shinpichu

#5

shinpichu said:

Y'know, the last time he injured himself working on a game, we got Melee.

Anyway, hope he gets better. YOU MUST RECOVER!

Odnetnin

#9

Odnetnin said:

"In addition to lamenting that the current pain is preventing him from playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ..."

Sakurai is the best.

WaveyChristmas

#11

WaveyChristmas said:

Well that's a bummer, about his arm not the delay.lol Yet I'd much rather be in his position than be suffering from an overractive thyroid/auto immune related dissorder. :p

DreamyViridi

#12

DreamyViridi said:

I know how it feels to have my left arm in a cast. I still played my Gamecube as if I never broke my arm. XD

Sakurai has it worse though, it's his right arm having problems. Here's hoping he pulls though the injury. :)

Knuckles

#13

Knuckles said:

Wish you the best of health Mashario Sakurai. I wouldn't like a 3 month delays, but if you need the time to make it right, then do so.

beat

#15

beat said:

master sakurai shouldnt rush. i can wait for another 25 years for this game.

Shworange

#16

Shworange said:

What the heck did he do to it? That must have been one hell of a combo that he pulled off!

Xilef

#17

Xilef said:

Ouch. Hope he gets better. This man deserves some time off after SSB4 is done.

CapnPancakes

#18

CapnPancakes said:

Man, I really feel bad for him. It would suck for anyone to have that but he's also the leader on a huge project as well. We hope you get better soon Sakurai!

Scollurio

#20

Scollurio said:

Honestly, knowing tough work schedules and a lack of sparetime myself I just have to say: Get well soon, no matter what. I'd rather not get a new smash brothers at all than knowing this guy ruined his health over it.

Rafie

#22

Rafie said:

I hope things get better for you, Mr. Sakurai. I think we (Nintendo fans) would all hate to see you retire as great game developers like yourself are becoming scarce. I wouldn't wish that on anyone....not event the COD developers. Rest easy for a speedy recovery. Get well soon!

NintyMan

#23

NintyMan said:

Get well soon, Mr. Sakurai!

I don't recall reading about any game developer having to go through this before. I hope he recovers in due speed so the games can be on track. All of that intense work wouldn't help his injury. He should really take a vacation after it's all done.

AlexSora89

#24

AlexSora89 said:

Holy smokes, this is bad news twice. Bad for him in the first place (and given Japanese people in general - don't take this as stereotypical, though - tend to have an obsessive sense of honor, that's really gotta suck for him), and of course, bad for everyone waiting for the new Smash game (then again, the first is way more important, not to mention touchy) - especially those (like me) who have been waiting for a portable Smash for ages now. Hopefully a "3D Classics: Super Smash Bros. Melee" could ease the wait, but I digress.

Nonetheless, by now the only Smash-related news I'm gonna look forward to are those related to Sakurai's health. To good ol' Masahiro: with everything you've given us Nintendo fans so far, you deserve to get better. Health comes first! :-D

DePapier

#26

DePapier said:

Well, Sakurai, I want that Smash Bros., but stop working, get healed first, and get back at it once you're feeling better. We should play at the expense of one's health.

WingedSnagret

#28

WingedSnagret said:

Scary, I was just thinking last night what would happen if Sakurai got injured. 0.0

But at least it isn't anything life-threatening. By all means take some time off and rest Sakurai, an extra month's wait or two ain't gonna kill us.

Sir_Anthony

#29

Sir_Anthony said:

The new smash brothers is a big step up. it's so realistic now when your fighting in the game you can even break your arm in real life :P that's probably what happened :/ get better soon Sakurai! can't wait for smash bros...

Intrepid

#33

Intrepid said:

That's just terrible. I hope Sakurai takes as long as he needs to recover. Even if it's at the expense of the game, the important thing is that he gets better. Nothing even comes second.

nomeacuerdo

#34

nomeacuerdo said:

Damn, that must suck so hard. It's like Willy Wonka with diabetes.

I hope that he doesn't push himself too much, maybe some spare time will give him some excellent ideas.

LordessMeep

#35

LordessMeep said:

Ouch. I do hope that he takes time off to rest and heal up before continuing on with the development. After all, one's health is far more important than anything else. Though knowing how hard these guys must be pushing themselves to meet deadlines, I doubt it. :/ I hope he recovers soon.

KingDunsparce

#38

KingDunsparce said:

I hope he gets better soon :) I can wait for a Smash Bros game though, since I'll be playing Pikmin 3 for a while.

KnightRider666

#41

KnightRider666 said:

Take your time. I too have recently realized how priceless one's health really is... Get well soon. Take as much time as you need to make the new Smash Brothers games, just do it right.

Shining-Void

#46

Shining-Void said:

Ouch, pain sucks. Hope he gets better soon. I've never broke anything in my body, but it must be an ordeal.

TKOWL

#47

TKOWL said:

Sakurai man, take the break you need. Your health is worth more than playtesting.

sinalefa

#51

sinalefa said:

I know he cannot read this, but I still wish him a full recovery. If it can be speedy much better.

Henmii

#52

Henmii said:

Lol, to much Falcon punch I guess!

But seriously, I hope he recovers soon! As for the game: It's okay, we wait a little longer! Your health is more important! Besides, if you ruin your body we may never see a game again from you! And I guess everyone agrees with me that it would be terrible!

Get well soon, and make it great!

Vincent294

#53

Vincent294 said:

Hope Sakurai gets better. Sounds so painful. I feel bad for him. I can wait for SSB4 for this.

AlexSora89

#55

AlexSora89 said:

@nomeacuerdo: Dammit, thanks to your comparison I'm gonna spend the next two hours laughing - either that, or until my jaw friggin' bleeds, whichever comes first.

However, it truly is heartwarming to see how much we're all more worried for Sakurai than for the next SSB (although, as I said before, regarding Smash, all our worries boil down to 3DSonicPizza's simple "Sucks").

Get better, Masahiro! All us smashers will be waiting for you to recover - your good health will be the SSB news we'll look forward to the most.

FOURSIDE_BOY

#57

FOURSIDE_BOY said:

The part that worries me the most is where he says that there's the scenario where this disease he has contracted, has no cure; if that is the case, maybe this will be his last amazing project. I really hope it is temporary because he is one of nintendo's pillars. Get well Sakurai-san.

DarkNinja9

#58

DarkNinja9 said:

some how this seems like some sort of lie to me i dont know why o.O

but hope he does get better no matter what it is no one likes being sick and it sucks :(

pntjr

#59

pntjr said:

GET BACK TO WORK. NO BREAKS. NO EXUSES OR EXEPTIONS.

Finish my games first, then we can talk about time off, k Sakurai?

THE GAME'S NOT GONNA MAKE ITSELF!!!

Edit: I love how you guys can't take a joke at all... Not even the biggest douchebag on the planet would do something like that.... This is Sakurai! One of the Nintendo Gods for crying out loud!

Zombie_Barioth

#60

Zombie_Barioth said:

I'm no stranger to hospitals and doctor visits so I know how he feels, just not to the same extent obviously. Hope he gets well soon.

@FOURSIDE_BOY He said theres no instant cure, meaning he can't just take antibiotics for a few days and be done with it. Its one of those conditions where you have to carefully nurture and hope goes away on it's own time.

GBLUIGI

#61

GBLUIGI said:

Sakurai being sidelined with a right arm injury DOES SUCK indeed. I could have sworn I had read about something in another article on another site that's similar to this about a few weeks ago. All I can say is, get well soon Sakurai! Your health is more important to us all than worrying about finishing a game. Health first, game making is second.

WoottWinds

#62

WoottWinds said:

Poor guy, that's really sad to hear. Hopefully he puts his health in front of his work obligations, his well-being is much more important than any game.

FOURSIDE_BOY

#63

FOURSIDE_BOY said:

@pntjr Wow, what a douchebag you are; you must be effing wolverine that you heal yourself all the time . Go back to your room in your mom's house and let the adults post here.

allav866

#67

allav866 said:

@pntjr Drop dead. You clearly have no consideration for anyone but yourself, and all that matters to you is that you get your game on time. Also, learn to spell.
Sakurai, delay the game if you have to. Just heal that arm.

Araknie

#68

Araknie said:

He always injuries himself, it's not the first time that happens. Sakurai needs to show himself at E3 so we can all give him tons of hugs.

And delay that game all you want, we have plenty of thing to come on Wii U and even 3DS, do don't be scared and do what you must to get well soon.

misswliu81

#69

misswliu81 said:

get well soon sakurai. he needs rest but also needs to take as much time as he wants to in order to complete the game.

we shouldn't rush him.

DarkKirby

#70

DarkKirby said:

Get well Sakurai, but really, I hope you giving Namco some control of the development. They seem to have a lot better of an idea of what makes a game competitively viable and have a fun, successful online multiplayer. Namco even supports thei competitive scene for their fighters with increased prize money for tournaments. Sakurai still defends that giving Kid Icarus multiple control schemes (over the questionable default one) would be unfair (every PC game and multiple multiplayer games in general offer multiple control schemes) and he forced a bunch of intentionally anti competitive elements into Brawl (the game is too slow, and NOBODY, even casuals, think tripping is great) that caused it to become less fun a lot faster then Melee, to the point where many people still prefer Melee over Brawl competitively.

TempestVortex

#72

TempestVortex said:

I think that all of us that the general consensus.

Mr. Masahiro Sakurai, please take time off to recover. The development and finishing of the new Smash Bros. can wait. Please recover and fix your arm first.

Best wishes to you. Hope you get better!

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