Throughout the course of development for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS series creator Masahiro Sakurai highlighted the demands of producing the titles. With ever-increasing modes and a growing roster, Sakurai-san often used his Famitsu Weekly article to emphasize the impact of development on his personal life, discussing long hours and medical issues resulting from his work.
In his most recent article for the magazine Sakurai-san has re-emphasized - perhaps in the most forthright terms yet - that he may step away from the franchise, and also game development as a whole. Below are the translated quotes in response to a reader question (via Kotaku):
Reader: Hello, Mr. Sakurai. It sounds like development of Smash Bros. was really, really hard. Reading your column sent shivers up my spine. I've never seen you so worn out. It made me appreciate the new Smash Bros. more than ever.
Sakurai-san: It was very tough this time around... I doubt I'll be able to go on making games if it continues like this. But, I consider myself lucky that so many people seem to enjoy [Smash Bros.]
Considering the frequency of comments like this it's clearly a serious consideration for the series creator and leader. Whether adjustments are needed to his own hands-on approach, or in the support and structure provided by Nintendo and related partners (in the most recent case Bandai Namco) it seems that changes will be needed in producing future series entries. Sakurai-san has also stated in the past that he'd find it hard to walk away and see Super Smash Bros. continue without him at the helm.
Whatever happens, we hope that the best solution is found for Sakurai-san, Nintendo and the Super Smash Bros. series.