The health of Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai has been discussed rather heavily over the last few years, with fans often concerned about his wellbeing thanks to a seemingly overly-punishing work schedule. Various health issues have caused Sakurai to hint at rethinking his work-life balance, and he's even occasionally brought up the idea of stepping down from his role altogether.
Now, in an interview published by Nintendo Dream (and translated in full by the folks at Nintendo Everything), the series director has spoken once again of his health and work management. He notes that some changes have been made during the development of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as opposed to his work schedule for previous projects.
"I made some changes from what I used to do compared to now. For example, as a principle, I always left the office by 10 PM, no matter what. Many companies are discouraging extreme overtime these days, too."
Despite these changes (which still sound incredibly dedicated to the cause to us), Sakurai did face some health issues during the game's development. He mentions that he dealt with "a lot of stomach problems" throughout, including a nasty sounding case of food poisoning.
"When you’ve got symptoms like food poisoning, you definitely have to go to the hospital, right? I’ve had that situation once or twice before during development. It was like I got food poisoning from some oysters that I didn’t eat... It was like my food had come into contact with them or something."
He was then asked whether or not he takes time off when something like this happens, and his reply likely won't fill those concerned with any confidence.
Interviewer: Uh, so… Do you take some time off when that happens?
Sakurai: No, I don’t. I just get an IV drip and go to work like normal.
He goes on to explain how, as a freelancer, there are no strict rules on how much time he spends in the office working. Instead, he simply considers himself (and seemingly enjoys being) a "hard worker", choosing to go to work every day to write daily reports.
His dedication is clearly admirable, even if his actions sound pretty alarming to those of us hearing about them from afar, but we do hope he's looking after himself. Take it easy, Sakurai-san!