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Masahiro Sakurai, the famed creator of the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. franchises, is considering retirement in 2021. The game director said that he is looking at ending his column in Famitsu, the Japanese gaming publication, “this year at the latest,” according to a report by Siliconera.

Masahiro Sakurai’s retirement plans

Sakurai said that he considered retirement after stopping production for Golden Week, a collection of holidays in Japan. However, he added that he “will not stop working in games after that.”

According to the report, Sakurai has a “certain fondness” for the idea of early retirement. He said that it’s ok if he works a large amount right now, even if it makes him incredibly busy. However, he added that everything must come to an end “at some point.”

Sakurai created Kirby when he was 19 years old and has been working in the game industry ever since. In addition to every Super Smash Bros. entry, he’s worked on other games like Kid Icarus Uprising. Earlier this year, in his Famitsu column, he wrote that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may be the last game he works on.

“Honestly, there’s no guarantee I’ll keep making games after this,” Sakurai said. “Right now, all I’m thinking about is the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC development. Once that’s done, I actually have absolutely nothing lined up.”

Sakurai is known for having an overabundance of work ethic; sometimes to an unhealthy degree. He’s talked about passing out at the gym after working long hours, coming into work with an IV drip and various other injuries that he’s accrued from exhaustion.

Two more DLC fighters are slated to come to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in 2021. This is the only confirmed project for Sakurai at this time.

 


Aron Garst looks at esports from a different point of view by tackling the ways games are molded and broken by players around the world. He covers Call of Duty, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros, and everything else for Upcomer. You can read his previous work at WIRED, Rolling Stone, ESPN and elsewhere. Rise up red sea.


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