This is actually unacceptable.
Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the Super Smash Bros. series, and the director of every single game in the franchise (including the just launched and lauded Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) is known to be a workaholic. It’s become a sort of meme in gaming circles to reference how hard he works himself.
However, with some information that he revealed in a new interview now coming to light, it is becoming evident just how dangerous his workaholism is, and how damaging for himself and others around him his behaviour can be. Speaking in an interview with Nintendo Dream (translated by Nintendo Everything), Sakurai revealed that when he was developing the game and got extremely ill, he outright started to come to work with an IV drip feed attached so that he would continue to work on the title.
“[I didn’t take any time off when I got sick]. I just get an IV drip and go to work like normal,” Sakurai said. “I guess I’m a hard worker? I’m a freelancer, so I don’t have any strict rules on my time. As long as I can complete the game, I could show up to the office once per week and I think it’d be within the realm of forgiveness. But instead I make sure I come to work every day and write proper daily reports and such. I’m always working, but there’s a lot of things that keep me in good spirits!”
This kind of behaviour is unhealthy (obviously), and is also harmful for everyone else at work who will implicitly feel pressured to live up to his example and not take time out for themselves when they need it. Sakurai needs to learn to delegate, learn to take breaks, and Nintendo needs to intervene and force vacation time on him. I love Super Smash Bros., as does the rest of the world, but I’m sure no one will mind it if the game comes out six months later than it does as long as Sakurai doesn’t kill himself working on it.