Super Smash Bros creator and Game Director Masahiro Sakurai is reportedly considering an early retirement and plans to discontinue his Famitsu column once the final two Smash Ultimate Fighters Pass Volume 2 DLC characters are released.
A leaked Famitsu column that appeared online May 26 detailed Sakurai’s plans for an early retirement, with the Smash boss claiming he will be ending his column “this year at the latest.”
According to the column translated by Siliconera, Sakurai began thinking about retirement and his life after video games during the Japanese holiday Golden Week. The idea appealed to him, writing that he had a “certain fondness” towards it.
Sakurai’s first foray into directing came in the form of the 92 Gameboy title Kirby’s Dream Land. He would go on to make a couple more Kirby games in the 90s before eventually releasing Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo 64 in 1999.
“Everything must come to an end at some point,” he said, adding that “it’s okay to work as hard as I can right now, while I can, even if it makes me very busy.”
As for his column, which began in the 2000s, Sakurai says he will be ending it once the final two DLC fighters are out.
Challenger Packs 10 and 11 are scheduled to release by December 2021, so it seems like Sakurai’s column will come to an end by then. This may also hurt the chances of a rumored additional DLC fighter as Sakurai likes to discuss their creation in his columns. Unless, of course, an extra fighter is released before the end of the year.
However, while work on his column may end, Sakurai isn’t necessarily finished with games, claiming that he could still be involved in game-related work in the future.
What this means for the Smash series going forward remains a mystery. Could Nintendo release a new game with someone else taking over as director while Sakurai oversees development?
The next DLC fighter is rumored to be revealed at E3 2021 in June, so it’s possible we get more details about what’s next for Smash and Sakurai in the near future.