Login | Signup

Sakurai: Chronic Arm Injury Might Affect Super Smash Bros. Development

Jonathan Lester
Masahiro Sakurai, Nintendo, Super Smash Bros

Sakurai: Chronic Arm Injury Might Affect Super Smash Bros. Development

Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai is worried that his crippling arm pain, diagnosed as calcific tendonitis, might be adversely affecting development of the next game in the series.

"I think the one word I've said the most this year, by far, is 'Ow!'" Sakurai explained in his Famitsu magazine column [translated by Polygon]. "Not only am I getting calcific tendinitis, but they've also found what are apparently several ruptures in the muscles."

"My upper arm hurts, and there's this chronic dull pain in my elbow joint as well. On the lower arm, there's this feeling of fatigue around the flexor muscles that turns into pain when I use a keyboard or game controller with my fingers."

Since calcific tendonitis is both incredibly painful and chronic, Sakurai is having to take things easy and rest the arm as much as possible. Apparently it's in danger of cutting into his duties as Super Smash Bros' director.

"As a director, I don't have much time in the weekdays to proceed along with my own work," he continued. "The entire day is spent overseeing other people, holding meetings, working on other proposals, making visits elsewhere and so on."

"If I can get everything squared away, then I can work on my own stuff, but most of the time there's just an overwhelming lack of time. Often I go in on my off-days to catch up on my own work, but with my body going on me like this, I have to cut these extra days out of my schedule and even with that I can't use my right arm very much to control things. If this disorder lingers, or if it never gets fixed, there's no telling what impact that would have on the project."

"I've had to control two characters at once in a lot of game projects up to now," Sakurai concluded, "so as long as I keep it to simple moves, this works well enough. It doesn't go that easy with the Nintendo 3DS version, though, and the debug camera is pretty hard to control. Still, now I realise how important it is to have your health. I'm glad I'm still in good enough shape to work."

The next Super Smash Bros. title is still in development for Wii U and 3DS, in conjunction with Namco Bandai. We expect to see it in action at E3 2013, and hope that Sakurai's health won't curb the runaway innovation he's known for throughout decades of development on SSB, Kirby and Kid Icarus.

Add a comment3 comments
stevenjameshyde  Feb. 28, 2013 at 13:33

I knew the Wii would cause this kind of thing eventually. Thank goodness I and everyone else I know stopped using it after a month

Late  Feb. 28, 2013 at 13:43

I don't think it's entirely fair to put all the blame on Nintendo for the large number of male gamers who overexercise their right arms.

Forgive me - I've gone a bit Sid James, there.


MattGardner  Feb. 28, 2013 at 14:16

I always knew snapping your arm like that in Wii Sports' Baseball was bad for you.

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.