Last week on Harada’s Bar, Harada sat down with Masahiro Sakurai of Super Smash Bros. and Kirby fame to discuss topics such as PR and public image. This week, the two of them talked about retirement. You can watch the entire English-subtitled video from the Harada’s Bar YouTube channel, but here are some key points from the interview.
In this day and age, it takes four or five years to make one game. During the arcade era, it was possible to make a game a year. When taking into consideration his age, Harada thinks that he can probably direct one or two games before his retirement. Sakurai says that the game industry has a strong preconception about retiring at 60 years old. However, life expectancy is getting longer, and you will still have to live after you’re 60. This means that you should continue doing what you’re good at to contribute to society.
Sakurai has thought many times that he wants to quit making games. On Twitter, many people asked what games Sakurai wants to make. He says that he doesn’t necessarily want to make games, because it’s more fun to play them. In addition, even if he puts his all into making a game, it could be severely criticized. He’s also constantly in a competition with others, noting that it’s a thorny path to make games. Retirement is not something that he can choose for himself. Rather, retirement for him is when people no longer wish to consume his art.
The talk about retirement in the Harada’s Bar Sakurai episode takes place near the end of the interview. But prior to that, the two of them chat about various topics. Sakurai likes to drive and go to hot springs in his free time. However, after COVID-19, he usually just drives around and then goes home. Harada cheerfully notes that he has two things in common with Sakurai: they both drive a S-Class Mercedes and can’t see ghosts. Though Sakurai insists that he likes driving and not necessarily cars, he talks at length about his Mercedes S-Class’s augmented reality display and 3D stereoscopic dashboard.
Harada’s Bar features Katsuhiro Harada, the producer and director of the Tekken series, interviewing and chatting with various people from the gaming industry. He posts videos weekly on YouTube.