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Smash Bros. Creator’s Ailing Right Arm Affecting Development


Last month, Super Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai, reported an ailment in his right arm, which he said was interfering with work (Sakurai is currently working on the next Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U).


This week, he provided a follow-up report in Famitsu, summarized by Polygon.


“Not only am I getting calcific tendonitis, but they’ve also found what are apparently several ruptures in the muscles,” Sakurai wrote. “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.”


Sakurai says there’s no quick cure for the ailment. The only real solution is for him to avoid using his right arm and hand, and give them time to heal, which is what Sakurai is trying to do to the best of his ability. He mentions brushing, eating, and using a trackball with his left hand instead of his right.


An ailment as severe as this one isn’t conducive to developing a high-profile videogame like Smash Bros., and Sakurai confirms that he’s having to cut extra days—which would normally be off days—out of his work schedule. The pain is also making it harder for him to do playtesting work on the game.


“Still, now I realize how important it is to have your health,” Sakurai writes. “I’m glad I’m still in good enough shape to work.”


Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.