Game creator Masahiro Sakurai has been in the game (so to speak) for a long time now. He's currently working on Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. But how long will he continue developing games?
This week in Weekly Famitsu, Sakurai talked about how long a developer can continue creating games. In his semi-weekly column, he discussed how his heavy work schedule has been taking its toll on his body. "As I look around the new Smash Bros. development office, hardly anyone here is older than I am." Sakurai writes.
Sakurai is currently 43 years old. His first game, Kirby's Dream Land, came out 21 years ago. While there are people in management positions who are older than him, there are few of his age on the development floor. Writes Sakurai, "Seeing as there are very few people from the previous generation [in development], it's likely that in a few years, people from my generation will begin to leave the front lines."
The game development field is constantly evolving, with new and innovative ideas being required from young, creative developers. Sakurai recognises that game development is a difficult area of expertise to make a living off of and that not everyone is as fortunate as he is. Looking at his current state, Sakurai writes, "What it comes down to is that I'll do my job. It's a simple starting point where I do what I do best under the circumstances to contribute to society."
As for how long he'll continue, Sakurai remained optimistic if not vague, writing, "So long as I'm here, I'd like to enjoy this life of different happenings and different jobs. To continue is not the end goal."
I suppose when Sakurai's time comes to move on to other areas, he will. But personally, I hope it's later rather than sooner.