Born on August 3, 1970 in Tokyo, Japan, legendary Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai today celebrates his 45th birthday.
It’s been a busy year for Sakurai. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS debuted in Japan on September 13, 2014, releasing one month later in the West. The Wii U version of the popular fighting game launched shortly after — in November 2014 for North America, Europe, and Australia and in December for Japan.
Sakurai’s development work for the pair of Super Smash Bros. titles didn’t halt with their release, either. Mewtwo fighter DLC arrived on April 15 and Splatoon Mii Fighter costumes and Lucas fighter DLC released on June 14. Those examples just scratch the surface for what’s available and what’s still left to come.
Also on Nintendo News: Sakurai Describes How He Remembers Satoru Iwata
But the hard work has taken a toll on Sakurai’s personal life and health. “I constantly consider leaving part of the work to someone else, but there’s just too much to see and handle,” Sakurai said in his column for Japanese video game magazine Famitsu last October. “I’m not depressed and I continue to remain healthy and positive, but developing Smash Bros. is beyond hard.”
Just two months later, in December 2014, he told Game Informer magazine he may be done with Super Smash Bros. altogether. “With both Melee and Brawl, I made those games with the thought that there wouldn’t be any more sequels,” Sakurai said. “Thus, I really can’t deny the chance for another. However, as for myself, I don’t think there will be.”
It’s entirely worth mentioning that Sakurai suffers from a medical condition called calcific tendinitis in his right shoulder, which becomes quite painful at times and hinders his performance.
Whether or not Masahiro Sakurai continues to provide fans with his signature and iconic work in the future is not what’s important; he’s already done so much over the past 25 years. Above all, we just hope he has an enjoyable and relaxing day.
Happy 45th birthday, Mr. Sakurai. And thank you for everything you’ve done.
Update: Sakurai has shared on Twitter what his birthday cake looks like: