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Masahiro Sakurai

aka: 桜井 政博

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Masahiro Sakurai (桜井政博 Sakurai Masahiro) (born August 3, 1970) is a game concept designer, the creative force behind both the Kirby and the Super Smash Bros. series on Nintendo platforms, and wrote a weekly column for Famitsu magazine.

Sakurai resigned from his position at HAL Laboratory, Inc. on August 5th, 2003. Reasons for his departure are said to be because he was seeking more freedom and wasn't happy with the structure that was present at HAL Laboratory. Most of all, however, Sakurai grew tired of the sequelization of the industry and at HAL.

"It was tough for me to see that every time I made a new game, people automatically assumed that a sequel was coming," he said on August 26th, 2003, in an interview with Nintendo Dream, two weeks after his resignation from HAL Laboratory. "Even if it's a sequel, lots of people have to give their all to make a game, but some people think the sequel process happens naturally." He has publicly stated that he wishes HAL to continue working on the Kirby series. His resignation came just days after an interview where he openly criticized Nintendo for circumstances surrounding the development of the GameCube racer Kirby Air Ride.

After his departure from HAL, Sakurai began working with Q Entertainment, along with Tetsuya Mizuguchi. This collaboration resulted in Meteos, a unique puzzle game for the Nintendo DS.

In 2005, Sakurai formed his own company, Sora. Two titles were announced to be in development, one of which, "Kid Icarus: Uprising", was released in March 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS. However, Project Sora shut down on June 30, 2012.

As to the future of Super Smash Bros., ex-HAL member and current President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, during the Nintendo E³ 2005 press conference, promised an online iteration of the game to come with Nintendo's next videogame console, then code-named the Nintendo Revolution (a system later renamed the Nintendo Wii).

In the issue #885 of Famitsu magazine, Sakurai confirmed that Iwata asked him to be the director of the new Super Smash Bros. game for the Nintendo Wii. The game was released on January 31, 2008 in Japan and March 8 in North America and features online play. Sakurai, with the help of Namco Bandai, is also working on two further installments in the series, to be released on the WiiU and 3DS.

Credited on 23 games

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Super Meat Boy Forever (2020 on Windows) Super Special Thanks
Scrappers (2020 on iPhone) Special Thanks
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018 on Nintendo Switch) Director
Breach & Clear: Deadline Rebirth (2015 on Windows) Special Thanks
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014 on Wii U) Director
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (2014 on Nintendo 3DS) Director
Kid Icarus: Uprising (2012 on Nintendo 3DS) Director & Scenario
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008 on Wii) Director
Meteos: Disney Magic (2007 on Nintendo DS) Meteos Original Game Design
Meteos (2005 on Nintendo DS) Game Design
Def Jam: Fight for NY (2004 on Xbox) EA Thanks
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (2004 on Game Boy Advance) Special Advisor
Kirby Air Ride (2003 on GameCube) General Director
Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland (2002 on Game Boy Advance) Chief Director
Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi (2002 on Game Boy Advance) Special Thanks
Super Smash Bros.: Melee (2001 on GameCube) Chief Director
Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble (2000 on Game Boy Color) Special Thanks
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000 on Nintendo 64) Voice Actors
Super Smash Bros. (1999 on Nintendo 64) Director
Kirby Super Star (1996 on SNES) Director

[ full credits ]

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Masahiro Sakurai
Source: Famitsu

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