Masahiro Sakurai (桜井 政博 Sakurai Masahiro) is a Japanese video game developer, directer, and writer. The owner of Sora Ltd. and former HAL Laboratory employee, he is best known as the creator of the Kirby series, and creator and current director of the Super Smash Bros. series.
Sakurai continued to work at HAL and direct titles until August 2003, when he announced his resignation from the company, becoming a freelance developer. He cited the circumstances surrounding development of his most recent title, Kirby Air Ride, as the reason for his departure, criticizing both Nintendo and the industry as a whole for the increased focus on game sequels (later coining the term "sequelization").
After his departure, Sakurai worked with Tetsuya Mizuguchi and Q Entertainment to develop Meteos, a Nintendo DS puzzle game released in 2005. Later, on September 30, 2005, he announced the formation of his own company, Sora Ltd.; rather than develop its own games, Sora was founded as a way of contracting Sakurai for work on other companies' games. Around the same time, Sakurai also became a writer for Famitsu Weekly, writing his own weekly column mostly about his experiences both playing and developing games.
Works published by Nintendo
|Game||Year||Console||Role / credit|
|Kirby's Dream Land||1992||Game Boy||Director / Chief Designer|
|Kirby's Adventure||1993||NES||Director, Designer|
|Kirby Super Star||1996||SNES||Director|
|Super Smash Bros.||1999||Nintendo 64||Director (Game Design, Planning, Direction, Motion Coaching, Kirby Original Design)|
|Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards||2000||Nintendo 64||Voice actor|
|Super Smash Bros. Melee||2001||Nintendo GameCube||Chief Director (Planning / Game Design, Motion, Movie & Game Direction, Data Design / Figure Explanations, Character Design for Kirby)|
|Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land||2002||Game Boy Advance||Director|
|Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade||2002||Game Boy Advance||Special Thanks|
|Kirby Air Ride||2003||Nintendo GameCube||Director|
|Kirby & the Amazing Mirror||2004||Game Boy Advance||Special Advisor|
|Super Smash Bros. Brawl||2008||Wii||Director, Character Voice*|
|Kid Icarus: Uprising||2012||Nintendo 3DS||Director & Scenario|
|Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS||2014||Nintendo 3DS||Director, Character Voice*|
|Super Smash Bros. for Wii U||2014||Wii U||Director, Character Voice*|
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||2018||Nintendo Switch|