| Masahiro Sakurai
Sakurai in 2008
|Born||August 3, 1970 (age 41)|
|Occupation||Video game director, game designer|
During the development of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Masahiro Sakurai (creator of the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series) maintained a site called "Smabura-Ken" for Japanese visitors. After the announcement of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a new site similar to Smabura-Ken was announced, titled Smash Bros. Dojo. Unlike Smabura-Ken, Smash Bros. Dojo was made available in both English and Japanese, although the Japanese version of the site has featured certain elements not present in the English version. Later added to the site were American English and British English versions, as well as Spanish, French, German, and Italian once the site was revamped.
He is also the author for the weekly columns of Famitsu Weekly.
One of Sakurai's earliest experiences in the video game industry began when he worked for HAL Laboratory, Inc. It is there that he created the character Kirby at the age of 19. He would soon direct his first title, Kirby's Dream Land.
Sakurai resigned from his position at HAL Laboratory, Inc. on August 5, 2003, leading many to believe that the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series would cease to continue. Reasons for his departure are said to be because he was seeking more freedom and was not 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," said Masahiro Sakurai on August 26, 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."
His resignation came just days after an interview where he openly criticized the company for circumstances surrounding the development of the Nintendo GameCube racer Kirby Air Ride. He has publicly stated that he wishes HAL to continue working on the Kirby series. It is known that Masahiro Sakurai holds no resentment towards his past at HAL Laboratory, or his old characters. To this day, Sakurai's signature is a Kirby face.
After his departure with HAL in August 2003, Sakurai began working with Q Entertainment, along with Tetsuya Mizuguchi. This collaboration resulted in Meteos, a unique puzzle game for the Nintendo DS.
On September 30 2005, Sakurai announced that he had formed his own company, Sora Ltd. Two titles have been announced to be in development, one of which is Kid Icarus: Uprising.
As for the future of the Super Smash Bros. series, former HAL Laboratory President and current President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, during the Nintendo E3 2005 press conference, promised an online iteration of the game would come to Nintendo's video game console, Wii. In issue #885 of Famitsu magazine, Sakurai first revealed that he would be serving as a director and game designer on Nintendo's highly anticipated game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, for the console.
Sakurai had completed development of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He developed the game, despite personnel borrowed from Game Arts being put in charge of preliminary development of it. Brawl was released on January 31, 2008 in Japan and was released on March 9, 2008 in North America. The release date in Europe was June 27, and for Australia it was June 26, one day earlier.
Smash Bros. DOJO!!Edit
Sakurai created a site in the form of a blog for information regarding Super Smash Bros. Brawl called Smash Bros. DOJO!!. Every weekday, he updated the site with updates about characters, stages, modes, and much more.
As of April 14th, 2008, the Smash Bros. DOJO!! is no longer updated daily.
- In the Pokemon Stadium 2 stage in Brawl, if the player looks inside the house that appears during the ice transformation, they will see a cat that is rumored to be Sakurai's.