Masahiro Sakurai, whose Japanese name is 桜 井 政 博, was born on 3 August 1970. He is an important Japanese voice developer, creator, writer, videogame director, designer and actor. His most notable creations as a game developer include Kirby and Super Smash Bros., both series created and developed in his charge with the famous Hal laboratory, a Nintendo subsidiary. He continued his work on Super Smash Bros. series under Sora Ltd., a company he founded after leaving Hal Lab in 2003.
He is a famed and important Japanese game developer, writer, director and designer who founded the important and renowned games known as Kirby and Super Smash Bros, both created in his Hal laboratory, a Nintendo subsidiary.
One of Sakurai’s first experiences in video game industry began when he worked for HAL Labs, Inc. It was here that he created the Kirby character, when he was just 19 years old, and after that, he would find himself directing his first title, Kirby’s Dream Land. Sakurai had first thought of the Super Smash Bros concept, around 1998; his original idea consisted of a fighting game with different techniques that standard fighters had to use. The game, which was known as Dragon King: The Fighting Game, was destined to be released on Nintendo 64.
However, Sakurai decided that introducing more Nintendo characters would give the game a more suitable atmosphere than it had previously. The final product, Super Smash Bros., became an unexpected success, and eventually became one of the world’s best-selling Nintendo 64 games. He also worked with Q Entertainment alongside Tetsuya Mizuguchi and together they created Meteos in 2005, a unique puzzle game for the Nintendo DS brand.
During the Nintendo GameCube launch, Sakurai was named production manager for Super Smash Bros. development at HAL Laboratory. Sometime later, on September 30, 2005, Sakurai announced that he had formed his own company, which he called Sora. Sakurai’s wife, Michiko Sakurai, has worked on the graphical user interface of their games, including Kirby Air Ride, Meteos and the Super Smash Bros. series.
His style was based on making a game completely different from all the others; not with the combat combo, and with the simultaneous play of four players and for this reason his style included several characters from several Nintendo franchises. His style is also based on the number of objects, rewards, scenarios and characters that possess his games, with a lot of bonuses and characters skills. Use multiplayer mode to get more levels, managing to capture the player’s interest while trying to make new discoveries and test new elements.
He looks for a way for the player to adapt to his abilities, to overcome different types of situations that arise unexpectedly. Performs processes in which arms and disarms the structure of an existing traditional game seeking to find the nucleus of fun and then, based on this, creates a new product more fun and different from conventional. In some of his games, he gives a greater focus on speed and reflection instead of the concentration a player should have.
The Minister of Commerce and Economy gave him recognition for his contributions to gaming industry. The award was decided by vote and was presented to Sakurai by the Minister of the Cabinet himself. Other recognitions won by Sakurai have been:
His game version for 3DS and Wii U received awards for excellence, while Smash Brothers combined for Wii U and 3DS received the award for the Japanese Global project. This award was given because of the enormous support their work received from players around the world.
His most outstanding games not only in Japan, but worldwide are: