Masahiro Sakurai (JP) (born August 3, 1970) is a video game developer, best known as the creator of Kirby and the main creative force behind the Super Smash Bros. series.


In 1989, Sakurai started working at HAL Laboratory. While there, he created the game Kirby's Dream Land and the character Kirby. He worked on more Kirby titles until he conceived and directed the original Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64.

After his further work on titles like Super Smash Bros. Melee and Kirby Air Ride, he resigned from HAL Laboratory on August 5, 2003, since he was seeking more freedom and was not happy with the structure of HAL, or the sequelization of the industry. After leaving HAL, Sakurai began working with Q Entertainment with Tetsuya Muzuguchi, which resulted in the creation of Meteos, a game for the Nintendo DS.

On September 30, 2005, he founded Sora, Ltd., a freelance video game company. Despite his departure from HAL, he still kept directing the following entries in the Smash Bros. series, as well as Kid Icarus: Uprising. His wife, Michiko Sakurai, has designed the menus and UI of several of his games. He also writes a weekly column in the Famitsu magazine.

Sakurai has also provided the voice of King Dedede in Kirby 64 and the Super Smash Bros. series. In the main Kirby series, he was replaced by Shinya Kumazaki.


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