| Masahiro Sakurai
|Born||August 3, 1970 (age 42)|
|Occupation||Video game director, game designer|
Masahiro Sakurai is the video game creator of the Kirby series and the Super Smash Bros. series. During the development of Super Smash Bros. Melee, he 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 first came up with the concept for Super Smash Bros. in 1998, coming up with the idea for Nintendo characters in a fighting game. He designed the game with HAL Laboratory. Sakurai designed a prototype of the game himself without the permission of the developers, knowing he would not receive permission to do so. The idea was later approved, and Super Smash Bros. was released in Japan in 1999.
Masahiro Sakurai became the head of production for the development of Super Smash Bros. Melee, once again with HAL. As he worked on the game development for 13 months, he called the period of his lifetime "destructive" with no holidays and short weekends.  Sakurai stated that during this time, Hideo Kojima, a close friend of his, "practically begged" for Solid Snake to be included in the game, but it was already too far in development. Solid Snake, was however, included in Brawl. Super Smash Bros. Melee was released in 2001.
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 developed by the company.
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 Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Sakurai 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 for Brawl in Australia was June 26, and Europe saw the game's release a day later, on June 27.
In E3 2011, Iwata announced that Sakurai would be working on the next installment of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS once his team was complete with the development of Kid Icarus: Uprising. In February 21, 2012, Sakurai began development for the Smash games.  He announced that wants the 3DS version to be more of an "individual" and "customizable" experience where, hypothetically, the player could take a customized character and upload it to the Wii U version.
As of February 2013, Sakurai has developed calcific tendonitis near his right shoulder, which causes him pain if he moves his arm. Sakurai mentions that this could substantially slow down his current work, as he does some game testing himself.
 Smash Bros. DOJO!!
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.
On April 14th, 2008, the Smash Bros. DOJO!! no longer updated.
After the E3 2013 presentation of Smash Bros 4, on June 11th, the DOJO reopened as the Super Smash Bros Site giving information of Smash Bros 4.
- The cat on the poster that appears in the house during the ice transformation of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Pokémon Stadium 2 stage is rumored to belong to Sakurai.
- Smash Bros. DOJO!!: Smash Trivia. Nintendo (2008-04-14). Retrieved on 2010-11-17. “Brawl’s director, Masahiro Sakurai, provided the voice for King Dedede.”
- George, Richard. Super Smash Bros Creator: "Melee The Sharpest". IGN.
- Gantayat, Anoop (2012-06-09). Iwata Asks About Smash Bros.. Andriasang. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
- Gifford, Kevin. Why Masahiro Sakurai's bum right arm is hindering work on the new Smash Bros.. Polygon.com. Retrieved on 2013-04-19.