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Kirby Creator Quits

by Michael Cole - August 6, 2003, 2:34 pm PDT
Total comments: 8

The father of the Kirby and Smash Bros. series says goodbye to Nintendo.

In an unexpected move, Masahiro Sakurai has resigned from his position as Director at Nintendo-owned developer HAL Laboratory. First announced in his weekly Famitsu column, Sakurai stated that his departure was his own decision, and that he bears no ill will towards Nintendo or any individuals under its employment. However, other reports mention disagreement between the director and his superiors. According to these articles Sakurai found his creative liberties hindered within Nintendo’s family and its development structure. He explained that he creates games first and foremost for gamers, and not developers or other companies.

Sakurai assured gamers that Kirby will continue to thrive under HAL and Nintendo’s roof, but expressed concern over the future of his beloved Super Smash Bros franchise. Already being offered new opportunities, Sakurai is seriously contemplating freelance work. He is excited at the prospect of collaborating with other creators, and does not currently desire to commit himself to a single company again. PGC wishes Masahiro Sakurai the best as he shares his talent with others in the videogame industry.


thejipsAugust 06, 2003

Am I the only one who is creeped out at the supposition that Nintendo may not have realized both the creative and commercial potential of Super Smash Brothers?

BoB007August 06, 2003

Can someone please put this in terms in which i will understand ?

Bill AurionAugust 06, 2003

Well it's not Ninty's fault that he left...Sakurai said so himself. He just wanted a breath of fresh air.

reyontoyenyAugust 06, 2003

As, a fan of Kirby, I am saddened by this. Hopefully his departure will not hinder the game-making process at Hal.

While I would think one SB game per a console's enough, I certainly wouldn't mind another, since Melee lacked many characters I hoped I would see.

DjunknownAugust 06, 2003

Hmmm...what's the body count of big-wigs leaving their companies? Here's my count:

All four co-founders of Blizzard North; the ones who make Diablo on PC (Not really Nintendo related but still...)

Okamoto-san from Capcom (Street fighter 2 and others)

Masashiro Sakurai, HAL

All stressed that they want to follow their brains, while their respective companies want to follow the money trail. No offense to Kirby, but the Smash Brothers franchise has both creative and finacial potential, milk that one instead. face-icon-small-wink.gif

BonzeemerAugust 07, 2003

Great, now we will never know what Kirby is.
He always jokingly said he never knew.But you
and I know that this is a cover up. He knows.
He will take the secret of Kirby's identity
to his grave.
Maybe thats why Nintendo fired him because he
was going to reveal what Kirby was. I guess
Kirby will always remain a mystery just like
the caramilk mystery. Am I right guys?! I said
am I right?!

Ian SaneAugust 07, 2003

"According to these articles Sakurai found his creative liberties hindered within Nintendo’s family and its development structure."

I don't like that statement. I've always defended Nintendo as a company that supports creativity and originality and to hear that a major director has left because of having his creativity limited is disappointing. Nintendo lately has been relying a little too much on their "proven" franchises and I think it would be a good idea to allow their developers to show their true strengths and create something unique. I think both the developers and the fans need a breath of fresh air. Not every game has to have Mario in it.

MakAugust 07, 2003

Besides Smash Bros. and Kirby, has HAL really been working on anything else for the last several years?

I'd like to see HAL revive their Adventures of Lolo series, even if its only a GBA rerelease of the 3 NES games, I haven't played those in so long and haven't noticed them used at my local EB. Lolo and Lala have been idling their time with cameos in a few Kirby games since their glory days.

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