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.