Masahiro Sakurai was once an employee of HAL Laboratory, Inc., a second-party video game developer for Nintendo. It was here at HAL where he being 19, created Kirby. He would also develop Super Smash Bros. and its sequel. Sakurai also ran a column for Weekly Famitsu from 2002 to 2021; it is the longest-running column in the publication run by a game developer. Sakurai resigned from HAL on August 5, 2003 mostly out of belief that both video game industry and gamers believed in a sequel to every game HAL released.
After his resignation from HAL, he worked at Q Entertainment, another game developer and designer. Afterward, Sakurai announced the formation of his own company, Sora Ltd., which functions as a shell company for Sakurai to conduct business. Along with other companies, they produced the highly-anticipated Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the third game to the Super Smash Bros. games. Sakurai began a first-party studio, Project Sora, which is owned by Nintendo and Sora Ltd. Project Sora closed on June 30, 2012, though Sora Ltd. remains.
After completing Kid Icarus: Uprising on the Nintendo 3DS, Sakurai teamed up with Namco Bandai to develop Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, with both titles being released in most regions at the end of 2014.
On August 23, 2022, Sakurai started a YouTube series, Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games, with the stated goal "to try and help make games around the world a little more fun". In this series, Sakurai discusses a variety of topics related to game development and production, as well as his work as a game designer and director. This series is available in both English and Japanese.