Yoshio Sakamoto

Yoshio Sakamoto (Japanese: 坂本 賀勇, Hepburn: Sakamoto Yoshio) (born July 23, 1959) is a Japanese video game designer, director, and producer. He has worked at Nintendo since 1982. He has directed several games in the Metroid series. He is one of the most prominent members of Nintendo's former Research and Development 1 division, along with Gunpei Yokoi and Toru Osawa.

Yoshio Sakamoto
坂本 賀勇
Yoshio Sakamoto - Game Developers Conference 2010 - Day 3 (2) cropped.jpg
Yoshio Sakamoto at the Game Developers Conference 2010
Born (1959-07-23) July 23, 1959 (age 62)
Alma materOsaka University of Arts
OccupationVideo game designer, director, producer
Years active1982–present
Notable work
Famicom Detective Club
Rhythm Tengoku
TitleManager at Nintendo SPD Production Group No. 1 (2004-2012)
Deputy Manager at Nintendo SPD (2012-2015)
Senior Officer at Nintendo EPD (2015-present)


Sakamoto is a key member in the development of the Metroid series. Sakamoto grew up with Nintendo toys, which he felt were inventive.[1] The company hired him in 1982, when he graduated from art college. His first projects at Nintendo were the design of pixel art for the Game & Watch handheld Donkey Kong, and the arcade game Donkey Kong Jr.[2] He turned to the Nintendo Entertainment System afterward, for which he designed the games Wrecking Crew, Balloon Fight and Gumshoe. Sakamoto also was the lead scenario writer and creator of Famicom Detective Club with its two entries, one of the most influential visual novel in Japan in the 80s.[2]

Sakamoto created characters for Metroid (under the alias 'Shikamoto'), and was a game designer on Kid Icarus.[3][4][5] He also directed Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid: Other M, and was the producer for Metroid: Samus Returns and Metroid Dread.[6][7] Sakamoto's design work is also found in Nintendo games including Balloon Kid (1990), Game & Watch Gallery (1997), Wario Land 4 (2001), and WarioWare.


Sakamoto has stated that he wants to live up to public expectations of Nintendo to deliver products similarly unique to those of his youth, describing WarioWare, Inc. as an example. Regarding his professional relationship with Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto, he believes his mission is not to compete with but to "always come up with something very different from what Mr. Miyamoto is likely to do".[1]


Year Game title Role
1982 Donkey Kong Graphic designer
Donkey Kong Jr.
1983 Snoopy
Mario's Bombs Away
1984 Balloon Fight
Wrecking Crew Designer
1986 Gumshoe
Kid Icarus Game designer
1987 Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School Director, game designer, scenario writer
1988 Famicom Tantei Club: Kieta Kōkeisha Scenario writer
1989 Famicom Tantei Club Part II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shōjo
1990 Balloon Kid Director
1992 X
Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Scenario writer
1994 Super Metroid Director
1995 Teleroboxer
1997 Game & Watch Gallery Advisor
1998 Game Boy Camera Additional Staff
2000 Trade & Battle: Card Hero Director, Game designer, Scenario writer
2001 Wario Land 4 Supervisor[8]
2002 Metroid Fusion Chief director, Scenario writer, Story
2003 Wario World Advisor
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! Supervisor
2004 WarioWare: Twisted! Producer
WarioWare: Touched! Producer, Game designer
Metroid: Zero Mission Director
2006 WarioWare: Smooth Moves Producer, Game designer
Rhythm Tengoku
2007 Picross DS Supervisor
Kousoku Card Battle: Card Hero
2008 Rhythm Heaven General producer
2009 WarioWare: D.I.Y. Producer
Tomodachi Collection
2010 Metroid: Other M Director, producer, story
2011 Rhythm Heaven Fever General Producer
2012 Kiki Trick Supervisor
2013 Game & Wario Producer, Game designer
Tomodachi Life Producer
2015 Rhythm Heaven Megamix General producer
2016 Miitomo Producer
Metroid Prime: Federation Force Special advisor
2017 Metroid: Samus Returns Producer
2021 Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir Original Game Design, Scenario, Supervision, Producer
Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind
Metroid Dread Producer


  1. ^ a b "Exclusive: Metroid designer Yoshio Sakamoto speaks!". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. Future Publishing Limited. September 1, 2003. Archived from the original on June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Kohler, Chris (April 7, 2010). "Q&A: Metroid Creator's Early 8-Bit Days at Nintendo". Wired: GameLife. Condé Nast Digital. Archived from the original on April 25, 2010. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  3. ^ "GDC 2010 Online Press Kit – Yoshio Sakamoto Bio". Nintendo of America Inc. March 2010. Archived from the original on August 6, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  4. ^ "Metroid (1986) NES credits". MobyGames. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  5. ^ やればやるほどディスクシステムインタビュー(前編). Nintendo Dream (in Japanese). Mainichi Communications Inc. (118): 96–103. August 6, 2004.
  6. ^ "Iwata Asks – Metroid: Other M – Nintendo". Nintendo of Europe GmbH. August 26, 2010. Archived from the original on January 14, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  7. ^ "Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi Talks Ninja Gaiden 3". G4 Media, Inc. September 21, 2011. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Nintendo R&D1 (2001). Wario Land 4. Nintendo. Scene: Credits.

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