Masahiro Sakurai
Image: Nintendo

Masahiro Sakurai, creator and director of the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series, turns 50 years old today, 3rd August.

One of Sakurai's earliest career highlights came when he was just 19 years old, designing our favourite pink blob Kirby and directing the character's first ever game, Kirby's Dream Land. Since then, he's perhaps become best-known for his work on the Super Smash Bros. franchise and now regularly hosts presentations aimed towards its biggest, most dedicated fans.

Currently, he's simultaneously working on new content for Smash Ultimate, leading his company Sora, and writing a weekly column for Japanese magazine Famitsu. He's reached a celebrity status that few game developers ever achieve, to a point where he can't even discuss which games he's playing anymore and where fans make an effort to figure out where he bought his furniture.

Sakurai-san took to social media today to thanks fans for their birthday wishes.

He's a hugely popular figure in the Nintendo community, and indeed on this very site. Feel free to share your own well wishes for Sakurai in the comments below.