Yoshio Sakamoto, Director of the the majority of Nintendo-developed Metroid games, will speak at the Game Developers Conference this year. Sakamoto also happens to be the Director of my favourite Metroid game, and the game that (if pressed) I might call my favourite game of all time: Super Metroid.
The Metroid Database has an extensive feature article about Yoshio Sakamoto:
Sakamoto has become a kind of enigmatic director at Nintendo to outsiders, being overshadowed by the work of Miyamoto and Miyamoto’s apprentice, Eiji Aonuma (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess). In some cases, Sakamoto’s role has been overlooked or underemphasized and credited to Gumpei Yokoi, who served mainly as the producer or supervisor of Sakamoto’s games rather than as a creative director. So Sakamoto is Nintendo’s ‘other’ director, one of the most creative men in the company, yet also one of the least known, considering his body of work. As such, he has not been as widely sought out by the press, but his recent work with Other M is likely to change that, catapulting him into the spotlight.
The in-depth article details Sakamoto’s many years of experience at Nintendo, design philosophies and approaches, and discusses the background of Super Metroid‘s development. It’s a really interesting read, particularly since Sakamoto is not as high profile a creative director as other Nintendo luminaries.