Super Smash Bros. Composer Kenichi Okuma Dead at 56


Okuma has created several compositions and arrangements for Super Smash Bros. Brawl which will then be used in Ultimate.

Unfortunate news hit the gaming industry today as a notable composer passed away. Kenichi Okuma has worked on music for several games throughout his career as a composer, including music for the Super Smash Bros. franchise. used in several games. However, Kenichi Okuma was also recently battling cancer and sadly succumbed to his disease. The composer has officially passed away at the age of 56.

Okuma’s death was announced via his Personal Twitter per family. According to the Twitter post, Okuma was dealing with esophageal cancer and, on July 22, 2022, died of the disease. Okuma’s family wrote that he would have a private funeral, but thanked everyone who appreciated his music during his career. When the news broke, Masahiro Sakurai, director of Super Smash Bros. rang in the Twitter feed to offer condolences and share that Okuma’s music wasn’t just used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but also in Ultimate, and that his legacy would live on in those games.

“Best wishes for your soul… Thank you for your support in ‘Smash Bros. X’, but there are songs that will be used in later series,” Sakurai wrote, roughly translated.


Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai wishes the soul and family of late composer Kenichi Okuma well.
Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai took the time to offer his best wishes to Kenichi Okuma and his family after his passing.
Source: Twitter


Okuma’s works were best known in Super Smash Bros. Brawl where he contributed to the following arrangements:

  • Pokémon Gym / Evolution (Pokémon Red/Pokémon Blue)
  • Flat area 2
  • Gyromite

However, Kenichi Okuma’s work also went beyond Smash Bros. He has contributed to a number of Japanese games. However, he was also the composer of Langrisser V: The End of the Legend back on the Sega Saturn in 1998. Kenichi Okuma’s contributions may have been in the background, but his music was still pretty good for the most part.

Shacknews joins the industry in wishing Kenichi Okuma and his family well during this difficult time.

News editor-in-chief

TJ Denzer is a gamer and writer with a lifelong passion for games. He found his way to Shacknews’ roster in late 2019 and has been working his way to senior news editor ever since. In between news coverage, he also helps out with livestreaming projects like Indie-licious focused on indie gaming, Shacknews Stimulus Games and Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at [email protected] and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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