Kensuke Tanabe
田邊 賢輔
Tanabe at E3 2013
Born (1963-01-26) January 26, 1963 (age 61)
Alma materOsaka University of Arts
Occupation(s)Video game producer, designer
Years active1986–present
Notable workSuper Mario
The Legend of Zelda
Metroid Prime
TitleManager at Nintendo SPD Production Group No. 3 (2004–2015)
Manager at Nintendo EPD Production Group No. 6 (2015–2019)
Senior Officer at Nintendo EPD (2019–present)

Kensuke Tanabe (田邊 賢輔, Tanabe Kensuke, born January 26, 1963)[2] is a Japanese video game producer and designer working for Nintendo, where he currently is Senior Officer at Nintendo EPD.

After he had graduated from the Visual Concept Planning Department of Osaka University of Arts, he decided to enter the video game industry, and joined Nintendo in April 1986.[1][3]

At first, Tanabe was part of the Entertainment Analysis and Development division.[4] He directed the platform games Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and Super Mario Bros. 2, and worked on the scripts for the action-adventures The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.[3][4] In 2003, Tanabe moved to the Software Planning and Development division, where he became the manager of Production Group No. 3.[1][4] Since then, he has become a producer, and has managed and overseen the development of external developed first party Nintendo video games, such as Metroid Prime, Donkey Kong Country, Paper Mario, Chibi-Robo and other series.[3]


Year Game Credit(s)
1987 Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic Director, course design
1988 Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3 Course design
1991 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Scenario writer
1993 The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
1994 Stunt Race FX Map design
Kirby's Dream Course
Donkey Kong Country Additional support
1995 Kirby's Avalanche Nintendo staff
Kirby's Dream Land 2 Map design
Kirby's Block Ball Supervisor
1996 Super Mario RPG Screenplay advisor
Kirby Super Star Advisor
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Japanese text translation
BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge Original design
1998 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Script Support
1999 Pokémon Snap Supervisor
2000 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards Assistant manager
2001 Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! Advisor
Super Mario Advance Supervisor
Magical Vacation Advisor
2002 Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest Supervisor
Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak Advisor
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem Supervisor
Metroid Prime Co-producer
2003 GiFTPiA Supervisor
Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue Advisor
2004 Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Supervisor
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Producer
2005 Star Fox: Assault Project management
Kirby: Canvas Curse Producer
Battalion Wars
Metroid Prime Pinball
Super Mario Strikers
Tottoko Hamtaro Nazo Nazo Q Kumonoue no ? Jou
2006 Mother 3
Magical Starsign
Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Custom Robo Arena
Kirby: Squeak Squad
Excite Truck
Metroid Prime Hunters
2007 Super Paper Mario
Mario Strikers Charged
Chibi-Robo!: Park Patrol
Battalion Wars 2
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
2008 Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Captain Rainbow
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir
Kirby Super Star Ultra
2009 Picross 3D
Picturebook Games: Pop-Up Pursuit
Bonsai Barber
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
Okaeri! Chibi Robo! Happy Richie Dai Souji
Irodzuki Tingle no Koi no Balloon Trip
Rock N' Roll Climber
Metroid Prime: Trilogy
Art Academy
Picturebook Games: The Royal Bluff
Excitebike: World Rally
Eco Shooter: Plant 530
A Kappa's Trail
Excitebots: Trick Racing
2010 Aura-Aura Climber Associate producer
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! Producer
Donkey Kong Country Returns
2011 Pilotwings Resort
Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident
Kirby Mass Attack Senior producer
Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! Producer
2012 Kirby's Dream Collection
Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone!
Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive!
Dillon's Rolling Western
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Sing Party
2013 Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Special advisor
Game & Wario Directing support, game design
Dillon's Rolling Western: The Last Ranger Producer
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder
2014 Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Producer
2015 Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars Supervisor
Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash Producer
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Supervisor
2016 Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge Producer
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Paper Mario: Color Splash
2018 Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers
WarioWare Gold
Luigi's Mansion
2019 Luigi's Mansion 3
2020 Paper Mario: The Origami King
2021 WarioWare: Get It Together!
Super Nintendo World Creative director
2022 Mario Strikers: Battle League Producer
2023 Metroid Prime Remastered
WarioWare: Move It!
TBA Metroid Prime 4


  1. ^ a b c "Biographical Information: Kensuke Tanabe" (PDF). Nintendo of America, Inc. June 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 1, 2011.
  2. ^ 「ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島」開発スタッフ名鑑. Nintendo Official Guide Book – The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (in Japanese). Shogakukan Inc. July 1993. p. 120. ISBN 4-09-102448-3.
  3. ^ a b c クリエイターズファイル 第101回. (in Japanese). February 10, 2003. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "E3 2004: Metroid Prime 2 Interview". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. May 12, 2004. Archived from the original on December 16, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2011.