Motoi Sakuraba (桜庭 統, Sakuraba Motoi, born August 5, 1965) is a Japanese composer and keyboardist who is working on music for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes.
Sakuraba was born in Akita Prefecture, Japan. While attending Meiji University, Sakuraba began to take music composition seriously, and eventually formed the progressive rock band "Clashed Ice" in 1984. After graduating the following year, they ending up signing with Made in Japan Records.
In late 1989, Sakuraba began working as a composer for Wolf Team. The professional friendships formed here in Sakuraba's early years resulted in a great demand for his composing and arranging abilities. In 1994, former Wolf Team director and composer Uno Masaki started working at Camelot Software Planning as a coordinator and sound director, developing games for Sony, Sega and Nintendo. Sakuraba has been called upon as a composer for many Camelot games, including all of the games in the Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, and Golden Sun series.
In 1995, Wolf Team developed the breakthrough game Tales of Phantasia for Namco. This and other early games in the Tales series primarily featured Sakuraba and fellow Wolf Team co-worker Tamura Shinji as composers. Also in 1995, former Wolf Team director and producer Asanuma Jun founded tri-Ace with financial backing from Enix. The Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile games have been their keystone productions. Sakuraba has been the composer for nearly all of their games, with only a few exceptions.
In 1999, long time Sakuraba sound designer and programmer Hatsushiba Hiroya, a former member of Wolf Team and tri-Ace, founded tri-Crescendo. While initially continuing to contribute sound work to tri-Ace games, tri-Crescendo began game development in 2001. Together with Monolith Soft, tri-Crescendo started working on Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean; Namco provided the financial backing. Hatsushiba, as director and main programmer of the project, again called upon Sakuraba's composing services. This has extended to the sequel, Baten Kaitos Origins, and Eternal Sonata. The remnants of Wolf Team later morphed into the Namco Telenet joint subsidiary Namco Tales Studio in 2003.
In more recent years, Sakuraba has continued to write music for games in franchises he has worked with before, including Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Mario Tennis Open, Mario Golf: World Tour, and many Tales series games, including Hearts, Graces, Xillia, Xillia 2, Zestiria, and Berseria. He has also contributed to other well known games such as the Dark Souls series, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Phantasy Star Nova.
In June 2015, Sakuraba performed at the Tales of Festival at the Yokohama Arena, being the first time he performed tracks from the Tales series at a live event. A selection of Sakuraba's music from the Dark Souls and Tales series was performed live at the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris in February 2017. The event, known as "Orchestral Memories", featured a guest appearance by Sakuraba. The 2020 Tales of Festival featured an original song by him called "Endless Journey", dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the series.
On August 27, 2020, it was announced that Sakuraba would be contributing to the soundtrack for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes.