Koichi Hayashida has long worked behind the scenes at Nintendo EAD as a pre-production planner before directing Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat in 2004. He later took the helm for Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 as well as Super Mario 3D Land.
Hayashida entered Nintendo through the Nintendo Game Seminar 1992 exhibition where he programmed and directed Joy Mech Fight. Nintendo ended up publishing the game, and Hayashida and other participants were asked to join the company. Hayashida worked on prototypes for a few years before working on his first big project programming Super Mario Sunshine. After its completion, Hayashida and several other members of the team were transplanted to the newly assembled EAD Tokyo Software Development Department lead by Shigeru Miyamoto.1