The direct impact of Satoru Iwata will be felt at Nintendo – and in the gaming community as a whole – for years to come.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passed away a few days ago after complications from a growth on his bile duct. He was 55 years of age. In recent years, we’ve known him from his humorous appearances in various Nintendo Direct presentations, when he brought information on upcoming games “directly” to us.
Although he has been president for the last 13 years, his career at Nintendo began 30 + years ago as a game developer. He had a hand in making NES titles such as Balloon Fight and NES Open Tournament Golf. In the early 90’s, he became president of HAL Laboratories, the company largely known for the Kirby series. He also had a huge hand in saving Earthbound from cancellation.
On May 31, 2002, he became the 4th president in the over 100 year history of Nintendo, and the first to not bear the bloodline of the Yamuachi family. He is remembered by those who knew him as a kind soul who really cared about gamers. He was – self admittedly – a game developer first and president of a corporation second.
Shigeru Miyamoto, legendary creator of the Super Mario and Legend of Zelda series, said this about Iwata:
I am truly surprised and saddened by this unexpected news. The entire development team at Nintendo will remain committed to our development policy which Mr. Iwata and we have been constructing together and to yield the development results which Mr. Iwata would appreciate.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said this of his mentor:
Mr. Iwata is gone, but it will be years before his impact on both Nintendo and the full video game industry will be fully appreciated. He was a strong leader for our company, and his attributes were clear to most everyone: Intelligence, creativity, curiosity and sense of humor. But for those of us fortunate enough to work closely with him, what will be remembered most were his mentorship and, especially, his friendship. He was a wonderful man. He always challenged us to push forward… to try the new… to upset paradigms-and most of all, to engage, excite and endear our fans. That work will continue uninterrupted.
Both Miyamoto and Fils-Aime make strong statements; Iwata will be missed, and his direct impact on Nintendo will be forever felt.
We here at Just Us Geeks would like to celebrate the life of Iwata by asking you this: What is your favorite game that Iwata had a hand in? Please feel free to comment “directly” below, or on Facebook or Twitter.
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