R.I.P Satoru Iwata (1959 – 2015)

Morning everyone. So I woke up this morning to catch up on all the news from over the weekend, but instead was met with the sad news of the passing of Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata at the age of 55.

Nintendo released a short statement on their site, which read:

Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.

Today’s entry will be dedicated to Satoru Iwata.

Iwata-san’s early career was spent working as a programmer at HAL Laboratory — a game developer that often worked closely with Nintendo. During the 80’s he worked on such games as Ballon Fight and Earthbound. He is also attributed for the success of the Kirby games. Roll forward to the 90s and Iwata-san then helped developed some of my favourite Nintendo games of all time — Pokemon Gold & Silver for the Gameboy Color.

In 2000 Iwata-san took up a position as Director at Nintendo, before becoming only the fourth President of Nintendo in 2002 — after Hiroshi Yamauchi stepped down.

During his time with Nintendo Iwata-san was responsible so some of the company’s biggest successes, with the way he revolutionised the way we as gamers interact. The most noticeable instances of these are the Wii and DS. Unfortunately he also experienced some of their toughest times, with the tough launch of the Wii U.

Nintendo has not yet made any decision on who will be the next president but, in the meantime, Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto will jointly run the company.

When trying to summarise such a great man into one sentence, I found the perfect quote that Satoru Iwata gave during his keynote speech at GDC in 2005:

On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.

What a wonderful quote, and one that shows just how much Iwata-san cared for gaming. I know I have spoken before about not being Nintendo’s biggest fan, but I sure do respect what they did for gaming, and Satoru Iwata was at the heart of it.

Thank you Satoru Iwata and may you finally find that princess in the castle in the sky.

Matt