It was after coming home from a concert that I found out about the passing of Satoru Iwata, President and CEO of Nintendo. I’d been riding a sort of emotional high after attending the show and felt like the evening had gone well. After logging on to twitter and seeing the outpouring of support for Iwata’s family and friends, I realized what had happened. Needless to say, I like may others was sad and shocked to hear the news.
While I like so many of us never met the man in person, to say that gamers aren’t feeling the loss of this great man is an understatement. From fan art to moving video tributes, fans of not just Nintendo, but gaming as a whole, have expressed their gratitude of the accomplishments of a true visionary. Iwata wasn’t just an executive who merely oversaw his company from high up the corporate ladder, he got involved with his business and was a prime example of someone who believed in the company he worked for. From a programmer working for HAL Laboratories Inc to eventually becoming president and CEO of Nintendo, his portfolio of games and technologies that he assisted in developing is amazing. To list a few of the major titles he worked on: Earthbound, Pokemon Gold and Silver, Super Smash Brothers, Animal Crossing, and much more. Many consider his use of the “blue ocean” philosophy in gaming lead to the creation of what would eventually become the casual gaming market.
What’s more amazing is through looking back on his amazing career, you see a man who has helped not only define a generation of gaming, but also inspired a generation of designers, artists, and programmers to strive and push the envelope when it comes to games. For me personally, what I’ll miss most is his perseverance and his beliefs that no matter how bad things might get, it’s important to stick through things to the end.
To quote Iwata-san from his speech at the 2005 Game Developer’s Conference
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.
With all the love and support that fans and members of the gaming industry have been showing in wake of his passing, it goes without saying that he will be truly missed.
Thank you Mr. Iwata.