Yesterday, Nintendo formally announced the passing of President and CEO Satoru Iwata. While not exactly an industry legend on par with Shigeru Miyamoto or even as big a quirky fan favorite as Reggie Fils-Aimé, Iwata, along with both the aforementioned, rounded out Nintendo’s own Holy Trinity of larger-than-life personalities.
A HAL Laboratory alum who helped oversee the beloved Mother and Kirby series, he moved to Nintendo in 2000, becoming President in 2002 and CEO of Nintendo of America in 2013. At the helm during many of the company’s recent successes (and even more recent sales shortcomings), Satoru Iwata put a genuine, human face on Nintendo’s corporate culture.
His smiling countenance and labored, less than perfect English were staples of the Nintendo Direct experience, and that is surely where fans will feel his absence henceforth.
While Iwata missed last year’s E3–amid related health concerns–he was a part of this year’s presentation… in Muppet form, no less. And that’s how I’ll remember him, another perfectly quirky piece in one of gaming’s most enduring companies.
GeekDad extends deepest sympathies to his family, friends, esteemed coworkers, and all those touched by his death.
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.
–Satoru Iwata, 2005