Today is a sullen day to head back to work, not only for us the consumer and fan, but for the co-workers, the competitors and the friends and family of Mr. Satoru Iwata. Over the weekend news broke that Mr. Iwata, CEO of Nintendo Co., Ltd., had passed away due to a bile duct growth which he was previously treated for. Iwata, age 55, was beloved by many for his openness to discuss with the fans and his great respect for the medium. His ‘Ask Iwata’s’ garnered him respect from the consumer base like no other, his trademark laugh kept the Nintendo Directs entertaining, and the antics the senior management got up to made even the most curmudgeonly person smirk. Who couldn’t laugh at Muppet versions of Iwata and Reggie.
On a personal level, I have muddled feelings which sit in the pit of my stomach like an anchor. I did not know Mr. Iwata, though my ‘claim to fame’ may be that I got his street pass at this years E3, but that does not gain me insight into the man’s life. So on that side of this ‘coin’ I should feel saddened at his loss in a general sense and wish his family and friends my condolences as a fan.
When we flip this coin over though, a deep sadness rush’s in to submerge that anchor. As a developer he created some incredible games and characters. He worked on Earthbound and the Kirby series, as well as having influence on The Legend of Zelda and Mario Kart. These games, in particular Zelda, were monumental pieces of my childhood, and have stuck with me for almost thirty years. They helped shape my imagination, creation, and sense of character as I saved the world, resuced the princess and red-shelled my friends in all night gaming sessions.
I am not the only one who feels this sense of loss. Over on DualShokcers, they compiled a list of friends, competitors and industry veterans that have all been touched in some way by the work Mr. Iwata did. He brought joy in many forms to many people around the world and he will be sorely missed.
As I said above, I do not know Mr. Iwata personally but I feel like he has made a lasting impact on my life, and I will do my small part to honor his memory, and keep the fun in everything I do.
Rest in Peace Satoru Iwata