It was a sad day for gamers everywhere yesterday, when legendary Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passed away at the age of 55. The Japanese video game company released a statement which reads:
“Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth”.
Nintendo President dies, aged 55
It was in 2014 that Nintendo announced Iwata would not attend the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo show due to his health, and he had surgery shortly after. In November he said via Twitter that he was progressing well and thanked hospital staff.
Iwata was originally a programmer for Nintendo’s HAL Laboratory in the 1980s where he worked on games such as Balloon Fight, EarthBound and the popular Kirby games. He became the head of Nintendo’s corporate planning division and in just 2 years he became the head of the company as its fourth president following from Hiroshi Yamauchi.
Under his leadership the company launched the Wii and Nintendo DS consoles, and he is also credited with making broadening the gaming community by easy to use consoles like the Wii.
As Luke Plunkett from Kotaku writes, “In his time as President, Iwata oversaw some of the strongest (Wii, DS) and weakest (GameCube, Wii U) periods in Nintendo’s history as a video game company”.
RIP Satoru Iwata.