Sad news has spread in the world of gaming, as Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has passed away.
The 55 year old Japanese businessman served as Nintendo's fourth president and CEO for 13 years; before his untimely death, as a result of a bile duct tumor. It was revealed last year that Satoru Iwata would not attend E3 2014, due to undergoing surgery. Sadly, the surgery was met with complications, and Nintendo announced that Iwata had died on July 11, 2015.
Satoru Iwata was more than just the company's president and CEO. Iwata is one of gaming's most beloved faces. And he's responsible for Nintendo's huge rise in success today. When the Nintendo Gamecube was lowering in sales, and the gaming industry started to get a little too exclusive for his tastes, Iwata decided to do something about it.
Wanting to make hardware and games that were appealing to gamers and non-gamers alike, Satoru Iwata started work on two new gaming hardware; the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii.
The Wii brought in many non-gamers with its simple design and easy to use motion controller. Games like Wii Sports and Wii Music utilized simple controls and fun gameplay, making the console fun for anyone. No matter how hardcore of a gamer they were.
The Nintendo DS, a spiritual successor to the Gameboy, re-popularized hand-held gaming. The DS too brought in many non-gamers with its many different apps. Like an app that lets you draw sketches, and one that lets you record your voice and hear it back in different tones (this was actually revolutionary back then).
With his charge, these two consoles would skyrocket in sales, and put Nintendo comfortably back in the console war alongside competitors Sony and Microsoft. For all that he's done, Satoru Iwata will be missed; but certainly not forgotten.
In fact, the upstanding Nintendo fan community wasted no time in paying tribute to the 'Father of Nintendo'. Check out the cool and touching tributes below.
The Nintendo Flag At Half-Mast
Translation: "This is the Nintendo Headquarters. The flag has been raised at half-mast because President Iwata has died. There have been no media appearances, it's quiet. I pray for his soul.
(Sorry if my translation is bad)
The Nintendo Headquarters flag was raised at only half-mast when it was announced that Iwata had passed. In many countries, having the flag at half-mast is seen as a symbol of respect, mourning, or distress.
This Tribute Fan Art From Brawl In The Family
The website Brawl in the Family drew a touching and pretty cool piece of fan art to pay tribute to Satoru Iwata.
It features Kirby and King Dedede, two characters from the Kirby videogame series. Iwata helped work on the series and its characters, years before he even became president of Nintendo.
These Tweets Sent Out By Mourning Fans
Fans took to Twitter to pay their respects for Satoru Iwata.
Even The Creator Of Smash Bros. Payed His Respects
Translation: “This isn’t a regular day, and my mental state isn’t regular, either, but I’m going to work as usual, and like always, I’m throwing myself into development. This was also the situation for Iwata-san. Doing what you need to do.”
Masahiro Sakurai is the creator of the popular video game series, Super Smash Bros. He and Satoru Iwata were close friends, and had worked on several projects together.
It's a sad day when anyone dies, but especially when it's someone who had selflessly contributed so much to please countless others. Satoru Iwata risked everything to please who he considered to be his fellow gamers. He completely revolutionized Nintendo's strategy, a move that could have easily been a failure.
He even cut his own pay in half in the process, just so he could put more money into making fun and entertaining consoles and games. Because of him, we have the Nintendo that we have today. And for that Mr. Iwata, you will go down as one of the most beloved and cherished icons in video game history, even bigger than the gaming icons you helped rise to fame.