The video game industry has lost one of its greatest talents, responsible for bringing you timeless classics like Pokemon and Super Mario.
Nintendo of Japan issued a short notification announcing the death of company president Satoru Iwata. He was 55.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.
Health complications arose after Iwata had undergone surgery for a tumor, which tragically took his life.
Losing A Legend
Iwata was revered among peers and fans alike, known for his rare corporate candor, sense of humor, and truly earnest passion for gaming:
"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."
After 30 years of service at Nintendo, the former president's contribution to our beloved medium cannot be underestimated, having touched millions of lives through his innovative approach to game design. With the industry in mourning over such a loss, the flags at Nintendo headquarters were lowered to half mast this morning.
Paying Due Respect
But it wasn't just Nintendo that paid their respects to this extraordinary pioneer. In response to the tragic news, industry rivals came together in remembrance of one of our medium's leading lights - a truly heartwarming gesture to see.
Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai spoke about the difficulties in carrying on without the prolific president:
"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 (game) development. This was also the situation for Iwata-san. Doing what you need to do."
What We Have to Thank Him For
Remember the curiously named, motion-controlled box everyone and their grandma were fighting to get their hands on back in 2006? Well, the Wii was brought to market under the guidance of Iwata, fueled by his vision for accessible gaming, catered for the masses.
Speaking of sparking international phenomenons, earlier in his career Iwata assisted in the development of Pokémon Gold and Silver, released for the Game Boy Color in 1999. He also worked on bringing the terrific Pokemon Stadium to the Nintendo 64, so we know who to thank for our irresistible compulsion to catch 'em all.
More recently, Iwata had been busy overseeing the newly signed agreement with mobile developer DeNA, which will fulfill fans' long-held dream to play their favorite Nintendo games on smartphones.
I hope we will remember Satoru Iwata for the inclusive attitudes and passionate dedication he brought to the industry. We'd also do well not to forget his ever wise words:
"Video games are meant to be just one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone."