The Unfortunate Passing of Satoru Iwata

I’ve been sitting, staring at a blank page for some time now, trying to concoct a piece worthy of such an icon.

However, I feel nothing I can say can be truly representative of Satoru Iwata’s hold over the gaming community. But it is my role here to at least try, and try I will.

Firstly, a little bit of background on Satoru Iwata is needed, followed by some examples of what made him such a star of the industry. For a full timeline of his life and work, you can read a well written obituary here. Whilst I will not be writing anything so substantial, I will do my best to summarize in a concise manner. Iwata’s effect on gaming is something that pre-dates his appointment as President of Nintendo. He is most famous for saying:

“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.”

This clearly displays his roots as not only gamer, but developer. He coordinated HAL Laboratories, and brought us memorable characters like Kirby, and ground breaking series like the Mother Series and Pokemon. Very few can claim to have captured the hearts of so many different ages, races, genders and cultures with their titles, and that is something Iwata can rest easy in the knowledge of.

Iwata then joined up with Nintendo in a rough financial period. The company was on rocky terrain when Iwata came aboard, but Iwata appeared to be their saving grace. He headlined products like the Nintendo DS and brought a whole new flavour to the company. Iwata is actually responsible for one of the most fruitful periods in Nintendo history. And this is down to his visionary attitude and ability to invent flawless concepts. The Nintendo DS was not positivity received at its unveiling at E3, but Iwata had faith in his product, saying:

“It is a ‘unique’ machine, so not everybody will understand it right away. There might only be 10 to 15 people applauding during its unveiling at E3, but they’ll understand it once they touch it.”

His faith was warranted, as the DS went on to sell 154 million units, beating out the Gameboy — the old record holder.

Nintendo Co. President Satoru Iwata raises up the video game maker's new portable game player "Nintendo DS" as he launches the handheld player in Tokyo Thursday, Oct. 7, 2004. Nintendo hopes the gadget, featuring double screen, touch screen, wireless and microphone, helps strengthen its global share of gaming market. The player will go on sale on Nov. 21 in the United States and Dec. 2 in Japan. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)
Satoru Iwata holding up the DS with pride

But it was not just his corporate talent that made Iwata so special, it was also his genuine, respectable personality. His friends and close ones describe him in every positive light, and that is the least he deserves. Shigeru Miyamoto said:

“I am surprised at this sudden news and overcome with sadness.”

Showing to the world what a special part of the team Iwata was, and how sorely he will be missed. To conclude, I will leave with a tale about Iwata from the perspective of a flight attendant. But I have nothing more left to say, I am not a spiritual man so can make no comment from that perspective. But I can say “Thank You.”

Thank you, Iwata, for making gaming that little bit more fun. Thank you for leaving such and irreplaceable print on all of our hearts. Good Night.

Iwata Story
A story submitted on Yahoo

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