On July 11th, 2015 (Kyoto time), the forth Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, passed away at age 55 due to a bile duct tumor complication.
Iwata was a truly unique individual in the game industry. He started off working at HAL as a programmer, and climbed up the ranks to Head of Corporate Planning at Nintendo. Eventually he was hand picked by third Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi to become his successor.
As CEO, game developer, and gamer, Iwata focused on creating great experiences that are fun for everyone. This philosophy led to the creation of the highly successful Wii and Nintendo DS, as well as hundreds of Nintendo games which make full use of the systems’ peculiar features.
Although Iwata didn’t get the chance to introduce the Nintendo Switch to the world, his efforts in merging Nintendo’s handheld and console divisions and concept on “building a system that hasn’t existed up till now” were crucial in making Nintendo Switch a successful gaming system enjoyed by millions of people around the world today.
Iwata-san and his contributions to gaming will continue to be remembered by Nintendo fans for many years to come.