It was only a few days ago when the devastating news was broken that Nintendo President and Chief Executive Officer Satoru Iwata had passed away due to complications associated with the growth of a bile duct tumor. The cause of such tumors is a somewhat rare neoplasm called “cholangiocarcinoma”. As soon as word was spread about Iwata’s passing, countless video game enthusiasts, game developers, publishers, and former colleagues of Mr. Iwata mourned his loss online with stories, tributes, artwork, and more. Now a petition has been started to have Nintendo mint a commemorative Amiibo bearing the likeness of the late president and CEO.
As stated in the petition’s description: “Satoru Iwata’s importance to modern gamers is more than words could ever describe. After helping to create some of Nintendo’s biggest fanchises such as Pokemon, Earthbound and Super Smash Bros., Mr. Iwata’s legacy influences and inspires anyone who has ever picked up a Wiimote or 3DS stylus.”.
Amiibo figurines have been a hot commodity since their introduction, and their friendliness towards audiences of all ages is a core tenet of Iwata’s belief that games should be fun for the whole family. They come in the form of small statues a few inches tall equipped with a tiny RFID near-field communication(NFC) device. A scanner within the WiiU gamepad or New 3DS communicates with the figurine’s RFID device and transmits the data to the console. Currently Amiibos are available only in the form of statues/figurines, but Iwata had stated before his passing that Nintendo had plans to extend the Amiibo range into plush dolls for games like Yoshi’s Woolly World, and even collectible cards.
It’s not much of a surprise that over 20,000 signatures have been collected for the petition in only a few days. Iwata was highly visible in Nintendo’s public relations ventures during his lifetime, appearing not only at major industry expos, but also Nintendo’s own product informational and promotional broadcasts; namely, Nintendo Direct and Nintendo Treehouse. Mr. Iwata was also the host of his own exclusive interview series, Iwata Asks, in which he posed questions to developers about upcoming games and provided insight into goings-on with the WiiU and 3DS. This public exposure, paired with his very friendly and soft-spoken nature led to Iwata earning the affection of Nintendo fans worldwide after taking over as president in 2002.
We here at TechRaptor were floored with sadness upon hearing about Mr. Iwata’s passing. Do you have a favorite memory of Satoru Iwata? Do you agree that Nintendo should make a commemorative Iwata Amiibo?