Satoru Iwata Passes Away at 55

Published: July 14, 2015 12:46 AM /


Satoru Iwata

The current President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, passed away on July 11th at the age of 55.

Iwata passed away due to complications from a bile duct growth. He has been seeking treatment for a cancerous growth since 2014, when Nintendo announced he would be missing E3 2014 due to surgery.

Born in Sapporo, Japan, Iwata has been working in the gaming industry since the early 1980s. While in college majoring in Computer Science, Iwata did work for HAL Laboratory, a subsidiary of Nintendo as a programmer, and later became its coordinator in 1983. He would work on several games for the NES, including Balloon Fight, Kirby and Earthbound, before being promoted to the president of HAL in 1993.

In 2000, Iwata would move to the corporate side of Nintendo in their planning division, in 2002, then Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, would resign, with Iwata succeeding him. Iwata would be the first president of Nintendo to not be a member of the Yamauchi family. As president of Nintendo, Iwata would be in charge of the development and launch of the Nintendo Wii and DS, and would contribute to the development of several more Nintendo series, such as Animal Crossing, Super Smash Brothers and The Legend of Zelda, throughout the 2000s.

Iwata was also personal and approachable to the fan base, writing his own column “Iwata Asks” on the Nintendo website for a time.  He is also famous for his offbeat humor and quirky video messages, most of which have been packaged with Nintendo Direct events. In 2013, Iwata would be named CEO of Nintendo, and would put forth some changes to the companies make up. The most notable would be the focus on the Nintendo Direct monthly videos, instead of massive presentations at trade shows like E3.

Today, Nintendo held their flag at half-mast for Iwata, while thousands across the internet, both co-workers and fans alike, paid their respects in tribute towards his memory.

Iwata Banana

Rest in Peace, Iwata-San.

TechRaptor writers will be posting their own thoughts on this story in the coming days, but what are your thoughts on the sudden passing of Satoru Iwata? Leave your comments below. 


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