Like the rest of the gaming world, I was utterly shocked to hear this morning of the passing of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, aged just 55. I knew he had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer last year, but recent reports suggested that the surgery had gone well and he had returned to work, seemingly on the mend. The news of his death came as a hammer blow – I’m still reeling from it.
But I’m not alone – it’s heartwarming to see the outpouring of tributes from across the world, particularly the pictures people have created. I was particularly touched by this creation by Brawl in the Family.
To me, Satoru Iwata will always be the friendly face from the Nintendo Direct videos. I’ve written before about how brilliant these videos are (Getting Chummy with the Nintendo Prez) and how genuinely Iwata-san came across. He really showed he understood his audience and that he was a gamer too, just like them.
Reading through several tributes to the Nintendo President today, I found out that there’s a lot I never knew about the man. I had no idea that he was one of the founders of HAL Laboratory for example, the creators of Kirby, and that he developed Balloon Fight on the NES. But reading about his illustrious past only serves to deepen the loss.
Rest in peace, Mr Iwata. We’ll miss you.