I was enjoying an episode of The Wire from season one and so I’m about thirty minutes late, but there’s some huge news coming out of the gaming world, and it has nothing to do with SJWs or GamerGate. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has died. He was 55-years-old. To say this is depressing would be a massive understatement. He was always one of my personal favorites, and I know many others feel the same way. His love of gaming was infectious, and you can tell he had a deep respect for the craft as well, as its history.

Here’s the statement from Nintendo announcing the passing:1 2

From Business Insider:

Iwata underwent surgery last year to remove the growth and had resumed his duties after a brief period of recovery. 

Iwata began his career as a freelance programmer for HAL Laboratory, a subsidiary of Nintendo, before joining HAL full-time after college. During his time at HAL, Iwata worked on games such as Balloon Fight and the Kirby and Earthbound franchises. He eventually became the president of HAL in 1993.

In 2000, Iwata joined Nintendo proper as the head of its corporate planning division. When Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi retired in 2002 (Yamauchi had been president since 1949), Iwata was picked to succeed as the fourth president of the company. 

Iwata oversaw the development of the GameCube, the Wii, the DS, and the Wii U. 

As well as The Telegraph:

Mr. Iwata, who was made the fourth Nintendo president in its 126-year history in 2002, oversaw the release of the Wii and the Nintendo DS, the best-selling home and handheld consoles respectively in Nintendo’s history.

The executive’s health issues had been documented in the past. He took leave last year for surgery, but told shareholders a year ago that the illness had been caught at an early stage.

Nintendo highlighted that research and development head Genyo Takeda and creative guru Shigeru Miyamaoto remain at the company as representative directors.

Mr. Iwata was the first Nintendo president who was not related to the Yamauchi family that founded the company.

And finally, The Hollywood Reporter:

Born Dec. 6, 1959, and raised in Japan, Iwata joined Nintendo in the 1980s, working on games including “Balloon Fight,” “EarthBound” and the “Kirby” franchise.

He was named director in 2000 and two years later succeeded Hiroshi Yamauchi as the company’s fourth president and also was named representative director

Two years ago, he became CEO of Nintendo of America, Inc.

Nintendo’s brief statement did not mention a successor.

This one is going to be tough to swallow. I knew the man had been ailing, but I had no idea it was this serious. My thoughts go out to the Iwata and Nintendo families. I hope the memory of the amazing life he lived help power you through these times. I know gamers everywhere feel the exact same way. Iwata’s love of the medium is what will always stay with me. It was literally infectious.

I’ll update this story as more news comes in. Be sure and leave your thoughts about the late Mr. Iwata down below.


UPDATE: More reaction…

UPDATE II: More reaction from social media, as well as the gaming world…





        1. It makes me a bit sad watching how Palutena holds Pit and Kirby, Pikachu and Mario cry in front. This one doesn’t hit me as hard as Mario and Luigi above but it still hits hard. It’s okay tho, it reminds me of all the good things Iwata left behind.

  1. Always seemed like a cheerful, friendly person and judging by personal accounts he was. His influence on gaming can’t be overstated.

    RIP Mr. Iwata.

  2. *Salutes* You will be missed, Iwata-san. He did a lot of good work for Nintendo, and I hope he continues doing good work in heaven. :'(

    1. Oh that Doctor Who reference. That song/scene made me cry and now I’m thinking of it again. >_<

  3. I’ve been a nintendo fan a long time and have enjoyed some of Iwata’s works. He brought joy to many people’s hearts (he gave us my favorite Pokémon generation and Smash Bros to name a few).

    Thank you for playing a part in my love for gaming. You will be missed but never forgotten.

  4. The one pic of him as an angel with the characters around him hit me right in the feels. Damn artists. 🙁 Death is, of course, a part of life, but that doesn’t make it suck any less. I know next to nothing of the man, but the characters he helped create are a part of my life and I will mourn his passing. #RIPIwata

  5. Off to join Gunpei Yokoi, I see. Really is sad to lose one of Nintendo’s bigshots, especially so soon after E3. As that first image Ralph posted from his twitter shows (the “in my heart, I am a gamer” one), Nintendo’s higher-ups seem to have nothing but respect for the medium they work in. A lot of people like to throw around the idea that Nintendo’s a cold, heartless corporation trying to make money like anyone else, which results in a lot of decisions that don’t fly well with the general public. And yet (and I hope I don’t sound as selectively ignorant as Bob Chipman here), Nintendo’s corporate suits are among the few I’ve seen whom, above all else, try to think of ways to make a game “fun”. Not all this over-emphasis on graphics or making their console the next central media device, just good ole’, simple, down-to-earth “fun”. As a result, many would be hard-pressed to deny the sheer quality of their first and second party libraries, no matter how questionable some of their other decisions may be (I myself have been playing the hell out of Splatoon just these past few weeks). Plus, if you ask me, their choice to drop out of the graphical arms race has been nothing but good for them (especially when, ironically, their games are arguably the best-looking this generation whilst fans of the other consoles bitch about this 1080P stuff).

    So here’s to you, Iwata. I hope whoever follows in your footsteps can still bring joy to the medium near as much as you did (of course, being Nintendo, I have little doubt that they will).

  6. Fucking hell, man. I just woke up to this. What’s this bullshit about Anita inserting herself into this thing again? I keep on seeing mentions of her doing something stupid in my feed.

    1. Someone made some fake tweets of her saying some shit about this to make it about her, I don’t know the specifics, said fakes haven’t really spread that much as far as I can tell because most people had the decency to not touch that fucking bait.

      She then used the fake tweets to go ahead and make it all about her.

    2. I swear that charlatan NEEDS a good hard slap… no, 2 GOOD HARD SLAPS across each cheek! Although this shouldn’t comes as a surprise since how she and Mcuntosh dissed Hitchens as soon as he passed away. What a bunch of fucking cowards, liars, hypocrites and cunts! All of them!

  7. He was only 55? That’s much too soon for someone who brought such joy to the world to pass away. My condolences go out to his family and friends.

  8. This is terrible news indeed. I grew up (as I’m sure many here as well) playing Nintendo games and enjoyed every minute of it. Less and less now, but I’ll always have a soft spot for it. Despite this loss, death is only a natural part of life. And people shouldn’t worry about what tomorrow might bring or how we’ll die. It’s about how you live and appreciate the simple things we have in life today. RIP Iwata, you will be missed.

    1. I’ve never been much of a fan of Nintendo, Sega and Sony for me, but even their games that I didn’t like I could at least tell that they were good. Earlier someone had linked a list of games he worked on and, perhaps unsurprisingly, all of the admittedly few games of theirs I’ve enjoyed he had a hand in.
      I can only hope that the industry does not become a worse place in his absence.

  9. I’m sorry I know this article is suppose to be in memory of Iwata, but I can’t stay silent about what this fuckwad Anita said:

    EDIT: Turned out this pic was a fake. Sorry about that. Still, fuck off Anita.

      1. Guess I jumped the gun. As soon as I saw that pic it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Anything that comes out of Anita or McIntosh’s ass… irritates me.

        Anyway, I’ll fix that last comment right away.

  10. R.I.P Iwata-san.

    1. Sorry for being a grammar Nazi, but it shouldn’t be “行き続けてい”. It should be more like “行き続ける” or “行き続けている”, though as I imagine you’re trying to sound formal, “行き続けています” might work best. Also, I believe “死んだ” works over “死ぬ” in this context.

      1. thanks, im not that good with japanese both romaji and kanji (i’m mostly limited to the basics for a lot). but I thought it would be good to at least make the attempt.

  11. I just found out and its just terrible he helped create some great games and some great memories and as long as we carry those he will always live on…

    May he rest in peace!

    1. He was a genuine badass at programing…

      Started as kid by disassembling the home computer programs by hand writing the memory dumps.
      Ported the Pokémon Stadium battle code to the Nintendo 64 without any documentation in a week.
      Saved Earthbound by single-handedly reprogramming the entire game from scratch.
      Personally compressed Pokémon Gold and Silver to the point that the whole Kanto region was able to be fit into the cartrage for after the Elite Four.
      And more!

  12. Can’t express how emotionnal I get about this.
    RIP Mr Iwata and thanks for the wonderful years passed & coming.

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