There are very few of us whose lives have not been touched by the gaming industry, but none so much as Nintendo. Today, the industry has lost a much loved and deeply respected pioneer of the gaming world, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. He was only 55.
Per Kotaku, Nintendo issued a brief statement about Satoru’s death.
“Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.”
The fourth President of Nintendo has been dealing with health issues for years. In 2014, under the advice of his physician, Satoru missed attending the Electronic Entertainment Expo. or E3 due to his medical condition.
During a routine medical exam, a growth was discovered on his bile duct, and it was thought that since the growth was found very early, Mr. Iwata was to fully recover. That, sadly, was not to be the case.
Satoru Iwata had been with Nintendo since 2000, where he succeeded Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2002 as the new President and Chief Financial Officer. Iwata was the first president of Nintendo to not be related the the Yamauchi family.
Prior to his employment with Nintendo, Satoru worked for HAL Laboratory as the company’s coordinator of software programming. In 1993, he became president of HAL and assisted in the development of the widely popular Pokemon games that eventually became a Nintendo staple.
His tenure at Nintendo saw many significant changes in the companies gaming consoles; some for the better, some not so much. He is credited with making the company’s transition from their Game Boy handheld gaming device to the Nintendo DS. Under his leadership, the company also produced the Nintendo Wii console, the gaming system that introduced to the public motion based video games. Both the Nintendo DS and the Wii have been incredibly successful for the company, so much so that the company saw its stock price double in 2006.
The year 2015 was to be a year of change for Nintendo and its president as well. Mr Iwata had changed part of the company’s focus towards the mobile gaming market since there was a noticeable downturn in hard-wire console sales. He also believed so much in the direction that Nintendo was heading, he offered to halve his salary in an effort to help the company better compete with Sony and Microsoft. The outpouring of deep sorrow for the loss of Satoru Iwata has been immense, with fans often connecting fond childhood memories with their gaming time.
CNN Money reported that so far, a successor has yet to be announced. Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto will manged the company until a new president is appointed.
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