Satoru Iwata: The End of an Era
After a summer full of tragic loss for the game industry, we said good bye far too soon to the inimitable Iwata-san of Nintendo. Satoru Iwata had been a part of Nintendo since the early 1980s and played a major role in the creation of some of the greatest games to come out of the House of N. From Earthbound to Kirby, Mr. Iwata was integral in the creation of multiple generation spanning franchises while at HAL Laboratories and is credited with rescuing the company from bankruptcy. When he officially joined Nintendo proper he already had cemented a lasting relationship with then-president Hiroshi Yamauchi. His time at Nintendo, from head of corporate planning to CEO, saw unprecedented growth driven by unique experiences and a level of player engagement that far surpassed any major commercial game company.
But at the heart of things, Iwata-san was a master programmer. His technical know-how was vital to the completion of Smash Bros. and his resume is nearly unassailable in terms of the breadth and depth of his influence. His unique ability to bridge the gap between technology and user experience was a hallmark of his time at Nintendo and he personally drove the development of the Brain Age series on the DS and the innovative motion controls of the Wii.
At the Nintendo World Store in New York City a large display and remembrance area has been set up for fans to leave their condolences and it has become a touching demonstration of how much Iwata meant to Nintendo fans and how much he’ll be missed. A friend of the museum, Nick Luckett stopped by and took some pictures that we’d like to share with you.
If you’d like to know more about Satoru Iwata’s history, Super Bunnyhop has put together a great retrospective of his time at HAL and Nintendo that is definitely worth a watch.