During this past weekend, on July 12 2015, Nintendo let the world know of the sad news of the recent passing of its dear President, Satoru Iwata, on July 11th, due to complications with a bile duct growth.
As I write this piece of “news” my hands are still trembling and, although I knew he was sick for a while, I still can’t believe this happened so soon… but this must be done… and I will do it in one go, because it’s painful to do…
I might not have known him personally, yet he was important to me too! I guess we can say he was “our” president too…
His work, his decisions and his smile, wether I want to admint it or not, helped shape my life and the person I am today.
Many of my favorite games, be it Balloon Fight, Pokémon Gold & Silver, Pokémon Stadium, Earthbound, Super Smash Bros. or even the Kirby series, all had a touch of love provided by this man. In fact, many of these wouldn’t have been ready in time, or would never have launched, if it weren’t for his programming expertise. These games might have even “saved” me once or twice…
He also led the company into pursuing the development of the Nintendo DS and Wii, two consoles I like very much and provided me with very fun experiences. I still think the Wii was a stroke of genius and a risk well taken, and the end results prove this, I guess.
Like he used to say, he was a very “weird” president! I never saw anyone else in his position take responsability for a company’s failure to the point of cutting his own gains by half. I rarely ever see other company presidents get in front of their audiences and present their own products to the fans, just like he did in the Nintendo Directs he helped institute, or the Iwata Asks interviews, for that matter. He also proved to understand us the best, or he would never had done an epic fighting scene with Reggie at last year’s E3. He might have been “weird”, but if that is the case, I wish there were more weird people like him in the world!
Some time after learning about his death, I saw this image on the internet:
It’s like he was saying everything would be okay, as he drives up the “Rainbow Road to Heaven”…
After all is said and done, I can only say one thing: Thank you, Mr. Iwata, for all your work at HAL Laboratories and Nintendo, and for touching my life, even if it was just for a very little, tiny and brief moment. Thank you also for inspiring me to make this site. I hope this “Thank You” goes “directly to you”, wherever you may be, sir.
I would also like to give my sincere condolences to his wife, Kayoko, his family and friends, everyone at Nintendo, and of course, all the fans who feel like me!
Farewell, Mr. President… leave luck to heaven and may we meet again on the other side!
And now that I have done the most difficult part, let me leave you with all these final parting words to this great man…
“No matter the farewell, I think the most appropriate thing to say is “we”ll meet again.” We are friends so we”ll see each other again. There is nothing strange about saying it. Yeah. We’ll meet again.
Even if you didn’t have the chance to put into words how sudden it was going to be, how far you’d be traveling, or how you went much earlier than expected, I know you went wearing your best.
You always put yourself second to others no matter what, helping anyone who needed it whenever they needed it. You were that kind of friend. Although you may have been a little selfish for the first time ever by taking this journey.
The truth is though that I still don’t believe any of it. I feel like I am going to receive a message from you inviting me out to eat at any moment. I wouldn’t mind if you were to ask me like always if I had some free time. If you did, I’d ask you as well.
Still, “we’ll meet again.” It would be great to hear from you whenever and wherever; I’ll being calling to you too. I’ll call if I have something to discuss or I want to tell you a great new idea I’ve had.
We’ll meet again.
Then again, you’re here with me now.”
Nintendo of Europe is today mourning the passing of Mr Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s Global President. It is difficult to put into words the sadness we feel at this time. Mr. Iwata was a strong leader, a unique figure in the gaming industry and an important part of Nintendo’s history. He was a visionary in every sense of the word and we will miss him dearly.
Just as Mr. Iwata challenged us to always push forward, we will ensure his legacy lives on through our ongoing work to always surprise and delight our fans. At this time our thoughts are with his family.
“I am surprised at this sudden news and overcome with sadness,” Mr. Miyamoto said in a statement issued through the company on Monday. He said he would maintain the game-development stance that he and Mr. Iwata established and work with developers to create the kind of future successes that the late president would have wanted.
“Mr. Iwata is gone, but it will be years before his impact on both Nintendo and the full video game industry will be fully appreciated. He was a strong leader for our company, and his attributes were clear to most everyone: Intelligence, creativity, curiosity and sense of humor. But for those of us fortunate enough to work closely with him, what will be remembered most were his mentorship and, especially, his friendship. He was a wonderful man. He always challenged us to push forward…to try the new…to upset paradigms—and most of all, to engage, excite and endear our fans. That work will continue uninterrupted.”