Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, has passed away last Saturday at the age of 55 due to a bile duct growth. As Nintendo’s president since 2002, Iwata has led the company to great success with the Nintendo DS and Wii consoles.
Iwata first joined Nintendo’s HAL Laboratory in the 1980s as a programmer. During his time there, he has contributed to many iconic video games, such as Kirby, Earthbound, and Balloon Fight. In 2000, he was appointed as a Director of the company before being elected as the fourth president of Nintendo in 2002.
Even though Iwata did not attend the last two E3 conferences due to his health condition, his death came as a surprise to many despite the fact that his illness is publicised. This is mainly due to the fact that he has just resumed his duties after undergoing a surgery to remove the bile duct growth.
In response to Iwata’s death, many prominent figures in the gaming industry are paying tribute to him. These include tributes from PlayStation, Phil Spencer of Microsoft’s Xbox, and even Min-Liang Tan, the CEO of Razer.
Thank you for everything, Mr. Iwata.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) July 13, 2015
Sad day for Iwata-san’s family, friends, and gamers everywhere. His passion, creativity & leadership elevated our industry.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 13, 2015
There are CEOs who make a difference to the lives of the people – Satoru Iwata was one of the few who did. https://t.co/IcJKU9sNPj
— Min-Liang Tan (@minliangtan) July 13, 2015
At the time of writing, the successor to Iwata has not been announced yet by Nintendo. As one of the most prominent figures in the gaming industry, Mr. Iwata will be sorely missed.