In what is perhaps the saddest news we’ve ever had to report here on 4P, Nintendo has released a brief statement announcing that the company’s president Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11 due to a bile duct growth. He was 55.
The news comes a year after Iwata was forced to bow out of E3 2014 due to the same condition.
According to the statement, Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto will be taking over Iwata’s duties as Representative Directors, at least for now.
Iwata joined Nintendo in 2000 after serving as software coordinator and later president of HAL Laboratory. He was appointed president of Nintendo in 2002, where he oversaw some of the company’s biggest successes in the years of the DS and Wii. In 2013, he was appointed CEO of Nintendo of America, and he had recently been elected to yet another year as Nintendo president.
In recent years, his charming appearances in Nintendo Directs and press conferences endeared him to Nintendo fans and gamers everywhere. While many criticized his direction of the company throughout the recent rocky years of the Wii U, no one can deny the innumerable contributions he made to the gaming industry. When Nintendo’s finances were in the red in recent years, he went so far as to take a significant pay cut so that the people that worked under him would be able to keep their jobs and pay.
We all wish Mr. Iwata’s family, friends, and colleagues our deepest and dearest sympathies, and gamers everywhere mourn the loss of such a beloved figure who contributed so much to the industry. His passion for gaming was perhaps best expressed in this now-famous quote:
On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer. Satoru Iwata
Rest in peace, Mr. Iwata.