It’s a sad day for Nintendo fans of young and old. Today is a day for the fans of Nintendo’s main series of games, Legend of Zelda, Mario and Pokémon to come together as gamers to remember and celebrate the life of their favorite game designer and president, Satoru Iwata.
According to Kotaku, he was as much of a gamer as most of us are. He started with the very first video game Pong, worked in a designer studio with his friends and climbed the corporate ladder to become the CEO of Nintendo. Iwata considered himself more than a CEO.
“On my business card, I am a corporate president,” he said in a speech to thousands of attendees of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California in 2005, just three years after he’d become the head of Nintendo. “In my mind, I am a game developer. In my heart I am a gamer.”
Kotaku also says like most things, video games are a business, and they are judged by the money they can bring in compared to Hollywood. Some people see video games as more than a competition with Hollywood. They consider video games art and some consider them as pastimes. Iwata worked within all three.
He wore a suit and ran a corporate goliath, but he was playful and serene, ever eager to talk more about making and playing games than selling them. For him, the business view seemed to take third place.
Time magazine notes that it was under Iwata that ushered in the iconic DS as an upgrade to the already popular Gameboy. It was under Iwata that they released one of the most iconic systems in Nintendo history, the Wii and began to challenge Sony for the title of “best selling games platform of all time.”
Iwata cared very much about his customers. If anyone made a complaint about the Nintendo systems, he was quick to answer to those complaints and have the new systems fix what his customers were complaining about. He even tweeted to his fans for giving him the feedback he needed in order to create the next video game system that would make his customers as happy as they could be.
All Nintendo players will be playing the games Iwata created as much as they can in remembrance of his legacy in the gaming world. We can only imagine how he’d feel with the release of Pokémon Go. It would be one of smiles and thanks to his customers for downloading an app that brought the fandom and the new players alike together.