Nintendo has just announced that President & CEO Satoru Iwata, 55, has died from bile duct growth yesterday, July 11.
Before succeeding Hiroshi Yamauchi as Nintendo’s president and eventually also becoming the CEO, Iwata worked as a programmer for HAL Laboratory Inc. which created the beloved Kirby, the Mother (EarthBound) series and, of course, Super Smash Bros. Iwata was the programming mastermind behind all those projects, as well as the reason Pokémon Gold & Silver included the Kanto region. With Nintendo, Iwata also lended his skill to help develop The Legend of Zelda games and Animal Crossing series. Nintendo Japan Directs were led by Iwata, who initially made the decision to halt large press conferences, like at E3, and instead divide Nintendo’s showcase into smaller events by demographic.
No further information is known on who will be replacing Mr. Iwata as President & CEO, nor how Nintendo Directs will change from now on. All that is known is that he is no longer with us, he will be dearly missed and not forgotten.
“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.”