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Filed under: Industry People, Satoru Iwata

Remember Satoru Iwata

Iwata (1)

Today marks the one year anniversary of Satoru Iwata’s passing. Iwata’s passing shocked many of us. However, his impact on not only Nintendo but the gaming community as a whole can still be felt today. We would like to honor his memory.

Feel free to leave your memories in the comments below.


Before Iwata’s passing, I never understood how anyone could be upset when a celebrity passed away. I would see people mourn Michael Jackson’s death as if they had just lost their own uncle or brother. It never really made sense because celebrities were people that a lot of us simply have never met. This mentality changed after Iwata suddenly passed away a year ago. I get it now. Iwata’s untimely death shook the gaming community to its core as we lost a great leader. Satoru Iwata continually served as a role model for not only game developers but gamers themselves. “Games should be fun” is a mentality that a lot of people could benefit from having. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of agenda someone is trying to push or their thoughts on representation within video games. At the end of the day, all that matters is if you had fun. A lot of us could really benefit from remembering this.

I’ve felt the sting of seeing people I’ve never met but greatly admire pass away all too often in my (fairly short) life so far. Iwata was one of them, and honestly one of the most shocking occurrences. Mr. Iwata genuinely loved games, and it reflected in how he interacted with Nintendo fans throughout the world. A gamer first and a businessman second. A man who had a hand in so many of the products that will live with me and mean the world to me until the day that I die. Nintendo Directs in particular were something that I would anticipate every single time, and I’ll always miss the man who delivered the latest Nintendo news with so much enthusiasm and passion.


When Nintendo announced that Satoru Iwata will be CEO of Nintendo, I didn’t know the person or cared much about the news. But even when I was young, I always thought “Hey, I know that name from my Kirby games”. So I never knew this person, but I always thought this man was…familiar to me. Someone I know already. And as the years went by, I began to know him better through interviews and E3-conferences. Of course it’s nothing compared from knowing a person in reality, but I always felt that he gave me the possibility to know him without actually meeting him. We saw him in Nintendo Directs, he personally presented and started the “Iwata Asks” series, which gave me a bigger opportunity to know this man and his passion for gaming and development. And to this day, this still amazes me and he kinda became a Role Model for me to look up to, even as an adult. He was someone I would love to meet and talk about how to make games with. But at the end of the day, this wouldn’t matter: I already know him. We know him. And we might not agree with his business decisions, but he was a man with heart in the industry. And in an industry, where many industry-people need to act like they care for games, we certainly know one thing about Satoru Iwata that is certainly true about him:

He loved games.

Thank you again, Iwata! 2016-07-11 00-36-52


I honestly thought it was a really sick prank at first. But then it was confirmed that Iwata died. I honestly felt devastated that day (and honestly, it really takes something special for me to cry). Someone who was a real influence on me had just passed away at such a young age (for an adult, anyway). Rarely can you claim that a death shocks an entire community in one fell swoop; the condolences from other industry titans like Sony and Microsoft just go to show how much influence Iwata had on video games in general. The sweeping amount of tributes all across the internet, some more heartwrenching than others (Brawl in the Family came back just to draw a gut-punching but heartwarming and simple tribute), just go to further prove it.


2016-04-11 (2):

I honestly didn’t know what to say when I first heard of his passing. He was honestly a different kind of president compared to others. Unlike other corporate heads who had no background in that kind of business, Iwata was oozing with passion. You could tell that he loved what he did and really tried opening up Nintendo to share that with people. Trying to share that “we aren’t a normal company”. It was sad to hear of his passing because everyone in the gaming industry was touched by his motivation and kind-hearted character. While as a person I don’t normally show emotion by crying, I was emotionally devastated when I heard about it. His legacy has lived on since his passing, and everything he has done in this world has had a profound positive effect that is still not wearing off. Even to this very day.


Neo zero:

Iwata was a man that left a legacy that has had a huge impact even to this day. As a fan, he was the kind of man that you felt like you actually knew in a way. He’d welcome you and talk directly to you about Nintendo, like he was that cool Dad that worked there we all wanted. When he died, it hurt the industry and the fanbase. That’s a sign of how great he was and how many people he touched, indirectly or not. I still miss seeing him welcome me to a Direct, so if there is an afterlife, I hope he’s living on happily up there.



The day Satoru Iwata died came like a blow to the stomach. The unexpectedness of it all made it so hard to deal with. I felt like the world had lost a great dreamer, a man who, for better and for worse, chose to do what was unconventional. I’ll always remember him for contributing to three personally influential games, Super Smash Bros. 64, Kirby’s Adventure, and EarthBound. Of course, I’ll always treasure his contributions to Nintendo as President, the Wii and DS systems. Now that a year has passed, my initial sadness has passed. I didn’t mourn forever; the feelings of loss at Mr. Iwata’s passing have been replaced with gratitude. Thank you, Mr. Iwata, for the hard work and determination you put into something which everyone shrugged off as a mere child’s hobby. Rest in peace knowing you changed millions of lives for the better.

  1. I remember learning about the news while I was in class, and I was struggling to hold back my tears. His death hit me unexpectedly hard… I had no idea how much I grown to like him over the course of the Nintendo Directs. That was the first time I actually cried over the death of a celebrity, and I learnt how much he meant to all of us. Rest In Peace.

    Falkoopa on July 10 |
  2. Back in the day, Iwata’s passing let me depressive and anxious the entire following week. I was celebrating my grandma’s birthday, that came from outta nowhere and I couldn’t stop thinking about this.

    fabricioogrande on July 10 |
  3. For me, the worst part was that the bad news happened a little after E3. I didn’t know that he was in a poor medical condition, and that year was a little disappointing, except his “”participation”” in the Star fox Zero sketch.
    As a third world habitant, the videogame world is distant and never seem to have any interest in us, we receive even our localization from Europe or not at all… but still, Mr. Iwata always felt close, with a nice way to talk and express his ideas, in the Nintendo directs, in some interviews and live presentations.
    And since his departure, I feel the difference. Nintendo has become more distant, colder and with less sparkiness. I hope to feel again the great sense of closeness that Mr Iwata has with us gamers. after all, he was one of us. Rest in Peace.

    Rafael Mauna Luke on July 10 |
  4. Even if some of his business decisions turned out to be duds, Iwata was an amazing face for Nintendo. His undying passion for video games clearly showed wherever he appeared, be it in Nintendo Directs or Iwata Asks segments. It was always comforting to know that the man in charge was one of us. It’s good that Kimishima has succeeded Iwata, as a good businessman is what Nintendo really needs right now, but it came at the price of the friendliness that gamer-first Iwata had. Rest in piece, Satoru Iwata.

    Nintendrone on July 11 |
  5. What made Iwata so unique and beloved was his personality and enthusiasm towards the games he helped create and Nintendo as a whole. He wasn’t just some faceless entity making business decisions, he clearly had a passion for his work. All the Nintendo Directs, the Iwata Asks, the E3 skits, they’re all indicative of how much he loved what he did. It really felt like he was there for us, like he knew us on a personal level, and that he didn’t have to talk to us like he had a product to sell, but as a friend. I was broken to hear about his passing, and I still feel sad when I think about it. But, if I may borrow a quote from Eminem, instead of mourning his death, I’d rather celebrate his life. So thank you Iwata, for everything you’ve done for us.

    Spiral on July 11 |
  6. In the beginning, I never knew about Iwata. But after Nintendo started Nintendo Direct, I’ve finally learned about him for the first time. I really liked his performance throughout every Direct videos, as his voice and his “直接!(chokusetsu)” gesture was so iconic and memorable. Every time I’ve heard watched his videos, I did felt warmth and kindness from him. I did felt that he really cared a lot on video games and as he wanted to give passion and enjoyment to those who love playing games. Its true that he wasn’t just a president nor a game developer, but a gamer. And I do believe that he was proud of who he is, where he was, and what he loved.

    I was shocked when I saw the news through the internet that he became deceased. It was unbelievable that he passed away in such young age. I’ve seen many memorial arts of Iwata through pixiv ( Everybody loved him so much. Everybody had so much respect on him; even many rival companies had respect on him too. It is sad that we have lost the most important person in the world of gaming industry, but I do believe that he will never be forgotten by anybody forever. His name still exists in every game’s staff roll as the executive director. As long his name still exists, we’ll never forget about him. If there is such place called heaven, I believe he made a reunion with his colleagues, starting from the former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, and the Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi.

    He will be missed, but will never be forgotten. Thank you so much for every passion and enjoyment of video gaming that you’ve presented us Mr. Satoru Iwata. Thank you…and rest in peace…

    zoniken on July 13 |