This year we lost one of the game industry’s most loved and influential leaders, in the form of the late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata who passed away at the age of 55. A personal hero of mine, Iwata understood gaming from all angles, whether it was the hardware, software, business, or most importantly the passion and joy of gaming. He was passionate about gaming, more so than anybody else, and was critical in making gaming as inclusive as it could possibly be. Achieving this not only through the Wii and DS, but also through the games he was vital in developing, such as Balloon Fight and Kirby’s Dream Land.
So, when it came to this year’s The Game Awards, it was fitting that amongst all the world premières and awards, that everyone took a moment to remember a man who gave his entire life to the industry we all love, and helped make it a better place. This moment of reflection was opened by the event organiser and host Geoff Keighley, who started by reiterating the feelings of the entire industry, by saying that we had all been left “heart broken” by the passing of Iwata. He then continued by stating that he knew that a tribute to Iwata was one of, if not the most important thing that he had to do at this year’s event. This was then followed by a short video reel, before colleague and friend of Satoru Iwata, the Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, took to the stand the lead this tribute.
“For Mr. Iwata, it was not enough to repeat the words of Nintendo’s mission, ‘to surprise and delight with the unexpected.’ He lived those words. He was unique.”
Here Fils-Aime reflected on the life and achievements of Satoru Iwata, alongside who he was as a person. He reiterated Iwata’s passion for gaming, and his unconventional thinking. A way of thinking that has helped millions to enjoy gaming, just as he had always wanted. It was a fitting tribute, and one that represented not only Fils-Aime and Nintendo’s thoughts, but the industry at large.
The entire segment honouring the life and contributions of Satoru Iwata can be seen below, and is definitely worth a watch for anyone who has ever picked up a controller.
Satoru Iwata wanted nothing more than to help everyone experience the enjoyment of gaming, with this becoming one of his most important lasting legacies. Although, this is just one part of what he contributed to medium we treasure. He introduced so many to gaming, and made video games and our industry better for it.
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that most people who enjoy playing video games, have a lot to thank Satoru Iwata for. I know I personally do. So, just as The Game Awards have once again paid tribute to a legend of gaming, I’d personally just like to reiterate what I said when I looked back on the life and achievements of Satoru Iwata, and say:
どうもありがとうございます岩田社長 – Thank You President Iwata.
You will be missed.