Facts everyone needs to know about Iwata:
- He saved HAL Laboratories from going down under and was a key to Kirby’s creation as a series.
- He reprogrammed the entire Mother 2 / Earthbound game in less than six months. He’s the reason it exists.
- The last game he engineered was Super Smash Bros. Melee.. out of necessity. He re-coded that as well so it would meet its November 2001 release.
- He cut his salary in half to keep Nintendo afloat rather than cut positions at the bottom.
- He gave the speech titled “Heart of a Gamer” in 2005, a key time before the Wii’s release, which shocked the world in the following generation.
- Designer first, executive second. One of the few, if not, the first and only president of a major gaming company who was a designer first and foremost.
- He was the fourth President of Nintendo and the first not by blood relation to get the honors due to his previous years of leadership.
- Iwata believed in open communication with the fans and the press. He believed in sharing his and other developers’ passion for video game design. Thus, he created a series called, “Iwata Asks.”
Overall, as president, he has helped carry Nintendo into the new millennium. He brought in the most memorable public face of gaming known as Reginald Fils-Aime, he orchestrated one of Nintendo’s finest, most shocking years in popular culture since the NES with the Wii, and shouldered the burden and took full responsibility of both the GameCube and the Wii U financially. A man with this much business savvy, personality, passion, and unselfishness… will surely, surely be missed in the gaming realm.
“Even if we come from different sides of the world, speak different languages, even if we eat too many chips or rice balls, even if we have different tastes in games, every one of us here today is identical in the most important way: each one of us has the heart of a gamer.” - Satoru Iwata, Heart of a Gamer