Satoru Iwata Has Passed Away

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GDGF

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Jun 6, 2004
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Around E3, someone on twitter told me they thought Reggie looked 'off' at E3, and I chalked it up to him knowing they had a bad show and that he wasn't good at damage control. Given that they've had bad E3's before, and how that never really shook him before, I now have to imagine this is why he looked 'off' to some people.

;_;
That first day everybody kind of looked distracted to me (talking about Reggie and various members of the Treehouse)

Like they had more than E3 on their minds.
 
Sep 2, 2014
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Around E3, someone on twitter told me they thought Reggie looked 'off' at E3, and I chalked it up to him knowing they had a bad show and that he wasn't good at damage control. Given that they've had bad E3's before, and how that never really shook him before, I now have to imagine this is why he looked 'off' to some people.

;_;
I'd imagine that his health was bad even by then, as I noted before, Iwata never showed up at all during the recorded parts even though he had in the past even if not at E3. Muppets, the general way that Treehouse and Reggie were handling themselves, seems like word from on high had slipped down the line that he wasn't doing well.
 
Mar 13, 2006
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Played Kirby games today and SSB 4 3DS with Iwata related characters. I had a great time... I'm starting to feel the "legacy" thing and the hard feelings (that I never thought I would have) are starting to leave.

I'm just so thankful for everything he's done. I now want to enjoy and keep enjoying games that I like with the great people who made them in mind. Those gone, those still here. Thank you all for these great memories and fun moments. And thank you Iwata.
 
May 27, 2013
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I think that's kind of a testament to the kind of man he was that most people didn't know he was ill. He saw the support he got when he was in hospital and rather than having fans share the pain he went through, he worked on, until the end. Not wanting sympathy, but wanting to ensure that Nintendo was still running and games were still getting made.

His family and friends knew but, for the fans, he remained a gamer. He won't be remembered because he died while in charge of Nintendo, he'll be remembered for the joy he brought to millions, directly and indirectly, when he was alive. That is how he'll be remembered, a gamer and creator with a cheeky grin, bananas and a sharp suit.

If you've owned a Nintendo console, ever, you've probably played a game he worked on or was involved in. What a legacy to leave behind. Not a statue or a building or a street to remember him, entertainment products spanning decades. How amazing and wonderful!
 
May 24, 2012
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It's weird that we all so readily accepted the idea that he was fine and recovering after the surgery. Looking at the facts for his type of cancer his chances were never good. Guess we just wanted to believe it was true.
The saying is "no news is good news." Iwata went out of his way to make sure the news wasn't all over. He never stepped down, he never announced taking a break, he never admitting going to the hospital... He didn't want everyone's eyes on him at the end... He wanted everyone to remember him as in this thread... The quirky, happy, excited, and passionate president of Nintendo.
 
Aug 7, 2013
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I don't think he knew he was going to die. They would have assured people there was a plan in place instead of just interim position-holding. I also don't think he would have been at the shareholder's conference at all.

I think it really did get bad in the span of a week and he passed away before making concrete plans.
Masuda said he looked fine "the other day". Something happened all of a sudden.
 
Oct 13, 2011
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I remember just catching the news on Facebook and had to begin a vicious search to confirm. Much to my sadness it was all too real. Too... too early to go. I may not always agreed with everything he did at Nintendo but his love for games, gamers, and gaming is unquestionable. Thank you for everything you did and rest in peace Satoru Iwata, you left us way before your time.
 
Jan 7, 2007
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I checked your posts, Zefah, and didn't see it, but if you can, you're a fantastic person. Thanks in advance!
Sorry about that. I got really busy yesterday and didn't have a chance. Here's a translation of the blog post.

Yoot Saito's Blog Post said:
I heard the tragic news about the passing of Nintendo’s president, Iwata-san… I can’t believe he's gone.

I first met Iwata-san back in 1996, so it was a time before you would typically see him in a suit. It was at HAL in Kofu. I remember that he always carried around a Mac (PowerBook), which was quite rare in the games industry. I think that formed a bit of connection between us—a feeling that we shared the same interests. It was around the year after that when I saw him with a G3 PowerBook, which even I had hesitated to buy, and I remember thinking, “this guy really loves Macs.”

It wasn’t until a bit later that I got a chance to work with him. It was around the time when Seaman was taking the world by storm and I was really busy working on planning for the sequel and taking interviews and such.

Iwata-san got in touch and asked if we could meet, and he even came all the way out to the apartment I was renting in Tokyo to see me.

As anyone who has met him probably understands, Iwata-san always has this aura about him that makes you feel happy and at ease. When you’re around him, you just feel good, even if you’re talking about work. That day, Iwata-san wasn’t in his typical casual garb, but had donned a blazer that he didn’t look quite comfortable in. He handed me his business card and awkwardly said, “this is what I’m up to these days.” I looked at the card and he had a title that named him as part of the Office of the President. He said that he had distanced himself from HAL (the company at which he got his start in the games industry) and was now helping out at Nintendo (HAL was under the umbrella of Nintendo).

“I’ve been given a special assignment to go out and get new types of games that haven’t been on Nintendo platforms before.” That’s the reason Iwata-san gave me for why he wanted to meet that day. He told me that Seaman was the kind of thing he was looking for. Thinking about it now, his role at this time was probably given to him as preparation for taking over management of Nintendo down the road, but it didn’t look like that was on his mind at all at the time.

To use a games industry expression, Seaman was a bit of a “guerilla-like” project even from the beginning, and no one, including myself, thought it would be a big hit, but I got a lot of good advice from Nintendo’s Miyamoto-san (and Tezuka-san), so I would show them the project even in the early planning stages and they would always look really intrigued by it. Before Seaman’s development on the Dreamcast began, I actually periodically had talks with Nintendo about making it for their platform. I think that background contributed to Iwata-san’s taking an interest in it. The game launched and did better than anyone could have imagined, constantly being sold out in stores. As a result, I got hit with the spotlight and received a lot of publicity. Iwata-san probably saw that and figured it would be a good idea to make friends with a game creator who could create weird games like Seaman.

- The DS and StreetPass
After that, I got the opportunity to do a lot of “experiments” with Nintendo. Most of them didn’t result in much, but we made a lot of prototypes of weird stuff. We even did things like make StreetPass-like technology on the GameBoy (not DS). I remember talking about things like, “Say you’re back in middle school. There’s a girl in your school whose name you don’t know. You always take the same train to school together. Can’t we come up with some good way to ask her out?”

This picture of Iwata-san is from that time (the board plugged in there is running a prototype program that we were working on).

When both the Nintendo DS and Wii were to be released, it was Iwata-san who made sure to quickly get in touch with me and demo the machines for me himself. He would always earnestly ask, “What kind of game would you make on this, Saito-san?” Iwata-san was always very courteous to everyone, and while he was a creator himself, he would never forget to show a great deal of respect to other creators.

When the DS came out, I went to Nintendo to receive a presentation for developers about the device. The developer support guy doing the presentation said, “That’s just about everything. Do you have any questions?” I asked him what he meant by “just about.” He replied, “There is one more new feature, but Iwata-san wanted to present that to you directly, so please wait here a moment.” I waited a bit and Iwata-san came down from the president’s office and tells me, “Saito-san, remember that StreetPass (it didn’t have this name at the time) feature we were working on? Well, it’s been implemented into the DS!” He then happily demonstrated the feature to me. This kind of thing isn’t something that most people get to experience. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been in the games industry at just the right time and to have had Iwata-san provide me with such an experience.

- The Wii Controller
There’s a bit on the Wiki that says I was the one to suggest putting a speaker on the controller after it was first announced. That's more or less true. Iwata-san, Miyamoto-san, and I were out at some yakiniku restaurant in Kyoto when I mentioned it. What is so incredible about this to me is that Iwata-san and Miyamoto-san went back and changed the design after my suggestion, even though they had already showed it off to the press, mockups included, and there had almost certainly been other people at Nintendo who internally proposed adding speakers to the controller before. I wasn’t even part of some big games publisher or anything—I was just an outsider with a big mouth.

This led into another really interesting story, but I’ll save that for another time.

- Seaman on the 3DS
When Iwata-san came to ask me to create Seaman for the 3DS, I like to think he was in the same frame of mind as when he first came to visit me at my apartment back in 1999. I did start working on the project, but things got really complicated and I eventually let go of it. Unfortunately that brought an end to our relationship, where I could just casually visit him in Kyoto and have fun exchanging new ideas. I felt like we needed some time before we could go back to the kind of creativity-filled relationship.

It was early last summer that I first heard about him taking some time off to recover from an unfortunate illness. I distinctly remember it, because I was actually sharing a taxi at the time with two super famous people: Yuji Horii-san of Dragon Quest fame and Takafumi Horie, otherwise known as Horiemon.

Iwata-san, when I later saw you appear before the press, I was really happy to see that you had recovered, but it looks like the gods aren’t that lenient… Tezuka-san (from Nintendo) suggested that I make an appointment to see you, but I couldn’t find the nerve to do so. Now, after all my hesitation, I’ve learned that we truly passed each other by, and I’ll never be able to see you again. I wish I had a StreetPass feature that could connect with heaven. I would run out and buy a DS with that feature right now just so I could send you my thanks. Yeah, I know that sounds a bit too convenient for me. When I left the Seaman project, I sent you a book and a letter. Whether you actually read them or not has been on my mind ever since. Also, I’m really sorry for being late with Odama, causing it to completely miss the window for it to be a success. There’s so much more I want to tell you, but I really don’t know what to do with myself after hearing about your sudden departure in the news.

Life is always just a succession of regrets.

Iwata-san, thank you for everything. I don’t typically look up to a lot of people, but I really respected you. I would always be thinking from afar just how amazing of a person you are.
It’s cliché to say this, but please rest in peace.

I’m still here, and although I almost lost hope in regards to being a creator and life in general, I think I want to challenge myself once more.

Iwata-san, thank you for so many things.
 
May 24, 2012
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I don't think he knew he was going to die. They would have assured people there was a plan in place instead of just interim position-holding. I also don't think he would have been at the shareholder's conference at all.

I think it really did get bad in the span of a week and he passed away before making concrete plans.
It was likely a sudden turn, but he wouldn't have been ignorant of his current state. He likely knew he had months our less and there is weird that there was at least some prep work... But even if a successor was completely planned, it's not like the days of Yamaguchi... The board has a lot more say than back then and no board is going to be instant in their response.
 

Ushojax

Should probably not trust the 7-11 security cameras quite so much
Nov 1, 2009
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I don't think he knew he was going to die. They would have assured people there was a plan in place instead of just interim position-holding. I also don't think he would have been at the shareholder's conference at all.

I think it really did get bad in the span of a week and he passed away before making concrete plans.
They may not have known how imminent it was but as soon as he was diagnosed they would have made provisions, however vague. Bile duct cancers have a dreadful prognosis.

I'm sure Iwata and the board had earmarked someone as his successor.
 
Oct 25, 2014
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I don't know why I keep thinking of these things specifically, but it's making me really sad the fact that he isn't going to be around to even get to appreciate all the things coming with Nintendo games going mobile, the new theme park rides, the NX launching. The poor sod won't even get to play the new Zelda :(

I can't believe how much the death of a person I don't know is affecting me. When I was playing Splatoon earlier, all the miiverse posts scattered around the stage for him really got to me.
 
Jan 6, 2012
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So upset about this. Satoru Iwata is without doubt the driving force behind me making a success in life.

Back in early 2000s I was a bit of a bum with a crappy job which had little hope of progression. Around that time, being a lifelong Nintendo fan (somewhat lapsed) I bought a GameCube because of some footage I saw of Luigis Mansion, needless to say I was pretty blown away with it, and then FZero GX, DK:JB, RE4, Paper Mario, etc etc really got me interested again in videogames. I started to read about Nintendo in magazines and on the internet. Time went on and although the GC wasnt a huge success its absolute quality had me convinced that someone was making the right decisions. Additionally, I kept reading about Nindendos new direction seemingly orchestrated by Saturo Iwata, I was always interested in what he had to say, I always reflected on what he said and thought "This guys knows whats up". Then the DS came out, then Bue Ocean strategy started to be talked about and I really felt that Nintendo was gaining momentum and was on the up.

One day I saw - I think it was in edge magazine - a tiny 3 line with image announcement of Nintendogs, and I thought to myself I have to do something with this. So I left my crappy job, hired a website developer and built a site dedicate to Nintendo. 18 months later, shortly after the Wiis launch, the site was booming and got an offer from an associated company to sell up and go and work for them in somewhat of a dream job.

Nearly 10 years later I still work at the company loving my role, enjoying all the benefits of having a great job in the industry - I travel the world on business seeing things that I'd never dream of when I was grinding away at my crappy job 15 years ago.

Even in recent times I've still considered Satoru Iwata to be key in my learning and general progression in life as for example when I've read with awe his incredibly open, reflective and constructive Nintendo Directs.

Thanks for everything Satoru Iwata. I really owe you.
This is a great story, thank you.

Iwata and the whole top dog crew at Nintendo truly are people to look up to.
 
Aug 27, 2013
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Nearly 2 days later, it still sucks. I've had countless things go across my mind, mostly questions. Mostly about Iwata, his motives and how he managed to work through it all. I wonder who will succeed him, both as Global President and CEO of Nintendo of America. I have never felt more bad for Nintendo than I do now. I know people have questioned Iwata's business practices, his leadership, etc. but if he weren't so important to us, I doubt we'd be expressing the sense of loss we have now.

There is never going to be another Satoru Iwata. Ever. For all of his jokes and catchphrases, he was the living embodiment of everyone's Uncle Nintendo when we were growing up, bragging about him in the schoolyard. And you know what? That's a better title than CEO or Programmer to me, because it makes him a Legend.
Same here and I agree. I want to cry but I haven't even though I'm still in shock and still deeply saddened by this. Maybe it's because Nintendo has always made me happy and knowing he was a big part of that happiness won't let me cry. He was one of a kind and someone who made this hobby of ours really special. I'm going to miss him.
 
Jan 6, 2012
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Masuda said he looked fine "the other day". Something happened all of a sudden.
It's entirely possible that something happened during a surgery. Even routine surgeries can turn deadly when unexpected emergencies happen in the middle of them, and with his already weakened state, it's a possibility that this is what happened and why he went so fast.
 
Apr 26, 2013
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the more I think about it, the more I think that Iwata and Nintendo knew that he will be gone soon. hence all the "transition" and "change" speech at E3. and yes surely people working with him on a daily basis probably knew that a cancer like that will not magically disappear (even though that was the image they showed us and what we hoped)
 

WarpathDC

Junior Member
Oct 29, 2013
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the more I think about it, the more I think that Iwata and Nintendo knew that he will be gone soon. hence all the "transition" and "change" speech at E3. and yes surely people working with him on a daily basis probably knew that a cancer like that will not magically disappear (even though that was the image they showed us and what we hoped)
I've said since E3 the puppets were an indication to me that he was in bad shape, not to mention he was very thin after his return to operations. Some of his peers hinted at that as well. "Even in your best outfit" line specifically. Sad
 
Dec 6, 2011
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I don't know why I keep thinking of these things specifically, but it's making me really sad the fact that he isn't going to be around to even get to appreciate all the things coming with Nintendo games going mobile, the new theme park rides, the NX launching. The poor sod won't even get to play the new Zelda :(
Well if it's any consolation, I'm sure he did get a chance to play the new Zelda in some form!
 
Oct 1, 2011
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So upset about this. Satoru Iwata is without doubt the driving force behind me making a success in life.

Back in early 2000s I was a bit of a bum with a crappy job which had little hope of progression. Around that time, being a lifelong Nintendo fan (somewhat lapsed) I bought a GameCube because of some footage I saw of Luigis Mansion, needless to say I was pretty blown away with it, and then FZero GX, DK:JB, RE4, Paper Mario, etc etc really got me interested again in videogames. I started to read about Nintendo in magazines and on the internet. Time went on and although the GC wasnt a huge success its absolute quality had me convinced that someone was making the right decisions. Additionally, I kept reading about Nindendos new direction seemingly orchestrated by Saturo Iwata, I was always interested in what he had to say, I always reflected on what he said and thought "This guys knows whats up". Then the DS came out, then Bue Ocean strategy started to be talked about and I really felt that Nintendo was gaining momentum and was on the up.

One day I saw - I think it was in edge magazine - a tiny 3 line with image announcement of Nintendogs, and I thought to myself I have to do something with this. So I left my crappy job, hired a website developer and built a site dedicate to Nintendo. 18 months later, shortly after the Wiis launch, the site was booming and got an offer from an associated company to sell up and go and work for them in somewhat of a dream job.

Nearly 10 years later I still work at the company loving my role, enjoying all the benefits of having a great job in the industry - I travel the world on business seeing things that I'd never dream of when I was grinding away at my crappy job 15 years ago.

Even in recent times I've still considered Satoru Iwata to be key in my learning and general progression in life as for example when I've read with awe his incredibly open, reflective and constructive Nintendo Directs.

Thanks for everything Satoru Iwata. I really owe you.
Awesome story, how is the name of your site?
 
Nov 10, 2007
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It's going to be interesting to see how the developers are affected at Nintendo. On a personal level, I mean, and how they might express their feelings in a game. Like I wouldn't be surprised if something in Zelda WiiU will be inspired by Iwata's passing. They said in the MM3D interview that a colleague's marriage inspired the Kafei and Anju sidequest. Maybe they'll pay respects to Iwata, or try to make sense of his passing, with something in-game.
 
It's going to be interesting to see how the developers are affected at Nintendo. On a personal level, I mean, and how they might express their feelings in a game. Like I wouldn't be surprised if something in Zelda WiiU will be inspired by Iwata's passing. They said in the MM3D interview that a colleague's marriage inspired the Kafei and Anju sidequest. Maybe they'll pay respects to Iwata, or try to make sense of his passing, with something in-game.
I was wondering this earlier today. I'd like it if it happened, whether a clear Easter egg or something subtle such as a small tweak that is later revealed in an interview after release. :)
 
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