Today I learnt the sad news that Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, had died.
A man devoted to Nintendo, a man devoted to gaming, and a man committed to fun.
I will never forget the day I got my first Nintendo in the mid 1980s, the Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember playing Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt with my best friend until the early hours of the morning. I remember the fun we had in the following days, months and years and I still get pangs of sentimentality when I think about that time of my life.
While Iwata-san only joined the company in 2000, he joined the company at a time when the gaming population was in decline. But he managed to do the impossible – he made gaming popular for non-gamers. During his time, Nintendo released among other things both the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii, and more recently Iwata-san had been leading a successful entry into the smartphone gaming sector.
But regardless of whether Nintendo was a profitable company or not, and regardless of whether this was because of his leadership, I will always be a Nintendo boy, through and through because of what Nintendo stood for and was able to do - make games with heart.
So to hear the news of the Iwata’s death was not only sad, but also brought back great memories of all the games I have played over the years. Iwata summed it up best, both his life and career, when he said:
“Video games are meant to be just one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone”
Satoru Iwata, 1959 - 2015
The Mario flag is now at half mast.