Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata has passed away at the age of 55. The company confirmed his untimely departure today in a brief statement.
“Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.”
Iwata missed last year’s E3 event due to medical concerns. He later had to undergo surgery to get rid of the growth located in his bile duct.
Satoru Iwata joined Nintendo in 1983 as a programmer, working at the HAL laboratory. Some of the games he helped create while working there, were EarthBound and the Kirby titles. He was promoted to President of HAL in 1993 and eventually went on to becoming Nintendo’s fourth President in 2002. The launches of the GameCube, Nintendo DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U were overseen by Iwata.
Another of Iwata’s roles was as the host of “Iwata Asks”, a series of game developer Q&As that offered fans a deeper look into a company that was known for its secrecy. In 2013 he became CEO of Nintendo of America. One of the first things he did, was announced that Nintendo would no longer hold large press conferences at E3. Instead Iwata would speak directly to millions of gamers via the Nintendo Direct video series, providing fans of all generations with all the latest Nintendo announcements.
Rest in peace Iwata-san, you will be missed.