Satoru Iwata, CEO and President of Nintendo passed away on Saturday in a Kyoto University hospital at the age of 55. Mr. Iwata was selected as the president of Nintendo in May 2002 and became the CEO of Nintendo of America in June 2013. He was a former video game development star who redefined video gaming with the launch of the Wii console nearly a decade ago.
The company’s brief statement read “Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.”
Tributes on social networking sites after the death of Satoru Iwata:
Condolences and tributes emerged on social networking sites as news of Iwata’s death spread online. Condolences also emerged on Miiverse, Nintendo’s online community where users post notes and drawings created with a Wii U stylus or Nintendo 3DS.
Bungie, Halo and Destiny developer posted a quote by Satoru Iwata from 2005 talk at the Game Developers Conference on Twitter: “On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.”
Hanjoon Kim, Deutsche Bank analyst said Iwata’s death was a great loss for Nintendo, as he was leading the project of smartphone gaming and in March the company tied up with online game maker DeNA.
Satoru Iwata attended the Nintendo’s annual general meeting on June 26, but his condition unexpectedly deteriorated in the past few days. He usually attended various game events, but this year he missed some important gaming events such as E3 in LA.
After the death of Satoru Iwata, the next big hurdle for Nintendo is to find his replacement. According to the sources, star game designer Shigeru Miyamaoto will lead together with Genyo Takeda, who is also in the game development field.