It has been one year since the gaming world lost Satoru Iwata.
Iwata started his career at Nintendo as a programmer but rose through the ranks to become the first president with no ties to the Yamauchi family. In a culture where family businesses are EXTREMELY valued, this is a testament to what Hiroshi Yamauchi saw in him.
He went on to lead Nintendo through it’s most successful period since the NES was released with the release of the Wii in 2006. When Nintendo reported losses, Iwata voluntarily cut his salary as a way of apology. Iwata also enjoyed interacting with developers and fans through Nintendo Directs and Iwata Asks interviews.
Such dilligence was not to last though. Iwata was diagnosed with bile duct cancer and underwent surgery in 2015, missing that year’s E3. Unfortunately, bile duct cancer is an aggressive beast, and he succumbed to it on the 11th of July 2015. The world was not made aware until three days later, when Nintendo of Japan published a notice that the office of president was now vacant.
Goodbye and arigato.
Here’s a drawing I made on Miiverse after his death: