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Satoru Iwata

Following the passing of Satoru Iwata, many game developers shared various messages about the Nintendo president. Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii was among those who had a few words to share last week. A translation of his comments are below.


Following the passing of Satoru Iwata, Game Center CX producer Kan Tsuyoshi wrote an editorial column about the situation. Much of his piece talked about the time when Iwata came in for an episode of the show.

If you never saw that video, you should definitely give it a look below – it’s great stuff. As for Tsuyoshi’s piece, that can be found after the break (courtesy of Greg Lescoe).

Masahiro Sakurai published a new column in the latest issue of Famitsu. His piece is entirely about Satoru Iwata, who just recently passed away.

Sakurai started out by stating the following when he heard the news: “My mind went white and even now the reality hasn’t sunk in.”

He then remembers the early days, and recalled how Iwata had been one of the interviewers when Sakurai applied for a job at HAL Laboratory Inc. “Our positions and locations changed throughout our long association,” he said. “He was the best superior I ever had and a man who understood me better than anyone.”

Later in his piece, Sakurai described Iwata in the following five ways:

He was a man of virtue. Where a normal person would get annoyed or angry, he would never show such emotions and would instead analyze, organize, and offer ideas. He was someone who could bow his head and apologize for things that weren’t his fault. I often worried about his stress levels, but he always talked with a smile.

He had a brilliant mind. Even when people would talk at length or without focus he was able to quickly say, “so, what you’re trying to say is…” and quickly summarize their point. He was able to see to the heart of people and things and was a master of simplifying them so that anyone could understand their point. He could immediately make a call on changes to improve. I have no doubt that many people were saved by this quality.

He was a man of effort. Even though he didn’t start out in the managing field, he read numerous management books, he would ask for advice from the necessary people that he would take to heart, and managed to become the president of Nintendo. What he gained from his years as a programmer allowed him to take many long-term projects to successful fruition.

Jon and I discussed the tragedy surrounding the passing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in this week’s episode of Just a Chat. It was rather tough to get through, but we managed to record this somehow!


Brian’s Twitter
Jon’s Twitter

We’ve been seeing all sorts of tributes and honors going out for Satoru Iwata over the past week. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Master Quest concert also paid tribute with a moment of silence yesterday. YouTube user “GrahamdyAker” recorded it, which you can watch below.

Earlier today, EVO 2015 paid a small tribute to Satoru Iwata. Iwata was honored with a moment of silence at the tournament.

Satoru Iwata passed away last weekend due to a bile duct growth. He was 55 years old.


Genyo Takeda. Nintendo’s senior managing director and current co-representative director, delivered a memorial address for Satoru Iwata during funeral services held this week. Nintendo has since released the transcript in full. We’ve posted it below.

As we gather here today for a joint funeral with Nintendo Co., Ltd. and Mr. Iwata’s family, I would like to share my heartfelt condolences. President Iwata, allow me to call you Iwata-san, just as I always used to.

Iwata-san, you left us far too soon. Having just chaired our shareholders’ meeting the other day on June 26, the news of your sudden death has left all the employees overcome with a deep sorrow. The late Yamauchi-san passed the baton to you in naming you the president of Nintendo in 2002, and the two Senior Managing Directors of the company, Shigeru Miyamoto and I, have been assisting and working alongside you. Being rather short-tempered myself, the thing that I am most deeply struck by is that you were a true leader in every sense of the word, overflowing with compassion for people. You always maintained a two-way dialogue, even with the next generation of employees, or with much younger members of the development and marketing teams, or with employees outside of Japan whose different customs and cultures can make communication challenging — sometimes even admitting your own mistakes to them. You demonstrated this through your belief that people could eventually come to understand one another, and your strong conviction that the best way for us to grow is through patient communication, even if it took several times, a dozen times or even seemingly endless discussion.

Nintendo of America has posted another couple of messages on Twitter thanking fans for their support in light of Satoru Iwata’s passing.

The company said:


Funeral services for Satoru Iwata have been held for the past couple of days in Japan. According to The Wall Street Journal, they were attended by thousands of people.

Here’s a look at the site’s report:

Thousands of admirers and business associates gathered in Kyoto to say a final farewell to Satoru Iwata, the Nintendo Co. president who died of cancer on Saturday at age 55.

The Kyoto-based company held two days of funeral services for Mr. Iwata according to Japanese custom. At a temple, people wearing black and carrying umbrellas because of a nearby typhoon lined up to pass his coffin. Some even carried a Nintendo 3DS handheld game machine, which was introduced by Mr. Iwata.

Nintendo said more than 2,600 people attended in the first day, and 1,500 came on the second day.

Delivering a eulogy Friday, Mr. Takeda said that he and Mr. Miyamoto would strive to complete the work that Mr. Iwata started. Mr. Takeda said the seeds that Mr. Iwata planted would one day grow into flowers “that will make people around the world smile.”


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