RIP Iwata-San

As most of you have heard, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s president for the last 13 years died unexpectedly this last weekend. He had been fighting cancer on his bile duct for some time, but he had returned to work and was apparently feeling well, although not well enough to make it to E3, where he appeared in Muppet form:

Why did he appear at the largest show of the year as a Muppet? Because he could, and he was a pretty cool dude. Before becoming president of Nintendo, he was president of one of their game development companies, and had worked there since ’84. While president of that company, he would take on problem programming projects and fricking write or debug the code himself if shit wasn’t getting done right. How many other electronic companies have a president who came up through the trenches and could do that?

He was steadfast in his opposition to many gaming trends, some laudable (he opposed micro-transactions and DLC.) and some curious (he opposed gaming on smartphones until recently.) He also insisted they ship a finished product – which led to significant delays in several high profile launches. Many thought this was backward thinking to the old days when you had to ship a cartridge, and updates weren’t a possibility. But he insisted on it because he felt they had a duty to their customers that had no or limited net access who could not download a multi gig update.

He always seemed to me to be the straight man out of a anime comedy. The stereotypical Japanese Samurai transported to the present era.

I leave you with Ars Technica’s collation of his more memorable quotes.

RIP Iwata-San

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