The evening of Sunday July 12, 2015 has been a pretty melancholy one for most gaming fans around the world. The news of the passing of Mr. Satoru Iwata at the young age of 55 has been a shock to many, yet so many people have seen fit to pay tribute to this great gentleman. Iwata-san’s contribution to the lives of so many people is truly immeasurable. He was such an humble man, much of what he has done for most was without notice or fanfare, yet it was indeed felt. Social media has seen the outpouring of great messages of respect and love for the venerable leader of Nintendo.
It’s just amazing the impact that he’s had on the games industry. Starting out as a master programmer and working his way to the top of my favorite gaming company was incredible, but the person touch that he’s had is evidenced by the love being shown over and over in the newsfeeds and timelines.
Iwata-san had a vision for Nintendo that was rock-solid and saw far beyond what many could even understand. That may have ruffled some feathers within the fan base, but successes cannot be denied; just as missteps can also be counted. Innovation comes with risks, but that’s the nature of the business…as he saw it.
“If all we were to ever do is just continue to make sequels and not do anything new or different, people would view us as a very conservative company and a company that is unwilling to really take new initiatives and embark on new adventures. That’s not the type of person I am and not the kind of company I want Nintendo to be.” ~Saturo Iwata
I have always seen gaming through the eyes of that kid who began playing video games at an early age. And for that reason, I have always viewed games that I intended to purchase through one lens…will I have fun with it? That’s why I always end my blog posts the same way. I see that Iwata-san felt the same exact way…
There will always be people who are “just” getting into something, and it’s always been important to remember those people when choosing your audience to address. For Iwata-san they are the primary audience he wanted to address.
“In order to expand the gaming population, it is taken for granted that we need to offer games to satisfy veteran gamers. At the same time, I believe that we need to make a new proposal, so that those who do not play games can say, ‘I can do it’ and, ‘I want to touch it.'” ~Satoru Iwata
Nintendo and gaming are synonymous to me, and the bottom line is their desire to remain a stalwart in the industry means I can continue to be a gamer for a long time.
In the end, Iwata-san was indeed a great leader of Nintendo and he will surely be missed. No matter what gaming company you claim as your favorite, the loss of great people in the industry touches you, as well. We are a community of fun-lovers, and that’s exactly what Satoru Iwata stood for in this industry. Keep his spirit alive in your heart, and the next time you pick up your controller, remember “Video games are meant to be just one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone.”
So, as always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!
RIP Satoru Iwata!!