A small tribute to Satoru Iwata

Last night, news broke that Nintendo’s CEO, Satoru Iwata, had
passed away from what is confirmed to be cancer, the sad news was accompanied
by me working through a lot of tributes to Satoru Iwata and the work he has
done for Nintendo. I would like to pay a small tribute as well by introducing you
to the Satoru Iwata that I saw as a fan and what he has done to earn him such
high respect from not only me, but many of his fans.

A lot of fans used to go back to back to scenes from Nintendo’s
2004 and 2005 E3 press conference as the first real defining introduction to
this character. In 2004, the announcement of the Nintendo Wii was big and bold,
he started with the statement that graphics do not matter and had that Nintendo
had created a revolution, which had became true as the Wii is one of the
company’s biggest and fastest selling consoles, the year after that
announcement he made this little infamous moment.


From that moment he began the idea that he was more than a
corporate man, he was a personality, he was a gamer, all he wanted to do was to
have fun and through games he was going to share that fun. This ideology had
become the forefront of how he chose to represent the company. His keynote speech
at GDC, titled ‘Heart of a Gamer’, spoke about what his vision for Nintendo, a
game system that brings diverse variety of gaming to different varieties of
people to play and enjoy.


That pursuit in making great and enjoyable games for people
to enjoy has captured a lot of fans hearts and has always made him feel like
more than just a CEO, of a company, he was one of us, he enjoyed videogames and
he enjoyed the process of creating them, Iwata was a genuinely great man, an idea
of his accomplishments have been shown in this IGN article from 2012.


What was quite also quite incredible about him was also the fact he was an incredible genius.
Here’s a quote from tv tropes in the section of Genius Programming (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/SugarWiki/GeniusProgramming)

“Ladies and gentlemen,
meet Satoru Iwata, global president of Nintendo, former acting president of HAL
Labs. When he was younger, he disassembled the programs for his home computer
by writing down the memory dumps by hand.
Mind you, this was before printers. Among
his achievements as a game programmer, he…

  • … ported the battle code of Pokemon
    to the Nintendo
    64 despite not having any access to crucial documents. And he did it all
    in a week.
  • … programmed EarthBound (from scratch) in its entirety, also
    with remarkable speed. At the time, the project was very close to being
    jettisoned due to the unmanageability of the original coding. The coding
    itself is a huge scripting language, so complex that, theoretically, the
    text system alone could be used to write an emulator, if altered somewhat.
  • … personally compressed Pokemon
    Gold And Silver
    , which
    filled the cartridge despite still being half-finished. That’s the reason
    the setting for
    Pokémon Red and Blue was included (with only two locations
    removed) in the games—there was that much space left after he was done.”

This man had talent, his input in creating some of the best
Nintendo had to offer cannot be understated, he may not have the same talent as
Miyamoto, however, I sincerely doubt Nintendo would’ve had the successes it has
had without him.

The quirkiness of his presentations in the Nintendo Directs,
the pursuit of unconventional events to entertain fans such as The Smash
Brothers Invitational Tournament and the Nintendo World Championships, Mr Iwata
has been at the helm of a company with one core binding principle, to enjoy
gaming, and that is what I saw in Satoru Iwata as a fan, and this is why a lot of
people are saddened by this loss. He is one of the of the people whose work has
affected me and I will miss him, Rest in Peace, Satoru Iwata.

    • KwameO

      Really sad what happened. When i first heard the news all i could think of was the great things he was responsible for and what he helped give birth to in the industry. Now a days people (myself included) can’t help but bring up irrelevant shit when it concerns gaming. But he had his eyes on the prize the entire game. Is this game fun? Do people want to play It? and how can we make the communities surrounding them better? He will certainty be missed.