Geez, first post in yonks and another little speech about death- except, like all the other tributes we’ve posted here, it feels like something that simply needs doing. I’m not sure why, to be honest, but some things aren’t worth picking at. I’m back and I’m gonna pay a little tribute to the fantastic Mr Iwata, because the part of me that feels this needs doing is equipped with a very big karmic hammer…
Satoru Iwata, for many of us, was a sucker punch to the notion of businessmen being dull. He seemed genuinely interested in making games enjoyable, and natural in his efforts to connect with his fellow fans.
He halved his salary when the Wii U was failing to sell, interviewed fellow developers in the Iwata Asks series, and frequently made fun of himself during his own promotional events. Only recently he took the public screen in full Muppet regalia, complete with his (now iconic) bunch of bananas.
Its easy to forget that he was also Nintendo’s president, the first to be appointed outside of the Yamauchi family, and fronted the arguably ground-breaking Wii/DS era of gaming. He oversaw the beginnings of Kirby, among others (Balloon Fight & Earthbound for example), and started out as a programmer at HAL. Iwata wasn’t just another speaker in a suit, trotted out to dictate Nintendo’s latest pitch for virtual domination. He knew what he was talking about, and he wanted everyone else to know it too.
You get the sense he would’ve made a great in-store salesman; the type that sets a record on the in-store Mario Kart demo and encourages every visitor to beat it, raves about the latest indie developer daring to make something different, and writes online guides for his favorite games in his spare time. The type who can sell a game to virtually anyone.
We could do with plenty more of those, to be honest. Rest in peace, good sir, and thank-you for all the fun.
“…engineering is not quite as important as imagination.”- Satoru Iwata, 1959-2015