Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Dies

satoru iwataREDMOND, WA – The visionary who brought the world the Nintendo DS and Wii and helped open the world of gaming to everyone, has died. Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo Co. Ltd., passed away on July 11 due to a bile duct growth. He was 55.

First and foremost, Iwata was a gamer and served as CEO of Nintendo of America since June of 2013. Prior to moving up to the top slot at the video game giant, he also served as the company director, president and representative director.

Born on December 6, 1959 in Sapporo, Japan, Iwata was interested in video games a very early age, creating electronic games while in high school. He studied at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he majored in computer science where he interned with Commodore Japan and later freelanced as a programmer for HAL Laboratory Inc.

Iwata started his career as a game programmer at HAL Laboratory and later became the company's president before moving on to Nintendo. He first launched the Nintendo DS on the market in 20014, which would rival other handheld systems like Sony’s PlayStation Portable.

As the competition continued to thicken with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 targeting hardcore gamers, hitting the market, Iwata took a different approach and focused instead on parents, grandparents, children and even making gamers out of non-gamers by launching the Wii.

This past May, Iwata made his last appearance as a Muppet. The Jim Henson Company was hired by Nintendo to build a Muppet in Iwata’s likeness, so he could deliver a presentation to this year’s E3 audience.

"On my business card, I am a corporate president," said Iwata during a keynote speech during 2005's  Game Developers Conference. "In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer."

Playthings Staff | Playthings Staff

We cover the latest news and information for the toy industry.

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