The Life of Satoru Iwata – Gaming Historian
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The Life of Satoru Iwata – Gaming Historian

August 27, 2019


(RAINFALL) “Mr. Iwata is gone, but it will be years before
his impact on both Nintendo and the full video game industry
will be fully appreciated. He was a strong leader for our company and his attributes were clear to most everyone. Intelligence… creativity… curiosity… and sense of humor. But for those us fortunate
enough to work closely with him, what will be remembered
most were his mentorship, and especially… his friendship. He was a wonderful man.” – Reggie Fils-Aime On July 16 and 17 of 2015, despite storms from Typhoon Nangka, more than 4,000 people attended
the funeral of Satoru Iwata. It spoke volumes about the man. On the surface, he was the president of Nintendo. But for those who knew him, he was much more. A programmer. A gamer. A leader. A husband. A father. A friend. During his life, Iwata had
so many accomplishments, it seems unbelievable. His knowledge of programming was unmatched, and he routinely saved games
that were stuck in development. He became a president in his 30s, hand-picked by the most
powerful man in the industry, despite having little experience. But Iwata’s greatest achievement
was challenging the notion that video games weren’t for everyone. He tore down walls and introduced
games to a whole new audience. Even when others doubted him. His philosophy was best
summed up when he stated, “Above all, video games are
meant to be just one thing: fun. Fun for everyone.” This is the life of Satoru Iwata. (ACOUSTIC GUITAR MUSIC) He was born in Sapporo, Japan, the largest city on the island
of Hokkaido, on December 6, 1959. His father was Hiroshi Iwata, a prefectural official who wanted nothing more than to see his son follow in his footsteps. But Satoru Iwata had other plans. He would read encyclopedias
from cover to cover in his spare time. His greatest fear was earthquakes. His favorite food was chūkadon, a mixture of rice, fried vegetables
and assorted meats. Iwata was also active in school, serving as student council president, class president, and club president throughout the years– an early sign of his leadership qualities. But one day, on the way to school, Iwata encountered a device
that would change his life forever. At the Sapporo subway, a local telephone company
set up pay-per-hour computers. It was Iwata’s first experience with a computer. Every Sunday, he came back to the subway to play a simple numerical
game entitled “Game 31.” Iwata became fascinated with
computers and video games and wanted to learn more. In 1976, as a sophomore in high school, he worked part-time as a dishwasher
in order to save up enough money to buy an HP-65, the world’s first programmable calculator. Iwata now had the means to make his own games. And his passion was born. After high school, Iwata enrolled
at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Since studying video game design and
programming wasn’t possible back then, he majored in computer science. Around the same time, an immensely popular arcade game was
gobbling up coins around the country: Space Invaders. Iwata loved it. and wondered how he could
make something similar. With the money he received
as a graduation present, Iwata purchased a Commodore PET 2001, the very first all-in-one computer. His days of programming on a calculator were over. Iwata’s love for computers grew by the day. He would disassemble his computer
to learn more about the hardware and frequently played games
on it with his roommate. Their dorm room became
known as “Iwata’s Arcade.” Playing games was fun, but Iwata wanted to learn more by
sharing creations with other programmers. However, due to the cost of personal computers, few people owned one. Iwata was one of only ten students
to own a computer at his college. His thirst for knowledge brought him
to the Commodore Tokyo offices, where he befriended an
engineer named Yash Terakura. “Iwata was stopping by my office
almost every day after school. He helped me make test programs,
sorted my books and floppy disks, and did other minor things. He was helping so he could obtain
news about our new products as well as technical information
not available to the public. He and other students
were ‘Commodore groupies.'” – Yash Terakura Iwata’s internship with Terakura
at Commodore was valuable. During this time, he created
his first official game release, “Car Race,” a simple racing game for the PET User’s Club. Iwata also helped Terakura
with the ROM software for Commodore’s Color PET prototype. But his first big breakthrough came
from hanging around, of all places, the local Seibu department store. A group of computer enthusiasts
frequently hung out there with the store clerks, sharing programs they stored on cassettes. Iwata was happy to be around like-minded people, bringing in his own creations
and offering advice to others. One member of the group who worked at the store took note of Iwata’s talents, and asked him to join a new company
he was forming with some friends: HAL Laboratory. Iwata was still enrolled in school, so he agreed to join part-time. He was the only programmer on staff. The company of five worked out of a
one-bedroom apartment in Akihabara, developing peripherals and
software for various systems, including the MSX and the Commodore VIC-20. One of Iwata’s works was Star Battle, a clone of the Namco shoot ’em up game Galaxian. In 1982, Iwata completed his degree at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and happily joined HAL Laboratory full-time. Meanwhile, his father, Hiroshi Iwata, had just won the mayoral
election in the city of Muroran. He was not happy with his son’s choice. A year after joining HAL full-time, Iwata’s choice paid off. The Nintendo Company was
preparing to release a new system known as the Family Computer, or Famicom, for short. It cost ¥15,000, making it significantly cheaper
than a personal computer. And it was made to play video games. Iwata was stunned by the
Famicom’s power and price point. He said, “I feel like this is going to change the world. I want to be involved in this, no matter what.” As luck would have it, the Famicom
contained a modified version of the 6502 processor, a popular CPU that was used
in a variety of computers, including Iwata’s own Commodore PET 2001. Through connections with HAL Laboratory, Iwata set up an introductory
meeting with Nintendo. Engineers at Nintendo were more than happy to give Iwata and HAL Laboratory work. Iwata seemed more familiar with the Famicom than Nintendo’s own programmers. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. ♪♪ Before the Famicom was released to the public, Nintendo was working on a deal with Atari to distribute the system in other territories. While Nintendo had a
strong market presence in Japan, Atari had a much better worldwide presence. The deal stated that Nintendo would
create the hardware and software while Atari would sell and
distribute it outside of Japan. Atari also requested that Nintendo program
four of their games for the Famicom. One of those games was Joust, the popular arcade game by Williams Electronics, which Atari licensed for home consoles. Thus, Iwata was given his first job from Nintendo: create Joust for the Famicom and have it done in three months. He finished it in two. Unfortunately, the Atari-Nintendo deal fell apart and Joust wouldn’t be
released until four years later. But Nintendo was impressed by
Iwata’s skills and programming speed. They gave him a new assignment. He had to fix their game Pinball which had fallen way behind schedule. Iwata got it done and the game was released in February of 1984. As time went on,
Iwata was given more projects, including Golf and F1 Race. HAL Laboratory, and especially Iwata, quickly earned the trust of
Nintendo’s most important figure, president Hiroshi Yamauchi. He invested money into HAL, officially making them
a second-party developer. Iwata was promoted, becoming a development manager
and a board member for HAL. He was dubbed “the Super Programmer.” One notable title he worked on was Balloon Fight, a game where you pop
enemy balloons to stay afloat. Iwata’s programming was so good, the Famicom version of the
game ran much smoother than the arcade version. Iwata had found a way to
calculate the player’s position on the screen much more accurately. Nintendo was amazed and used the same calculation
in the underwater levels of Super Mario Bros. In 1987, HAL Laboratory was working on
a racing game for the Famicom, but has having trouble finding a way
to make it stand out among the crowd. It was at this time Iwata would first work with
the man he considered his rival, Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto had been with Nintendo since 1977 and created some of their biggest hits, including Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. To Iwata, it seemed like everything
Miyamoto touched turned to gold. “Why does Miyamoto-san always succeed?”
he would ask himself. Iwata’s programming skills were undeniable. But there is a difference
between making a game and making a smash hit. Miyamoto took a look at the
racing game and thought it, quote, “just wasn’t fun.” With Iwata, they remade courses, added Mario as the main character, and made the game compatible
with Famicom 3D glasses, which made the racing action
pop out from the screen. The final result was
Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally, one of only eight games
compatible with the glasses. Iwata learned a valuable lesson during that project: content was king. “I found out then that engineering
is not quite as important as imagination,” he said. From there, a friendship and mutual
respect grew between the two developers. It would be the first of many collaborations. By 1991, HAL Laboratory
had grown significantly. They now had 90 employees and were building a brand new
headquarters in Yamanashi, with a clear view of Mt. Fuji. However, all was not well. HAL Laboratory was suffering
from a recent lack of hit games and they had borrowed a significant amount
of money to build the new headquarters. To make matters worse, the Japanese economy was
going through a difficult time. In total, they owed ¥1.5 billion. Hiroshi Yamauchi, President of Nintendo, agreed to help HAL Laboratory pay
back its debt under one condition: Satoru Iwata would be named
president of the company. Iwata, who was currently Head of Development, was hesitant. He had little experience as a manager. But he finally agreed. “It isn’t a matter of what I like or don’t like,” he said. “But rather when I think that this
is the logical thing for me to do, I’m prepared to do it.” He quickly prepared himself to lead HAL Laboratory through repaying ¥250 million a year over six years. He was 32 years old. ♪♪ Iwata had the daunting task
of leading HAL Laboratory through paying back ¥1.5 billion of debt. But somehow, through all of this, he managed to accomplish things that
would define his career as both a programmer and a leader. One of his first jobs was to speak with
every single employee at HAL directly. This helped him not only learn more about them but himself, too. Iwata believed the company
must have a common goal that everyone could believe in. He led similarly to how he programmed, making decisions by gathering information, analyzing it, and assigning priority. “When I did that,” he stated, “things around me begin gradually getting better.” Iwata shifted HAL Laboratory’s
focus to game development. It seemed to offer endless
opportunities for learning and growth, and it would be the key to saving the company. Luckily, they had one game
that Iwata was excited about: Tinkle Popo. Created by 19-year-old game
designer Masahiro Sakurai, it was an action game with universal appeal. Anyone could play the game and have a good time. But when initial orders of the
game only reached 26,000 copies, Iwata grew concerned. He consulted with his old rival, Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto liked the game, but thought the name
“Tinkle Popo” wasn’t strong enough. He suggested they rebrand the game and have Nintendo publish it. This was a risk. Iwata would have to cancel 26,000 orders. But he agreed. Higher-ups at HAL were stunned and asked Iwata to reconsider. But he refused. He knew the magic of Miyamoto. The gamble paid off. “Tinkle Popo” was renamed to “Kirby of the Stars,” also known as Kirby’s Dream Land. The game became a huge hit, selling 5 million copies. Iwata would never forget the
success of a game that anyone could pick up and play. In 1993, Shigesato Itoi, a well-known Japanese writer
and creator of the Mother franchise, came to HAL Laboratory with a problem. His company, Ape Inc. was busy working on their latest game, Mother 2. However, development was moving too slowly. Itoi was concerned the game
might never be finished. He asked Satoru Iwata for help. Iwata took a look at the code
and gave his analysis. “I don’t think you’re going to be able
to finish if you go on like this,” he said. Iwata gave him two options: either he could take what they
had already and fix it in two years, or they could start fresh
and be done in six months. The choice was obvious. Rather than solve the issues one by one, Iwata and his team at HAL developed tools that the staff at Ape could use that would move development along more easily. In less than a year, they were
able to complete the game. For his remarkable help, Itoi referred to Iwata as “Superman.” Iwata followed up this
accomplishment with another, this time by helping Game Freak, the studio behind the Pokémon franchise. Iwata assisted with the Western localization of Pokémon Red and Green so Game Freak could focus on their sequels, Pokémon Gold and Silver. With the sequels, Iwata created graphic
compression tools for the developers. This allowed them to include
the previous Pokémon titles in the same cartridge, essentially doubling the size of the game. When Game Freak was creating Pokémon Stadium, Iwata was able to port the battle
system from the Game Boy games by simply studying the original source code. Game Freak designer
Shigeki Morimoto was amazed. “What kind of company president is this?” he said. It seemed like Satoru Iwata took no days off. Around this same time, he helped Kirby creator Masahiro
Sakurai with Super Smash Bros. by programming the game on the weekends. By 1999, Iwata’s shift to focusing
on game development had paid off. Literally. HAL Laboratory was able to
pay back the ¥1.5 billion it owed. Hiroshi Yamauchi couldn’t help but be impressed. He offered Iwata a position at Nintendo
as the Head of Corporate Planning. For all the help Nintendo provided
to HAL during their time of crisis, Iwata felt he owed them one and accepted the position. The next chapter of his
career was about to begin. ♪♪ In his new role at Nintendo, Satoru Iwata’s job was to create a strategy for making their latest console, the Gamecube, a success. Iwata once again focused on game development, establishing new procedures to
make development time shorter while maintaining quality. He also encouraged developers to
come up with new ways to play games. Shigeru Miyamoto, now a co-worker of Iwata, took the challenge to heart, trying to find ways to make the
handheld Game Boy Advance interact with the Gamecube. Even with all of these responsibilities, Iwata still found time to do what he loved. During the development of
Super Smash Bros. Melee, he helped debug the game
so it could be released on time. He loved being, quote, “in the trenches.” In Iwata’s first two years as
Head of Corporate Planning, Nintendo saw increased profits However, the Gamecube was still
struggling against Sony’s PlayStation 2. In May of 2002, Hiroshi Yamauchi called Iwata into his office. Iwata thought he was being fired. Instead, Hiroshi Yamauchi told
him he was planning to retire. He wanted Iwata to become
the next president of Nintendo, a position that had
never been held by anyone outside of the Yamauchi family. “The reason for Iwata-san’s selection comes down to his understanding of
Nintendo’s hardware and software. An executive, regardless of his vast successes, is fundamentally an executive who doesn’t intimately understand our products. Over the long term, I don’t know whether
Iwata-san will maintain Nintendo’s position, or lead the company to even
greater heights of success. At the very least, I believe him to be the
best person for the job.” – Hiroshi Yamauchi It was now up to the 42-year-old Satoru Iwata to lead Nintendo into the future. His first task was to come up with a plan to get Nintendo back on track. They dominated the handheld market, but saw decreased home
console sales year after year. Said Iwata, “If we continue down the same
path as we have in the past, people may become tired of gaming.” He concluded that the video game industry was becoming more and more exclusive. The creation of new, technologically
advanced video game systems had driven a huge gap
between experienced players and beginners. Something had to be done to draw people back in. He recalled his work on Kirby’s Dream Land and how making a video game
that was easily accessible resulted in great sales. The philosophy of keeping
things simple and fun for everyone would be Iwata’s strategy. Deviating away from what
everyone else was doing would be a huge risk. But Iwata was determined. “Creators only improve
themselves by taking risks,” he said. Nintendo’s first big decision
came during a business lunch between Iwata and Miyamoto in the spring of 2003. The topic was Nintendo’s next handheld console. Before departing, former president Hiroshi
Yamauchi casually quipped that the next handheld
should feature two screens, similar to the old Game & Watch
handhelds from the ’80s. Although he was now his boss, Iwata trusted Miyamoto more than anyone and wanted his input on new hardware. Miyamoto suggested one of
the displays be a touch screen which could be used for controls. The other screen could display the action. Iwata loved it and the basis for the Nintendo DS was born. Unveiled later that year in November, public reaction was mixed. Sony, who had just teased their
upcoming PlayStation Portable, wrote it off as a gimmick. When it was released a year later, sales were slow. But Satoru Iwata was convinced that Nintendo made the right move. To go along with their new hardware, Iwata produced a game to
appeal to a new audience: Brain Age. Based on Dr. Kawashima’s
popular “Train Your Brain” books, the game contained simple
math and reading exercises to stimulate neural activity. Miyamoto produced a game of his own, a pet simulation game called Nintendogs. Word started to spread on the Nintendo DS and skepticism about the system vanished. The DS sold 13 million units in 14 months. That number would have been higher, if Nintendo could have kept up with the demand. Iwata’s instincts were correct. With success in the handheld market, Iwata wanted to move his
strategy to home consoles. Genyo Takeda, who had his hand in every
Nintendo home console up to that point, was put in charge. Iwata asked him to “go off the road map,” to focus on innovation
rather than new technology. They needed a system that
the whole family could enjoy. They gave it the code name “Revolution,” an appropriate title for the system
that would change video games. The final product was eventually
dubbed the Nintendo Wii. Hardware-wise, it was basically
an enhanced Gamecube. The innovation came with the controller which utilized motion controls. Packaged with the system was Wii Sports, a perfect title to show off
Nintendo’s new technology. “Today, there are people
who play and who don’t. We’ll help destroy that wall
between them,” Iwata said. Once again, critics were skeptical. And once again, Iwata was right. The Nintendo Wii was a resounding success. selling 20 million units in just over a year. For the first time since the ’90s, Nintendo was #1 in the video game market. ♪♪ Satoru Iwata had to convince not only Nintendo but the entire industry to believe in his idea that gaming should be less exclusive. In only four years, he had succeeded. He infused his vision into workplace culture, merging divisions to encourage collaboration, and regularly meeting with employees. During his tenure, Iwata made several changes to open up the doors of Nintendo
and share their knowledge and love of games with the world. In 2003, in order to gather more data, he created Club Nintendo, a reward program that
allowed gamers to earn prizes in exchange for taking short surveys. In 2006, he launched “Iwata Asks,” a series of text and video interviews
with developers at Nintendo hosted by Iwata himself. It provided never-before-seen information and unique insight on game development, something Nintendo usually kept under wraps. In 2011, Iwata launched “Nintendo Direct,” a video series that detailed news
and announcements from Nintendo. It was a chance for the public to
see the president’s fun personality. You are very busy now since there are
so many games featuring Luigi. Huh? What? It looks like I’ll be delivering the
first Nintendo Direct of 2014… directly to you. He would regularly speak at conferences and do media interviews, something his predecessor rarely did. It was clear to everyone that Satoru Iwata was more than
just a president of a company. On my business card,
I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart… I am a gamer. (APPLAUSE AND CHEERS) In 2009, with Nintendo riding high on
the success of the Nintendo DS and Wii, development began on the next wave of systems. For handhelds, Iwata wanted to
further explore the world of 3D gaming, having worked on it previously
with Miyamoto on 3D Hot Rally. Nintendo experimented with 3D ever since. In 1995, they released the Virtual Boy, a system that resembled a pair of goggles
that simulated 3D gaming with a red tint. It wasn’t successful. Nintendo experimented more on 3D displays with the Game Boy Advance
and the Nintendo Gamecube, even going so far as to modify the
game Luigi’s Mansion to utilize it. But these ideas never made it past
the research and development stage. Iwata was still encouraged
by the technology, however, and pushed forward with
development on a new handheld that would use 3D displays. What resulted was the Nintendo 3DS. Released in early 2011, the handheld could display 3D effects without the need of special glasses. The technology was impressive. Sales were not. In the second quarter alone, the 3DS only sold 710,000 units worldwide, way under expectations. Hardware sales across the
company were down as well, as the Nintendo DS and Wii became older. Iwata slashed the 3DS price drastically from $249 to $169 in order to entice gamers. With profits declining,
Iwata felt personally responsible. Not wanting to lay off employees, he slashed his salary in half. In 2012, Nintendo followed up the
Wii with its successor, the Wii U. It featured HD graphics,
improved online connectivity, and a tablet controller. But once again, sales were disappointing. Many consumers were confused by the name, thinking it was some sort of
add-on for the original Wii rather than a brand new system. Nintendo also continued to
focus on family-friendly software, a market that the tablet and cell
phone industry had since dominated. When asked if Nintendo would begin
making games on mobile devices, Iwata stated, “Absolutely not.” When asked why, he responded, “If we did this, Nintendo
would cease to be Nintendo.” For the 2011 fiscal year, Nintendo reported $461 million in losses. It was their first loss in more than 30 years. ♪♪ For the 2012 and 2013 fiscal year, Nintendo experienced their second
and third consecutive operating loss. While the 3DS was selling better, the Wii U was failing to catch on with consumers. Something had to change. As he so often did before, Iwata handled the problem like a programmer. “If the system doesn’t work, it’s definitely your fault,” he said. Iwata took full responsibility for the decline in sales and enacted changes to put Nintendo back on track. He took over as CEO of Nintendo of America, and killed the expensive E3 presentations in favor of the online Nintendo Direct videos. In order to drive up software and hardware sales, they would focus on releasing
games from their strongest franchises, including Pokémon, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. In June of 2014, Nintendo announced the Amiibo toy line, which could connect to Nintendo
games and provide additional content. With these changes, things began to look better for the company. In the summer of 2014, during a routine physical examination, Iwata was given bad news. Doctors found a growth in his bile duct, a form of cancer. He quickly underwent a successful
surgery to remove the growth. Due to his medical issues, he announced that he would miss
the annual shareholders meeting. When he reappeared in public
later that year on November 5th, he was noticeably thinner but in good spirits. Nintendo’s software and
hardware sales were improving, and the Amiibo toys were becoming
hard for stores to keep in stock. In 2015, after three years of operating loss, Nintendo announced they
had returned to profitability. Iwata continued to shake things
up by announcing a partnership with mobile developer DeNA in March of 2015. One analyst described the move as “the most drastic, bold shift in strategy Nintendo could have undertaken.” Iwata had finally recognized the legitimacy of mobile gaming. In June of 2015, gamers eagerly anticipated the E3 expo, the annual convention where game companies, including Nintendo, usually made their biggest announcements. But before the event started, Nintendo announced that Satoru Iwata would not be attending for
the second straight year. Iwata stated it was no cause for concern, as there was no new hardware to announce and he had business to deal with in Japan. Later that month, he attended
a shareholders meeting where they reelected directors and
discussed the distribution of surplus profits. Two weeks later, on July 11th, Satoru Iwata passed away at the age of 55. The cancer had returned. “In a previous column,
I wrote that when someone passes on, for those around them, it’s simply as though
a character has been removed from their story. But for the deceased,
the entire world has gone away. However, even for other people, Mr. Iwata’s presence was too great to
simply call him a character in the story of life. Mr. Iwata’s world is gone, leaving a massive impression on those around him. Yet, even so, our world continues.” – Masahiro Sakurai “When I’m parting with a friend,
regardless of the circumstances, I find it best to just say, ‘See you later. We’ll meet again.’ After all, we’re friends. That’s right, nothing unusual about it. ‘I’ll see you later.’ You went on a trip far, far away, even though it was planned
for many years from now. You wore your best outfit and said, ‘Sorry for the short notice,’ though you didn’t say it out loud. You always put yourself last, after you’d finish helping everyone else. You were so generous as a friend that this trip might be your very first selfish act. I still can’t grasp what’s happened. It feels like I could still get a light-hearted email asking me out to lunch at any moment, after you made sure lunch wouldn’t
disrupt my schedule, of course. You can invite me out whenever you want. I’ll invite you, too. So, for now, let’s plan on meeting again. You can call me up whenever you like, and I’ll give you a call, too. I still have a lot to talk to you about. And if I come up with any
particularly good ideas, I’ll let you know. So let’s meet again. No… I suppose we’re already meeting. Right here, right now.” – Shigesato Itoi (SOMBER PIANO MUSIC) Iwata’s death was a shock to everyone. The outpour of emotion
online following his death was an indicator of how
important he was to the industry. It came from everywhere. Executives. Employees. Rival companies. Developers. And gamers. Their words varied. Visionary. Leader. Inspiration. Mentor. Legend. His legacy on the video game
industry cannot be overstated. Time and time again, Iwata redefined what it meant to be a developer and a leader. When games were in development crisis, he saved them. When a company was on the verge of crumbling, he built it back. When things got bad, he took responsibility. And he did it all with a heartwarming smile. Satoru Iwata embodied what Nintendo was all about. That video games are meant to be just one thing: fun. Fun for everyone. ♪♪

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  1. I will tell you all a story, i have always played nintendo games since i can remember When i whas 12 i whas diagnosed with cancer and i had alot of friends suddenly they all left me the only thing i had whas My nintendo and i played so many games on it it whas just gaming anymore it whas my world no friends i dint need them but my nintendo whas my world,, after a couple of years i whas cured at age of 16 then OOT remake for the 3ds came thanks to Iwata i could play my all time favorite game on the go that i wish i could when i whas a small kid but just when things got good with me Iwata got cancer and i tought,,, damn Cancer is… wel lets put it this way this broke my heart and i dont have words to describe my feelings just enjoy the games and sink into the feelings that you have while playing them because when i did i dint think of my cancer i dint think of my broken hearth that i collected through the game instead of a broken hearth of the friends that had left me till this day,, i love you all have a great life and play games with love,, not just for fun ! when majoras mask came on the 3ds the end made me learn that i have to forgive my friend just like skull kid and the fairys and the giants <3 thanks again Iwata

  2. Thank you for sharing the story of the life of such a great man. Once again it was emotional, educational and inspiring πŸ‘πŸ’―. I am grateful πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

  3. This was absolutely beautiful. The man was a legend and a good friend to those around him. Mr. Iwata will be sorely missed.

  4. If there is an after life and god I hope he sits right there next to him, typing on his Commodore Pet

  5. Iwata was a little bitch that created gimmicie games and consoles. That tried to swindle money out of people by low balling them with cheap shitty graphics and inferior consoles! 100% a scammer who kill a franchise, and financially destroyed nintendo!

  6. thank you so much for this minidoc – i had no idea Iwata was so hands on, and i completely understand why he was so well loved & respected as a colleague, a hard worker, a prolific leader, and a man of the people. wonderful video!

  7. It’s been almost 4 years…. we still miss you, Iwata-san… R.I.P. πŸ’”

  8. Thank you Iwata for being why Pokemon & Mother are as good as they are. You always have a place in gamers hearts and on my Mii Roster.

  9. I can't end this video without commenting, but… I don't have anything to say. I cried now just like I cried when his death was announced. He was an absolutely wonderful man, a friend to his co-workers, a kind soul that always put others first. He was the light at the end of the dark tunnel, when Nintendo was experiencing the biggest losses. Everytime I saw him, I smiled. How could you not smile, he radiated with positive energy that lifted the spirits of people all around him. I just hope that some day, I'll be like him. His actions tell me that success is not as important as kindheartedness and respect towards other people. May you rest in peace.

  10. I never got a chance to meet him in person as well would have loved to come to Japan and got a tour of nintendo Japan but no I can't believe it I…… I……. I wanted him to see me face to face but now I can't I will remember him for life………..

  11. Amazing work as always. Satoru Iwata has led by example, and at such disturbing times as the one's we currently live in, it is always a joy to feel the kind of HOPE that only he knew how to deliver πŸ™‚
    He may have left our world, but his legacy will live forever!

  12. Thank you Iwata-san for everything you've done for Nintendo, the Gaming Industry, and for Me growing up as a kid.

  13. Rest in peace, Iwata-san. You were (and still are) a genuine inspiration for many people. You may be gone, but your contributions to the video games industry and the countless smiles you brought to the faces of people around the world will never be forgotten.

  14. Rest in peace Mr. Iwata you have made
    fun games of my childhood and we all
    thank you for making games and saving
    game Company for release games for us
    Braiden Salt:

  15. Even though I’m years late, Thank you Mr Iwata for everything you have done for the gaming industry. May you Rest In Peace.

  16. One could only imagine as how would Satoru Iwata thought of the success of the Nintendo Switch.

    I'm sure he would be happy with the product.

    God Bless, Satoru Iwata. πŸ˜‡

  17. I had no idea this guy was around. I would have loved to have worked for this guy. I hate to say it but it sounds like Nintendo might be finished.

  18. Rarely do top officials and figures take responsibility for their losses and this man is one of the most honorable man I've ever seen. I've lived for 4 years in Tokyo and never heard of this man until now-I've seen him here and there but paid no attention but upon watching this, I was simply amazed at how this man was able to change Nintendo's destiny. A man of this stature is a rarity that is almost unheard of-he would rather slash his salary in half instead of losing his employees, something so unheard of in today's world… Is there any CEO, anyone that you know that would make such a sacrifice to save their employees' jobs?

  19. I think the early failure of the 3ds and the wiiu wasn't down to hardware but poor marketing. if you look at the nintendo switch it isn't that much different than the wiiu and many of the wiiu 1st party titles have been re-released on the nintendo switch.

    I remember when they first promoted the wiiu they would have developers talk about how excited they were about the new hardware never actually showing what it was. all we saw was a handheld screen and it confused a hell out of a lot of people even game review sites. was it a new console??? was it an add on for the nintendo wii??? And the wiiu name was confusing as well, nintendo aimed at the casual market and they named their product "wiiu". many of those gamers were like "I've already got a wii"

    Just compare the wiiu version of zelda with the nintendo switch version they both run at the same frame rate with only marginally better graphics on the switch. To be honest I believe that the nintendo switch is just a re branded wiiu.

  20. We’ve lost Yokoi, we lost Iwata, we lost Lincoln, we lost Fils-Aime, we lost Kimishima. who’s next?

  21. "Johnny's life passed him by like a warm summer day". We should have reverence for the late visionaries Satoru Iwata and Stan Lee… Their legacies live on and we should celebrate those legacies whenever we remember them… But for Iwata, he left behind a legacy that caused even Nintendo's fiercest rivals to mourn his passing.

  22. The people whom we most want to stay, are the ones who gone too soon. This has got to be one of the best documentaries in video game ever.

  23. I always rewatch this video to pay respects and every time i get sad. His games inspired me entertained ne and made me feel emotions nothing else has. Pokemon makes me happy, mother 3 makes me sad, the intro to melee to this day makes my hair stand up, and mario maker challenges me. All of these would not be possible without Iwata.

  24. It is impossible not cry… I feel soo sorrow for our lost. Videogames was his life like so much of us and for this I feel a deeply feeling of respect and thankfully for all of his work and creation: Now we have our hero playing videogames with God. Rest in peace and "we'll see you soon". Thanks for this great video and tribute; greetings from Argentina βœ¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡·πŸ˜­β€οΈπŸ‡―πŸ‡΅β€οΈβœ¨

  25. How anyone gave this a thumbs down is truly beyond me. Beyond his contribution to gaming, his willingness to half his salary rather than lay of employees is almost unheard of in capitalist societies.

    A truly moving tribute to one of the all time greats.

  26. Though DS' success was most definitely in the innovative and interesting library rather than the awkward controls for a good few and titles. And then almost entire lack of any DRM.

  27. This was really well and a strong reminder of his love for gaming. Gonna throw my hat is tears at the end club.

  28. Hey… uh… gaming historian?
    I'm still mad at you for lying to me about little samson… the music was kinda lame… but uh… like… I just want to say…
    I love your channel… And thank you for making such wonderful content.

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