Nintendo have released a statement announcing that their President Satoru Iwata sadly passed away on Friday “due to a bile duct growth”. The much-loved CEO had been a commanding figure in Nintendo since joining them in 2000 and is often credited with keeping the company alive through tough financial times.
Satoru Iwata had been at the heart of Nintendo for 15 years, frequently being described by those that knew him as a CEO with the heart of a gamer. An irrepressibly good nature coupled with a tireless work ethic had also made Mr Iwata extremely popular with fans. Prior to his work with Nintendo, Mr Iwata worked as a programmer at HAL Laboratory and was instrumental in the development of games such as the Kirby, Earthbound and Balloon Fight series’.
At Nintendo headquaters, a flag is being flown at half mast in a state of mourning. Satoru had been absent from public shows for some time as he recovered from surgery in a bid to remove the tumor in 2014 and was recently absent from E3, sighting that he wished to focus on Nintendo’s other areas. It is believed that two representative directors, Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto will take over Iwata’s duties.
There has been an outpouring of grief on social media by friends, colleagues and fans paying their respects to Iwata.
— Christofer Sundberg (@CHSundberg) July 13, 2015
— Shonen (@ShonenStyle) July 13, 2015
— James Sims (@SimsJames) July 13, 2015
Satoru Iwata is survived by his wife Kayoko and funeral services are planned to be held on July 17th. We offer our deepest condolences to all at Nintendo and to Satoru Iwata’s family, he will be sorely missed.