[Originally posted on July 12, 2015]
By Michael Mendis
In what is one of the most shocking and tragic news stories in the gaming industry in a long time, Nintendo released a statement today announcing that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11th, 2015, at the age of 55, due to a bile duct growth. This had apparently been a long-running problem for Iwata, as the year before he had surgery for the same issue.
Iwata joined HAL Laboratory, a game developer closely affiliated with Nintendo, in 1983, where he worked on games like Kirby, Earthbound, and Balloon Fight. He became president of HAL in 1993. He joined Nintendo in 2000 as a director, and was promoted to president in 2002. At Nintendo he worked on other famous Nintendo franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing. In 2013 he took on an additional role as president of Nintendo of America.
Many fans will remember him not only for his extensive contributions to Nintendo games, but also for his quirky and endearing appearances in Nintendo Direct videos.
Our prayers go out to Iwata's family and friends in this difficult time.