Satoru Iwata, the President of Nintendo, has passed away yesterday at the age of 55. Iwata started as a programmer with HAL Laboratory, where he worked on Nintendo Classics such as Earthbound, Balloon Fight and the Kirby series. He was the 4th president of Nintendo, taking over in 2002 he oversaw the launch of the Gamecube, Wii, The Nintendo DS, 3DS and Wii U.
During his tenure, Iwata placed a great deal of focus on accessibility and open communication with his fans. His role as the host of the “Iwata Asks” series of game developer interviews pulled back the curtain on the notoriously secretive company, and he was admired for his friendly and irreverent attitude. Iwata spent the last couple of years fighting a tumorous growth in his bile duct, which cause him to miss E3 2014.
It’s extremely sad to report his passing, and we pass along our condolences to Iwata’s family, friends and co-workers at Nintendo.