“Please Understand”: A Tribute to Mr. Iwata

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By Matthew Maravilla

No matter how young video games are as an industry, the individuals responsible for its content are not as young. Industry legends must end their reign in time; the people we call legends of the industry have to end their reigns eventually; it is sad that another gaming great has said goodbye.

Mr. Satoru Iwata died over the summer, just a few weeks after E3 2015. Mr. Iwata was the president of the ever-recognizable Nintendo at the time, but was hospitalized before his passing due to a cancerous tumor in his bile duct. Mr. Iwata was only 55.

The significance of Mr. Iwata in the gaming industry is deep. Without him, many beloved franchises such as Super Smash Brothers and Kirby would not exist; they were fruits of his time spent as a programmer at HAL Laboratories. Also, without Mr. Iwata, the first Pokemon game may never have been finished! Essentially, Mr. Iwata was the foundation for a lot of the games we still play today, especially in regards to independant gaming.

Mr. Iwata was a man who, even if he had his own visionary skills, really brought games to life from his skills as a programmer, even when he assumed higher positions at Nintendo. He saw potential from some of today’s most talented game directors like Masahiro Sakurai, of the Kirby and Super Smash series, and Shigesato Itoi, of the Earthbound series, and turned their dreams into realities. Mr. Iwata’s prowess to create even brought innovation to game development as a whole when he helped introduce both the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii consoles to the market. With such groundbreaking machines, the level of innovation in game development has never been more exciting.

With all of these amazing accomplishments covering Satoru Iwata’s amazing history in the games industry, Mr. Iwata is going to be missed, but just like what I mentioned in my Monty Oum article from last semester, drowning in sorrow isn’t going to make things better. In fact, a lot of people have since moved on after Mr. Iwata’s passing. The greatest way to honor Iwata is to follow in his footsteps, helping others, and yourself, achieve dreams. Just like I mentioned from the Monty Oum article, I’m still jealous of Mr. Iwata because, he died knowing that he has made an amazing impact on all of us, something that I want to live towards.

Whether or not you dislike Nintendo under Mr. Iwata, the man still changed the definition of gaming. And, it is with a heavy heart that I say, please understand, Mr. Iwata, but I do hope you are resting in peace.

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