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Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Passes Away


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Some rather sad news to start your week off, as Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passed away over the weekend. Iwata succumbed to a bile duct growth, which he had been treated for in the past, but unfortunately was unable to overcome this time. In June of 2014, Iwata underwent treatment to remove the growth, which they believed was all of it, but as can be the case with cancer, it came back. Iwata joined HAL Laboratory after completing his university coursework, and then become HAL's president in 1993. He then joined Nintendo in 2000 and took over as its president two years later. He was appointed CEO of Nintendo of America in 2013, and it was his decision to pull Nintendo away from large E3 press conferences and instead hold smaller events.

Iwata most recently appeared in this past E3's Nintendo video, both in human and puppet form, and over the years has personally hosted the Nintendo Direct events to let fans know what the company had in store during the year. He also hosted the Iwata Asks segment on Nintendo's website, where he interviewed various game developers about their upcoming products. You can read his most recent post about Fire Emblem at the website still.

During Iwata's time at Nintendo, he oversaw the change from the Game Boy handhelds to the DS, with the massive success that brought to the company. The Wii was another success of his, which helped push Nintendo back to profitability in 2011. As recently as this year, Iwata helped bring about a partnership with DeNA for mobile games based on Nintendo characters and IP. He was also involved in the development of various games, including ones in the Legend of Zelda, Mario, Animal Crossing, Super Smash Bros., Pokemon, and Metroid series, among countless others.

Satoru Iwata was 55 years old at the time of his passing. Numerous figures from throughout the technology and gaming world expressed their sympathies at his passing, with E3, Sony, and more offering their condolences over Twitter.

Sources: Nintendo (PDF) and NBC News

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