Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Satoru Iwata (1959-2015)

There aren't many games companies where I know the names of the executives or have any real impression of them as people.

I knew the name of Satoru Iwata, the man who once said “Video games are meant to be just one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone.”. He was the man who, as president of Nintendo when the WiiU failed to make sales targets, took a massive pay cut so they wouldn't have to make cuts lower down the corporate structure. I've seen this man in adverts where he's played by a muppet who slowly turns into a Starfox character (alongside muppets of two other Nintendo executives) and, of course, there's this...
I don't agree with every decision he or Nintendo have made in the last few years but this isn't a rant, this is what humble tribute I can pay to this man who believed in fun over all at a time when other games publishers and developers have driven the industry into something horribly resembling a crash trying to me grim and adult about things. The fact that he and his company have clearly and demonstrably prioritised customer enjoyment as the justification for taking our money, even in these self-consciously grim times, is no small thing.

This man's life's work brought joy to millions and I don't think there can be much greater a tribute than that.

Rest well, Mister Iwata, we understand and may you forever be remembered with bananas in your hand. 

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