About an hour into the 2015 Game Awards tonight, our host Geoff Keighley took a moment to acknowledge the passing of late Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata. After sharing a personal anecdote about him, he passed the mic over to head of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aimé, to talk about him.
Before Reggie’s speech, a short presentation was shown, showcasing iconic photographs taken during Iwata’s reveals of the original DS and Wii, as well as photos of him alongside fellow Nintendo legends Reggie and Shigeru Miyamoto. Some of the photos also showed Iwata in one of his most famous roles: the host of Nintendo Direct. Both next to Mario and Luigi, as well as showing him with his famous wave and bow, the song “Man of the Hour” by Pearl Jam was appropriately played in the background.
Reggie then goes on to talk about Iwata’s accomplishments. Calling him unique in every sense of the word, he goes on to say that Iwata was the “perfect person to lead a video game company.” Praising him for his knowledge of design, development, and business, he says that Iwata not only knew about these areas, but was accomplished in each one. He was someone that could get into the particulars of hardware and game design, and “no one could lose him in the details.”
He also talks about Iwata’s involvement in three of five home consoles ever created that have sold over 100 million consoles, and that Nintendo’s gaming industry is now 30 years old. After mentioning Iwata’s role in bringing Kirby’s Dream Land to life at HAL Laboratories, Reggie talks about his involvement of the introduction of the DS and Wii, two of Nintendo’s most successful systems.
Reggie goes on to praise Iwata’s fearlessness, and takes a point to talk about the criticism Nintendo received when the words “Wii,” “Nintendogs,” “Brain Age,” and “Dual Screen” we’re first uttered. And while Iwata heard the criticisms both internally and externally, Reggie confidently says that Iwata championed in the ideas he believed in, and it’s paid off for all of us in the long run.
As a boss, mentor, and friend to Reggie, Reggie talks about Iwata’s goal to make Nintendo all about putting smiles on people’s faces, and making them feel young again. For Iwata, it wasn’t enough to repeat the words of Nintendo. He lived by them.
And with a final performance of “Younger Than Today” by Ben Harper, I think Reggie was speaking for all of us with his beautiful final words.
“Mr. Iwata, I hope you’re smiling right now.”Leave a Comment