As the video game industry is relatively young, there are thankfully few true, deep losses with respect to figures. But four years ago a prolific programmer, president, and gamer passed — and while the remnants of his vision continue on for now, the absence of Satoru Iwata can still be felt.
His story has been told before, and it’s easiest to miss him whenever a Direct comes along… without his voice, mannerisms, and genuine love for the games Nintendo makes in tow. To speak personally, I feel that whenever I play through EarthBound, older Kirby titles, or through Pokémon Silver. Knowing each of these was influenced by Iwata in some big way is humbling, knowing I owe not just these, but multiple favorite games to his leadership and programming talent as well.
As the company and industry have changed, we may never see a president like Iwata again; one who rose through game development itself rather than other departments. But what we will have the privilege of seeing is the effect of his insight on those he inspired — directly, indirectly, and Directly.
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