The Video Game Industry Remembers Satoru Iwata

In the wake of yesterday's tragic news, the industry rallied together with one simple message: Thank you, Iwata.

Article by Bob Mackey, .

When tragedy strikes, it normally happens in the midst of the mundane. So it only makes sense that an average summer Sunday brought us the news that Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata passed away at the all-too-young age of 55.

While it took this information some time to settle into people's minds—myself included—by the time the sun set on the West Coast, Twitter was absolutely flooded with amazing tributes and recollections from people who worked alongside Iwata, or simply admired him. If anything, this outpouring of emotion and anecdotes should make it clear Iwata definitely didn't fit the profile of your average CEO. He was a man with a intense love of video games, and secretly behind some of your favorites—Iwata was the programmer who saved EarthBound, after all.

Iwata being Iwata. (Image courtesy of Yoot Saito's Twitter account.)

Since so much has been written in such a short period of time, it's nearly impossible to absorb all of the memorials currently taking over Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. I've taken the liberty of assembling some of the most notable ones below, because really: What else can you do on a day like today?

A translated memorial from EarthBound/Mother creator Shigesato Itoi, before the news of Iwata's death went public.

Twitter user Cheesemeister3k was kind enough to translate other messages from Japanese developers who knew Iwata. Here's one from Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai, who worked alongside Iwata at HAL on games like Kirby's adventure.

Something from Tekken's Katsuhiro Harada:

And a short-but-sweet message from Platinum Games' Hideki Kamiya:

Hidetaka Suehiro (SWERY65), director of Deadly Premonition and D4:

8-4's John Ricciardi recounts a story about meeting Iwata for the first time:

Dylan Cuthbert, a veteran designer who's worked with Nintendo for over two decades:

Legendary Nintendo composer Hip Tanaka put together a remix of Balloon Fight's "Balloon Trip" to honor Iwata. (In case you didn't know, Iwata programmed the game himself!)

A translated tweet from Game Freak's Junichi Masuda:

Finally, Game Center CX's Arino shares an uplifting message about this tragic loss:

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Comments 5

  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #1 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    Arino's words hit me the hardest because they're true and they exemplify Iwata and Nintendo's philosophy.

    One of the first things I did upon hearings he news was find a videogame to retreat into. Of course, it ended up being Splatoon and I can't recall a time in my life where I juggled joy and grief, switching between them like a couple of tv channels. I found joy in the random matches I was a part of and I found grief in the lobby where my fellow Nintendo fans put up their tributes for me to see. I was laughing and in tears and I can't for the life of me figure out why because I didn't know Iwata, but...I was thankful. I was playing a great game that helped me cope. I was a small part of a great community sharing my feelings.

    Iwata and Nintendo made that possible. Thank you Iwata. You were the man.
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  • Avatar for grappler51 #2 grappler51 2 years ago
    Honestly the saddest I've been at the death of someone I've never met, it came as such a shock I thought it was a joke at first.
    These are some beautiful tributes to Mr. Iwata. I've been reading tweets about him at work today and trying not to tear up too much.
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #3 Vonlenska 2 years ago
    There was a rainbow over Nintendo HQ.

    I am normally not much affected by deaths of even beloved celebrities, but have found this shocking and sad. Iwata was remarkable; one of the souls of Nintendo. And always very humble and human, in spite of his position.
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  • Avatar for unoclay #4 unoclay 2 years ago
    thanks for the summary.
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