Satoru Iwata wasn’t just a successful president of Nintendo, he was one of the most popular public figures in video games. Following his sad passing over the weekend, notable members of the industry (and beyond) have been paying tribute.
The first Tweet below shows the flags at Nintendo’s HQ being flown at half-mast.
Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America:
Mr. Iwata is gone, but it will be years before his impact on both Nintendo and the full video game industry will be fully appreciated. He was a strong leader for our company, and his attributes were clear to most everyone: Intelligence, creativity, curiosity and sense of humor. But for those of us fortunate enough to work closely with him, what will be remembered most were his mentorship and, especially, his friendship. He was a wonderful man. He always challenged us to push forward…to try the new…to upset paradigms—and most of all, to engage, excite and endear our fans. That work will continue uninterrupted.
That’s Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai. It says “This isn’t a regular day, and my mental state isn’t regular, either, but I’m going to work as usual, and like always, I’m throwing myself into (game) development. This was also the situation for Iwata-san. Doing what you need to do.”
For fans, the hashtag #ThankYouIwata has become a central location (at least on Twitter) for tributes and thanks.
Messages have also been coming in on Nintendo’s own Miiverse:
In an official statement (via WSJ), Shigeru Miyamoto said, “I am surprised at this sudden news and overcome with sadness.”
Sent over from Activision, here’s their CEO Bobby Kotick: “It’s a very sad day. Mr. Iwata was a great visionary championing products like the Wii and the Nintendo DS. He changed entertainment forever. I consider myself lucky to have called him a good friend for over two decades. All of us at Activision Blizzard send his wife and children and the entire Nintendo family our most sincere condolences.”
And here’s a moving message from Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi, as translated by Lindsay Nelson:
When I’m parting with a friend, regardless of the circumstances, I find it best to just say, “See you later.” We’ll meet again. After all, we’re friends.
That’s right—nothing unusual about it. I’ll see you later.
You went on a trip far, far away, even though it was planned for many years from now. You wore your best outfit and said “Sorry for the short notice,” though you didn’t say it out loud.
You always put yourself last, after you’d finished helping everyone else. You were so generous as a friend that this trip might be your very first selfish act.
I still can’t grasp what’s happened. It feels like I could still get a light-hearted e-mail asking me out to lunch at any moment—after you’ve made sure lunch wouldn’t disrupt my schedule, of course.
You can invite me out whenever you want. I’ll invite you, too.
So for now, let’s plan on meeting again. You can call me up whenever you like, and I’ll give you a call, too. I still have a lot to talk to you about, and if I come up with any particularly good ideas, I’ll let you know.
So let’s meet again.
No–I suppose we’re already meeting. Right here, right now.