Photographic portrait of Satoru Iwata
|Born||December 6, 1959|
|Died||July 11, 2015 (aged 55)|
|Super Mario–related role(s)||Global President, Chief Executive Officer (Nintendo of America)|
- “On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.”
- —Satoru Iwata
Satoru Iwata (岩田 聡) was a Japanese businessman, video game programmer, video game designer, and producer. He was the fourth president of Nintendo, succeeding Hiroshi Yamauchi, and the first Nintendo president not related to the previous presidents by blood or marriage. He contributed to the Nintendo GameCube and was responsible for its sales. He was also the executive producer of many games and a former employee of HAL Laboratory. In April 2013, he replaced Tatsumi Kimishima as CEO of Nintendo of America. He was hospitalized on June 26, 2015 due to poor health and died on July 11, 2015 of a bile duct growth after a long battle with cancer at age 55 at Kyoto University Hospital. Tatsumi Kimishima succeeded him in presidency.
Iwata makes cameos in a number of Nintendo games, the most notable of which are in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! and WarioWare: Smooth Moves. In the former, he appears on Wario's TV in the third intermission of Wario's first story. In the latter, he (under the name Shop Manager Iwata) is the owner of a video game shop and sells a Game & Watch. 18-Volt wishes to buy the Game & Watch to gift it to 9-Volt and restore their friendship, but the two of them both reach for it at the same time and end up reconciling. Whenever the player wins a microgame in 9-Volt & 18-Volt's set, Shop Manager Iwata takes away his ? Block set and chuckles, and if the player loses a microgame, he becomes slightly frustrated and one of the Fan Kids in the Shop (who serve as the life counters) leaves.
A copy of 1984's Golf was embedded in the Nintendo Switch firmware. Activating it required the internal system clock to be set to July 11 (Iwata's death anniversary) and performing Iwata's signature "directly to you" hand gesture with both Joy-Con controllers on the HOME Menu. If successful, a voice clip of Iwata from a Japanese 2012 presentation would confirm the input, and an emulator of Golf with added motion control support would promptly boot up. Golf has significance as one of the first video games Iwata programmed himself for Nintendo while working at HAL Laboratory. This version of Golf was overwritten as of the 4.0.0 update, making it unplayable.
Iwata is posthumously credited in The Super Mario Bros. Movie as "Former President of Nintendo".
List of games
Since Satoru Iwata was automatically credited as "Executive Producer" of every Nintendo game released between his promotion to president and his passing, the following list contains only the credits he was given before said promotion.
- Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally – Programmer
- NES Open Tournament Golf – Main Program
- Super Smash Bros. Melee – Special Thanks; lead debugger (uncredited)
Satoru Iwata holding a prototype of the Wii U GamePad
Names in other languages
Shop Manager Iwata
|Shop Manager Iwata|
|Italian||Iwata il caponegozio||Iwata the shop manager|
|Shop Manager Iwata|
- Satoru Iwata named Nintendo of America CEO
- Nintendo releases Genyo Takeda's memorial address for Satoru Iwata (July 17, 2015). Polygon. Retrieved September 7, 2023.
- Satoru Iwata Offered Pokémon GO Feedback From His Hospital Bed (August 15, 2016). Nintendo Life. Retrieved September 7, 2023.
- Notification of Death and Personnel Change of a Representative Director(President) (July 13, 2015). Nintendo.jp. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- Kageyama, Y. (July 13, 2015). Nintendo’s Iwata who led through successes, woes dies at 55. AP News. Retrieved September 7, 2023.
- Satoru Iwata – 1999 Developer Interview originally featured in Used Games magazine, translated by shmuplations.com