I’m not really the guy who mourns the death of people who aren’t close to me. But two days ago, Satoru Iwata passed away, one of the most important men in gaming. I recently had Nintendo on my mind. You might have seen the two cover songs I made that both were based on Nintendo games. As much as I don’t really care about Nintendo these days, I still have to say I love them and the fact that they’re still around. Not for my sake, but for everybody else’s who enjoys their games, most and foremost children who seem like an underserved demographic in the gaming industry when it comes to quality titles that aren’t shovelware or cynical cash-grabs based on licensed material.
As a CEO, Iwata obviously had a tremendous influence over the direction Nintendo has taken in recent years and even if not all of it was to my liking, he was one of the very few people in the industry, especially in an executive position, who was in love with the medium and wanted to spread joy among gamers. He seemed like a tremendously humble human being, who cared for the medium and the company and employees he was in charge of. Gaming needs more people like him and the fact that he’s gone now leaves a hole that I don’t think anyone can fill.
It’s not often I feel this strongly about people in the industry, because so many of the big important names in executive positions are outsiders, business people who studied economics and just happened to end up at a video game company. But Iwata was one of us, an enthusiast who knew gaming better than most, someone who actually worked on games himself and knew what he was talking about. He was one of the most important figures of the medium. And now he’s gone. It’s a sad time for gaming as a whole.