Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Dead at 55

It’s a sad day in the gaming world.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has passed away at the age of 55. In a memo dated July 13, 2015, Nintendo formally announced Iwata’s death:

“Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth,” the statement read. The document then goes on to list Iwata’s accomplishments with the company.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Dead at 55

Credit: Official GDC

Beginning his gaming career in 1993 as a programmer and developer, Iwata was appointed company director in June 2000, and ascended to the presidency by May 2002. In June 2013, Iwata was appointed CEO of Nintendo of America Inc., essentially making him one of the key figures in all of gaming. This is due in large part to the amount of interaction he’s had with fans, and his visibility as a figurehead for the company. Iwata appeared regularly in Nintendo Direct presentations, offering updates on new games and hardware over the years. He also spearheaded the Iwata Asks program, an interview series that offered an in-depth look into the development of Nintendo products.

Iwata is survived by his wife Kayoko. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, July 17. Until then, the flags at Nintendo’s headquarters have been lowered to half-staff in honor of their fallen leader.

Our thoughts go out to Iwata’s family and friends in this trying time. Rest in peace, Mr. Iwata.

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