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Satoru Iwata (岩田 聡 Iwata Satoru, December 6, 1959 - July 11, 2015) was the fourth president and CEO of Nintendo succeeding the long-standing previous president of the company, Hiroshi Yamauchi, in 2002. Satoru Iwata was responsible in great part for defining Nintendo's strategy both before and during the release of the GameCube in 2001, a vision which helped Nintendo generate a forty-one percent increase in sales at the end of the 2002 fiscal year.[1]

Barron's Magazine named Satoru Iwata one of the world's top CEOs, thanks mostly to the Wii, Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!, and a soaring stock.[2] In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption there is a secret interview with him found using the transmission console. According to the interview, he tends to gain weight as a result of stress instead of losing weight, and that this leads people to assume he doesn't take his job seriously.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early years[edit | edit source]

Iwata was born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, of the Hokkaido Prefecture of Japan. He expressed his interest in the creation of video games early on, and originating in an environment with a tradition of computer programming, he produced electronic games at his home during his high school years. The several simple number games Iwata produced, which made use of an electronic calculator, he shared with his schoolmates.

Education[edit | edit source]

Following high school, Iwata was admitted at the prestigious Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he majored in computer science. This environment allowed Iwata's technical expertise and passion for video games to be recognized and as such, he was hired as a part-time games programmer at HAL Laboratory, Inc., a subsidiary of Nintendo, while still pursuing his tertiary studies until graduation.

HAL Laboratory, Incorporated[edit | edit source]

In 1982, after succeeding at college, Iwata was recruited by HAL Laboratory, Inc. for a full-time position. He became the company's coordinator of software production in 1983. Some of the video games he helped create while he worked there were Balloon Fight, EarthBound, and the Kirby games. Iwata was eventually promoted to president of HAL in 1993. Nevertheless, he and his branch sometimes aided in the creation of Nintendo video games, himself on a freelance basis.

Nintendo[edit | edit source]

In 2000, Iwata took a position at Nintendo as the head of its corporate planning division. When Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo's president since 1949, retired on May 31, 2002, Iwata succeeded as Nintendo's fourth president and the first unrelated to the Yamauchi family through blood or marriage. He continued to help out at HAL as a correspondent. It was said that Iwata still worked as an artist there, assisting in creating concept art of Kirby characters for use in the Kirby series of video games.

He commented on the Wii in his section of Nintendo's Wii website, Iwata Asks. Iwata also worked on the Legend of Zelda and Mario series of games.

Death[edit | edit source]

In 2014, Iwata was unable to attend E3 due to surgery, which was required to remove a tumor from his bile duct.[3] On July 11, 2015, he passed away as a result of the bile duct growth.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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