Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Passes at Age 55

I wasn't even sure whether to address this here or not -- I know how you lot can be when it comes to things not related to Mega Man in some form or fashion. Still, with the passing of such a significant industry figurehead -- as well as a little prodding by e-mail from Murkman -- I felt I had to find a way. Fortunately, I think I might have something.

On July 11th, 2015, Nintendo Co. Ltd. announced that their president, Satoru Iwata passed away, finally succumbing to the bile duct growth which had been plaguing him the past few years. In his stead, it seems that the reigns of the company will fall into the joint hands of Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto, each a Representative Director and Senior Managing Director, in the interim until a replacement is named.

As the head of the company, Satoru Iwata was in some way responsible for a great number of Nintendo's successes and failures alike over the past several years. Among these, one would have to include the Virtual Console service which has helped maintain the availability of a great number of Mega Man games. As we speak, fans can play the first seven Classic series games plus Mega Man & Bass, the first three Mega Man X games, the first three Mega Man Zero games, and the first four Mega Man Battle Network games -- with more no doubt to come -- legitimately and all on the same system.

But beyond signing off on ideas as an executive and providing a warm, friendly presence in the company's Nintendo Direct web broadcasts, Iwata's legend has grown since his passing with particular respect given to his programming prowess. Condensing the Johto region to fill only half the room on a Pokemon Gold/Silver cartridge so that the entire Kanto region could be unlocked and effectively recoding Earthbound from scratch are just two tales told with reverence in his memory.

For our purposes, however, we must set our eyes on the Super Smash Bros. series. When Super Smash Bros. Melee was falling behind schedule, it was Iwata who stepped out from behind his desk at Nintendo's Corporate Planning Division to handle debugging the game.

Prior to that, he was the programmer for original Nintendo 64 version of Super Smash Bros. itself. Reportedly (though I've not been able to locate a source), word is that it was even Iwata who managed to convince Nintendo -- Miyamoto most of all, who was apparently none too keen on the idea of Mario and Pikachu being involved in a full-blown slobberknocker -- to allow the use of their prized pantheon of mascots and stars in the new game.

So just think: the next time you sit down for a round of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/Nintendo 3DS, you can thank Iwata for helping lay the groundwork for you to be able to take it to Mario, Sonic, and Pac-Man with the furious fighting moves of the Blue Bomber.

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.
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Satoru Iwata

1959-2015