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The late Satoru Iwata

“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, 2005

Satoru Iwata (岩田 聡 Iwata Satoru, December 6, 1959 – July 11, 2015) was the fourth president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nintendo.


Satoru Iwata was born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan in 1959 and began his career as a programer for Hal Laboratory straight out of college with a degree in Computer Science. Iwata's first game he produced was Rollerball for the NES. His other early major Nintendo programming works includes Kirby's Dreamland, Earthbound, and Pokémon Stadium. In May 2002, Iwata succeeded Hiroshi Yamauchi as the president of Nintendo and was the first president not related to the Yamauchi family. Iwata served thirteen years as president until his death on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct tumor.

During his tenure as president, Iwata helped to push the Fire Emblem series into the west due to the popularity and interest of Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee and the popularity of Intelligent Systems' other tactical role-play game, Advance Wars. He is credited as the Executive Producer of eight Fire Emblem titles, beginning with Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade and the last being Fire Emblem Fates. Fates was released in Japan just two weeks before his death and would be the final Nintendo franchise title released during his tenure as president. His final legacy to Nintendo would be the oversight of the initial development of Nintendo's home console/portable console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch.

He would be succeeded by Tatsumi Kimishima.


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