Nintendo Chief Dies at 55

Satoru Iwata oversaw successes like the Wii
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2015 10:38 PM CDT
Updated Jul 13, 2015 5:03 AM CDT
Nintendo Chief Dies at 55
Satoru Iwata, president and CEO of Nintendo Co. Ltd., speaks at a news conference at which Nintendo unveiled an enhancement for its Wii Remote controller.   (AP Photo/Ric Francis)

It's "Game Over" far too soon for Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. The 55-year-old has died due to a bile duct growth, the company announced in a brief statement. Iwata, who started out as a programmer at Nintendo subsidiary HAL Laboratory in the '80s and worked on games like The Legend of Zelda, became company president in 2002. He had been having health problems for some time but was able to resume his duties last year after bile duct surgery, reports the BBC, which describes him as a "highly revered figure" on the gaming scene who was able to turn the company around with big successes like the Wii.

The last few years weren't smooth sailing for the company—Iwata volunteered for a pay cut after poor sales last year—but profits are rising again as the company moves into the smartphone market, Bloomberg reports. In the industry and among gamers, Iwata was known as someone who thought gaming should be for everybody, and as someone who never lost sight of the fact that gaming should be fun. "Iwata always struck me as someone who genuinely cared about the joy of gaming more than anything else," writes German Lopez at Vox. "Rest in peace, Mr. Iwata, and thank you for all the joy you brought to my life." (Read more Nintendo stories.)

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