Satoru Iwata, age 55 — builder of an empire — died of cancer on July 11. The president of Nintendo was known to those who grew up in the era of gaming as the “king” of the field.

It was Iwata who took his firm through the maze created by Wii, DS, 3DS, and Wii U. Iwata worked on Earthbound, Pokemon (remember the collectible “gold” cards?), Kirby, The Legend of Zelda, Smash Bros. and more, many more.


It was when he headed HAL that Iwata said to a Game Developers Conference that for him, the “moment” came when testers picked up the game and he could see they loved playing it. “We’re just like every one of you,” he told the conference. “Each one of us has the heart of a gamer.”


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