It is with great sadness that we have to even type these words. Nintendo has just issued a press release stating that President and CEO Satoru Iwata has passed away at the early age of 55. From the statement, Nintendo says it is due to a bile duct growth.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.
Appointed as President in 2002 and CEO in June of 2013, Iwata took the reigns with great force over the past few years, in an attempt to bring Nintendo back to the glory days. He capped that statement emphatically at E3 when the games Nintendo showcased had a release date within the next year and were extremely popular with fans worldwide.
GiantBomb.com writer Alex Navarro put it on Twitter best when he said,
Industry isn't old enough to have lost many giants. This is a major one. Brutal...Say whatever you want about Nintendo under Iwata's direction, people LOVED him. No matter how cynical the audience got, he always connected.
For Nintendo, this does open up a succession discussion as to who will follow in his iconic footsteps. It is possible Miyamoto may take over a larger role in the company, or even Nintendo USA President Reggie Fils-Aime could head the gaming giant in the right way.
Iwata took a 50 percent paycut, with many other directors at Nintendo taking cuts as well over the past handful of years to show their dedication to the vision of restoring Nintendo as a leader in innovation and gaming. Nintendo will always need someone at the helm who is deeply passionate about the company, but also one who is not afraid to be a bit goofy at times, because that is at the heart of Nintendo.
Rest in Peace, Iwata-san. The entire staff at PLuGHiTz Live extend our deepest condolences and respects to Mr. Iwata's family, his colleagues and the whole Nintendo team.