I know that this is a little off the cuff for this blog, but I wanted to give my two cents about today’s tragic news.
Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11th due to a bile duct growth. He was fifty-five.
Some highlights of Iwata’s too-short tenure:
1. The GameCube, while not their most successful system, still had many important games, such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, Animal Crossing, Metroid Prime, the Resident Evil remake, Tales of Symphonia, and Resident Evil 4
2. The Nintendo DS put the Game Boy brand to rest, at least for now. The highly sought-after and innovative two-screen handheld had many successful games, such as Nintendogs, Trauma Center, three Castlevanias, the Professor Layton games, The World Ends with You, Meteos, Tetris DS, and Rhythm Heaven. Like its successor, the NDS summarily crushed its competition.
3. The Wii was much more financially successful than the GameCube and was home to such games as Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, Wii Sports, and Xenoblade Chronicles.
4. The Nintendo 3DS struggled to find its footing initially, but eventually came through with many heavy hitters, which were helped out by strong advertising campaigns. Resident Evil Revelations may have been the first salvo fired, and it was soon followed up with Fire Emblem: Awakening, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Bravely Default, the final Professor Layton games, Super Mario 3D Land, Shin Megami Tensei IV, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Kirby Triple Deluxe, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Not to mention Fire Emblem Fates. Despite its (not for nothing) controversies, I’m heartbroken that Iwata won’t get to see all of the joy that it will bring people.
5. The Wii U. It had a rough launch, during which Iwata took a pay cut and refused to fire Nintendo employees. However, the Wii U would ultimately see many high-profile exclusives, such as Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Xenoblade Chronicles X, The Legend of Zelda, Hyrule Warriors, and Splatoon.
Iwata worked on such games as Balloon Fight and Earthbound in his youth.