It was July 11th, 2015. I was on Twitter and just finished talking to my friend as we planned to hang out at Friday’s. Excited to get out the house and catch up with my friend over food and drinks, this was a social moment I looked forward to. As I checked around, I was thinking about E3 still and seeing the Nintendo Direct with Miyamoto, Reggie, and then president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata. Laughing and feeling giddy about these three in puppet form was such a genius idea. Knowing that Iwata wouldn’t be able to make it due to him recovering from surgery, it was great to hear his voice and see and hear his presence.
As I got ready to go out, I looked on Twitter and saw Satoru Iwata and Nintendo trending. Being the Nintendo fan that I am, I clicked on it. It announced that Saturo Iwata, at the age of 55, had died. I stood silent. I shouted out loud “WHAT??” and felt devastated. I couldn’t believe it. A man I looked up to, who was the example of fun and positivity for gaming was gone. Beyond turning Nintendo around, Iwata gave us that smile and enjoyment when he was in the Nintendo Directs. The trailer for Super Smash Bros 4 for Wii U and 3DS, which featured Reggie Fils-Aime and Iwata fighting together while introducing Mii characters is still one of the most bonkers and hype trailers we have ever seen.
Before I could react to the news, my friend showed up. As I headed out to my car, my body and eyes felt heavy with sadness. Sitting in my friends cars, I started bawling. My friend didn’t understand at the moment, but I told him the news. I got myself together and we went to Friday’s and enjoyed myself. Since I wasn’t driving, I had some drinks that night, but I didn’t go overboard.
As time went on, it stayed on my mind. The whole gaming community felt this and it was hard to accept that we wouldn’t get someone like that ever again. Even that morning, I woke up crying and realizing that he was gone and I didn’t know what to do. As we podcast that week for Nintendo Pow Block, we reflected about his presence and his leadership in Nintendo. It was a wonderful farewell to Satoru Iwata.
I decided to celebrate in his honor every year on July 11th and say Happy Iwata Day to everyone on social media and go have a certain meal and play games he worked on or he marketed or something that would make him happy. To see all the fan art and love people still have for him and with his book, Ask Iwata: Words of Wisdom from Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s Legendary CEO releasing soon, he still holds a special place in my heart.
Rest In Peace Satoru Iwata. Thank you for everything you have given us.
Did Iwata’s death affect you emotionally? What moment in video games made you cry? Let us know in the comments or on our Discord.