Satoru Lwata


In the fantastic world of video games, there have been very important entrepreneurs and programmers who have come to do remarkable work over time. One of them is undoubtedly Satoru Iwata , a very important programmer who, thanks to his great talent and intelligence, managed to program many of the most notable and recognized games of all time in the entertainment field .


Personal information

  • When was he born: 12/06/1959
  • Where he was born: Sapporo, Japan
  • When he died: 07/11/2015
  • Where he died: Kyoto, Japan

Who was Satoru Iwata?

Satoru Iwata was one of the most important programmers , developers and entrepreneurs in the world of video games who became the president of one of the most important companies in this field, Nintendo .

  • Satoru Iwata Biography
  • Death
  • Presidency of Nintendo
  • Video games in which Satoru Iwata has participated
  • Acknowledgments
  • Legacy of Satoru Iwata
  • Curiosities
  • Phrases

Satoru Iwata Biography

Satoru Iwata was born in the city of Hokkaido in Japan , on December 6, 1959 . Since he was a child, he showed a great interest in the universe of technology and mainly video games , which at that time were not as developed as today. As a high school student, he managed to show his great creativity and ingenuity by creating games with a calculator.


He studied computer science at the Tokyo Institute of Technology where he worked without any remuneration for Commodore Japan , and worked there as assistant to the general manager of the subsidiary and software development. After graduation, he managed to join HAL in 1982, a company that was just beginning to venture into the world of videogames, playing the role of programmer and helping in the creation of several important games such as Kirby’s Dream Land and EarthBound .

In 1993 , he managed to obtain a promotion in his work and then became the president of HAL Laboratory, thanks to the help of Hiroshi Yamauchi who at that time was the president of the Nintendo brand . In 1995, he worked for Creatures Inc. Company which he managed to help found alongside Tsunezaky Ishihara, a company that managed to grow thanks to the creation of the Pokémon series , in this place he managed to stand out for his work in the design of these video games .

In June 2000 , he left HAL to join Nintendo and to work there as General Manager of the Corporate Planning Division . Thanks to his work, the brand grew significantly in the economic field and for this reason, Hiroshi Yamauchi elected him, in 2002, as the fourth president of the company.


In 2014, in June, it was discovered that Satoru Iwata had a tumor that was growing uncontrollably in his bile duct and for this reason he had to undergo surgery. He was able to recover from his illness, however, a year later he suffered a major relapse that caused a series of complications, dying on July 11, 2015. 

Presidency of Nintendo

After leaving HAL in 2000 , he was appointed to Nintendo’s planning area . In 2002 , the president of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi , asked him to come to his office, in this place he spent several hours talking with the president and telling him how he had managed to transform a small company into a global entertainment brand.

After hearing all his story, he was surprised that Yamauchi named him as the new president of Nintendo , the first man to become president of this important company without bearing the surname that had traditionally held this position. At only 42 years old , Satoru took the reins of the company to face one of his greatest challenges, to bring the company afloat after the failure of the Nintendo GameCube , which led to two of the best-selling products of the company the Nintendo DS and the Wii.

Video games in which Satoru Iwata has participated

Satoru Iwata has participated in a large number of video games, the most important of which are the following:

  • Balloon Fight and Nintendo’s NES Open Golf
  • Kirby
  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • Star fox adventures
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • Pinball
  • Gall Force: Eternal Story
  • Adventures of Lolo
  • Super Smash Bros


Some of his recognitions were:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Golden Joystick Awards in 2015.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award granted by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences in 2016.
  • He was honored with an animated short during the Game Developers Choice Awards in 2016.

Legacy of Satoru Iwata

Satoru Iwata managed to completely change the world of video games , his great mastery in the field of programming made him a true genius who left an important legacy in this field. He managed, in addition to expanding the business of video games, creating new genres, which have remained to date.

Satoru managed to completely revolutionize the world of home consoles, specifically with the introduction of the Wii . One of his most important legacies within the field of the video game industry was the Nintendo DS , the smallest portable console that came to innovate the field and also became one of the company’s greatest successes. For many years, his invention has been revolutionizing to become what it is today, the New Nintendo 3DS.


Among the most relevant curiosities of Satoru Iwata we can mention that his illness was not known to many, because he always wanted to keep it silent, this was the reason why his death took many people by surprise . He always respected and showed appreciation for other game developers and never looked down on the work of others. His first game was created using a calculator , it was a kind of baseball that was played using numbers, a game that all his classmates loved. He was also the first man who managed to break tradition in terms ofPresidency of the Nintendo brand , as it did not bear the surname of its successor.


Some recognized phrases mentioned by Satoru Iwata were:

  • Mobile games will not be developed because if we do that, then Nintendo will stop being Nintendo.
  • Always do what only you know how to do.
  • One thing has not changed – and it will not change either – and it is our nature as a form of entertainment.
  • Like any other entertainment medium, you must create an emotional response in order to achieve success.
  • Even a small amount of energy can have a huge effect when it can be concentrated in a certain area.
  • In my job, I am a president of a company but in my mind, I am a game developer. In my heart, I am a gamer.

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