Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo Co., Ltd., has passed away at age 55 on July 11th, 2015. Nintendo issued a brief statement of Iwata’s death from a bile duct growth on their web site.
Iwata was a visible face for Japanese gaming giant, appearing in many promotional videos announcing the arrival of new gaming systems or titles. He joined the company in 2000 as a director for the Corporate Planning Division before being promoted to president in 2002, a title he held to his death.
Born in 1959, Iwata started his career in the video game industry with HAL Laboratory, Inc. working on Balloon Fight, EarthBound, and games in the Kirby series before becoming its president in 1993. He also had helped out with the coding in a number of Pokémon series titles including Pokémon Gold and Silver and Pokémon Stadium.
After joining Nintendo, Iwata was involved with a number of the company’s popular franchises including Mario, the Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing. Under Iwata’s tenure, Nintendo released the Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS and 3DS consoles.