Goodbye is never easy
As many of you know, Mr. Satoru Iwata passed away a couple of days ago, and it has the gaming community in a bit of a stir. Video games have become such a serious, and sometimes cold industry - often times it seems as though companies are only concerned with finding a way to one-up the competitor and making extra money. It's always about business, and finding ways to stay on top of the game. Very few companies seem to remember what playing a video game is all about, and the happiness and joy that it brings to our lives. Mr. Iwata did, and his passion and vision for gaming truly make him a legendary member of the gaming world, art, and culture.
Nintendo may not be the powerhouse company that it once was. Technologically speaking, the company has fallen well behind it's competitors, which has lost the support of many 3rd party developers. Things were looking very grim for the company as the Wii U was released, and it seemed as though we could be seeing some drastic changes. The pressure alone could have easily ran off any sane businessman (Don Mattrick tucked his tail and ran when Xbox started to feel the heat). Enter Satoru Iwata - President of Nintendo since 2002. Mr. Iwata NEVER lost his composure with the company, and rather, he knew that it was time to start thinking outside the box and doubling up efforts internally. As of right now, the Wii U may not be the most successful console the company has released, however Iwata has been very patient, and his dedication to the fans and the gaming world has helped the Wii U to build up an impressive library of games and content that make it a very serious competitor with both Sony and Microsoft. Iwata never turned his back on his fans....and his vision with amiibo has flourished into a very successful business strategy.
This is what makes Mr. Iwata a legend. Sure, he went through some very difficult challlenges within the company, but he never ran away. He surrounded himself with great individuals, and brainstormed fantastic ideas to help push the company forward. Nintendo has always had the edge in creating new, innovative technology that could capture it's audience's attention in ways standard gaming simply couldn't. The Nintendo 3DS itself, is a full on 3D gaming experience that was brought to life by a vision and dream of not a hungry group of businessmen....but fun loving gamers that dreamed to innovate and excite. The passion that Nintendo brings to the gaming world is unparalleled by any, and I know that this will remain the case for years now.
Along with fun and creative ideas, Iwata had a fantastic sense of humility and humor. Iwata reached out to the public openly with Nintendo Direct, and would always address the fans and their concerns as they came. With the help of Reggie and Miyamoto, he found ways to captivate the audience in ways that went well beyond controllers and consoles
And more recently...
Nobody could deny the charm of these efforts, and while they may not have appealed as much to the masses of 'hard core' gamers, these creative skits brought smiles to the faces of millions. It takes a lot of guts to expose yourselves in such a silly way to the gaming world, but Iwata knew that deep down, it was always about that fun loving innocence, that which has made Nintendo such a big hit for families and gamers for years now. The constant reminder that it's ok to have fun, and it's ok to treat games like games is what always won my attention from the company, and that will not be changing anytime soon.
Thank you for all that you have done, Mr. Iwata. Thank you for sharing your vision with this world, and for making gaming such an enjoyable experience for me and for many others. I know that your dream will live on through the many fine individuals working at Nintendo, and that you will be smiling down on them with your approval. You will never be forgotten, and you will always be remembered for the fine human being that you always were.