“Video games are meant to be just one thing: Fun. Fun for everyone!”
– the late Satoru Iwata, former Nintendo President.
A new book titled Iwata-san has just been published by Hobonichi and it includes interviews with fellow industry legends Shigeru Miyamoto and Shigesato Itoi. In case you didn’t know, Miyamoto is the creator of several time-tested franchises including Mario and The Legend of Zelda while Itoi is well known for being the creator of the EarthBound (Mother in Japan) games and is also the founder of Hobonichi.
The book is a compilation of some of Iwata’s own words and also a collection of interviews as mentioned above. Iwata was Nintendo’s fourth president and is often regarded as the man who revolutionized Nintendo. As you can surmise from the quote placed at the beginning of the article, Iwata was focused on broadening Nintendo’s appeal to everyone, regardless of age and origin.
“To me, he was a friend more than anything. It never felt like he was my boss or that I was working under him. He never got angry; we never fought about anything.”
– Shigeru Miyamoto (via IGN)
Miyamoto and Iwata became friends while the two were working in Nintendo. After being promoted to president, Iwata decided he would do things differently. He directly met with the company’s 40 department heads and 150 other employees. He wanted to communicate with his staff on a personal level. Miyamoto described that previously the business atmosphere was “stuffy” and Iwata’s way of doing things had “improved the ventilation”.
“It’s hard to describe how I felt when first meeting him. There was something very pleasant about him. Without even really knowing him, you could immediately feel that he was someone you could trust.”
– Shigesato Itoi (via IGN)
Iwata first met Itoi when he joined HAL Laboratory as a part-time programmer during his university years. One of the games he worked on was Itoi’s EarthBound. When Itoi first established Hobonichi in 1998, Iwata signed up to work as the publishing company’s IT manager. Iwata continued to work as Hobonichi’s IT manager even until 2007 when he was running Nintendo full-time. A true friendship that lasted a lifetime.
The world, especially the gaming world, misses you dearly Iwata-san. You showed us that video games weren’t just about having top-of-the-line hardware or being really good and skilled. You showed us that, when it comes to video games, the most important thing is that you have fun. Nothing more, nothing less.