Former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who died suddenly in July last year, is to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award.
Regardless of their hardware platform of choice, late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was admired by gamers and industry pundits the world over. With his combination of distinctly Japanese mannerisms and a quirky sense of humour, it was hard not to find the Nintendo frontman endearing as he announced the latest developments at the House of Mario during his many “Nintendo Direct” online conferences.
But Mr Iwata was much more than just a PR frontman. Starting out as a programmer at HAL Laboratories while still at university, Iwata later helped to form a long-lasting bond between the software company and Nintendo, and would go on to take up a position at the latter in the early 2000s. Becoming president in 2002—the first non-family member in the history of the company to take up the role—he worked for Nintendo for more than a decade, and is credited with having revitalised the once faltering company by shifting its focus away from gradual increases in technical proficiency to creating experiences that would appeal to larger audiences including those who typically did not play video games—a strategy which both the hugely successful Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii hardware platforms had at their respective cores.
Mr. Iwata’s death in July 2015 came as a great shock to many, and the industry continues to experience a sense of loss to this day, so it seems only fitting that he should be honoured appropriately.
This year, on February 18, Satoru Iwata is to be posthumously awarded a special Lifetime Achievement award at the DICE (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you ask me, it couldn’t happen to a nicer, more deserving person.