Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is dead at the age of 55. The company revealed his passing in a brief statement sent out on Sunday night:
Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.
wata began his career in game development as a programmer for HAL Laboratory. While with the company, he worked on now-iconic games like Earthbound and the Kirby series. Iwata rose through the ranks of the company and became president in 1993.
In 2000, he joined Nintendo as head of corporate planning. He then succeeded Hiroshi Yamuachi as president of the company in 2002. He took on CEO responsibilities as well in 2013.
His tenure was marked by ups and downs. The GameCube, released in 2001, failed to recreate the colossal success of the Nintendo 64. The console wound up being the third best-selling console of its generation, behind Sony’s PS2 and Microsoft’s Xbox. However, the Wii and DS took the console and handheld markets by storm a few years later. The Wii was especially revolutionary in how it brought console gaming to millions of people who never bothered picking up a controller before.