Nintendo's Iwata aimed to 'satisfy people's need to be happy'


At the New Yorker, Simon Parkin has gathered a beautiful collection of quotes from Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who has just passed away at the age of 55, and from people who worked with him. Fans and game developers worldwide are mourning the loss of a man who kept the mind of a game developer and the spirit of a player throughout his tenure as corporate president, and whose curiosity, approachability and enthusiasm mattered to so many:

"I never sensed that he thought he was more important, smarter, or more powerful than me, although he was all those things," Martin Hollis, who has worked on many Nintendo titles, said. "I never felt he was my boss, or my boss's boss. I felt he was a friend who was trying to help me in my projects. There isn't another person like him in the world."

My favorite part of the lovely postscript is Iwata's own thoughts on the creative value of video games, a belief in happiness and playfulness which we hope to share at Offworld, with his memory in mind.

"Our ambition is to satisfy people's need to be happy, through our software," he once said. "People want to play because human beings want to be human beings—and we are the only species on Earth that loves to play."

Shigesato Itoi, who led the beloved Earthbound games (on which Iwata worked as a programmer) also has written an incredibly moving farewell to his colleague, unofficially translated here.