Satoru Iwata underwent surgery last year for his cancer and had resumed his duties after a brief period of recovery. Iwata was a highly revered figure in the Japanese gaming scene, he was considered the leading figure behind some of Nintendo’s most popular devices since he joined the company in 2000. Most recently, he led Nintendo into the rapidly growing mobile gaming sector.
Iwata’s main focus was marketing consoles to a non gamer audience and successfully launched the Nintendo DS and two years later the Wii which was branded with “Even your Grandma can play this.” He was known for being a gamer first and CEO second.
Mr Iwata started out as a programmer in a Nintendo subsidiary in the 1980s and became president of Nintendo in 2002.