Ask Iwata: Words of Wisdom from Satoru Iwata
The late CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, started his career as a part-time programmer at HAL Laboratory, the developer of games like Kirby’s Adventure. Nintendo and HAL had a close relationship long before HAL Laboratory was officially part of the Nintendo family, and Satoru Iwata was its brightest star.
Iwata worked for HAL, but also developed games for Nintendo for the Famicom ath the time, such as Balloon Fight. There’s a fantastic, subtitled episode of GameCenter CX where Iwata plays Balloon Fight with host Shinya Arino and shares some of his experiences as a programmer and eventually, Nintendo CEO. It’s a shame the episode is no longer on YouTube, because it’s one of my favorite looks into the history and development of video games.Iwata died of complications from a rare form of cancer in his bile duct in 2015, leaving a lasting impression on gamers the world over. While the Wii U was a flop, failing to even come close to the success of the Nintendo Wii, Iwata took the failure with humility and grace, opting to cut his own CEO salary in half due to Nintendo’s lackluster financial performance in 2014.
Those of us who owned the Wii U generally feel like it’s a good little system that failed to live up to its potential, but Iwata’s brilliance would shine through again, although sadly, after his death. He worked on development of the Nintendo Switch during its earliest days, days that would ultimately be his last.
The book Ask Iwata: Words of Wisdom from Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s Legendary CEO was first published in Japan in 2019 and is now available in an English-language version. If you’re one of the people who preordered it (like me), you’ll probably get your copy today (also like me).
I’m personally extremely excited to dive into it. As a fan of gaming history, video games, business, and game development, as well as someone fond of Satoru Iwata, this book ticks off a lot of boxes for me. The hardcover edition is $20.59 and the Kindle version is $11.99.
Seth Macy is IGN’s Executive Editor, IGN Commerce, and just wants to be your friend.