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R.I.P. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata

The fan-favorite executive worked with Nintendo for over 30 years.

Satoru Iwata was known for his humorous appearances in the company's
Satoru Iwata was known for his humorous appearances in the company's "Nintendo Direct" video series.

Moments ago, Nintendo of Japan issued a short notification announcing the death of company president Satoru Iwata. He was 55.

The full text of Nintendo's statement was as follows:

Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.

Iwata first started working for Nintendo “second-party” developer HAL Laboratories while he was still in college over 30 years ago. In 2000, he joined Nintendo of Japan as head of corporate planning, and in 2002 Iwata stepped into the role of president.

Throughout his tenure, Iwata worked on a number of innovative games and initiatives for the company, including Kirby's Adventure, Earthbound, the Nintendo DS, and the Wii. Most recently, Iwata oversaw the agreement made with mobile developer DeNA, which will allow the company to bring Nintendo properties to smartphones. Throughout his career, Iwata’s vision for Nintendo was built around the idea that people from various walks of life and across generations could all enjoy games.

Iwata was also well known for his public-facing presidency. He was good humored in the company’s “Nintendo Direct” video series, and in the Q&A series “Iwata Asks,” the president spoke candidly and deeply with game developers.

His trademark candor and humor will be sorely missed.