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    Satoru Iwata

    Person » credited in 401 games

    Satoru Iwata was the President of Nintendo from 2002 to 2015. Among the most talented programmers in his field, he provided freelance coding work for HAL Laboratories while in college, and served as its CEO from 1993 to 2000, when he joined Nintendo's executive board. He was appointed company President in 2002, becoming the first person outside the Yamauchi family to hold the position. Under his leadership, Nintendo produced its most successful generation of consoles.

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    Before Nintendo

    While still attending Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he majored in computer science, he started work as a part-time programmer for HAL Laboratory, Inc. After graduation in 1982 he started a full-time job there, he later became the company's coordinator of software production. He helped HAL create many new famous game franchises such as Kirby and EarthBound. In 1993, he was promoted to president of HAL Laboratory. Iwata frequently assisted Nintendo to create games as well as making games for HAL which strengthened the partnership between the two companies further.


    In 2000, Satoru Iwata became the head of corporate planning at Nintendo. When former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi retired in 2002, Iwata was promoted to become the fourth president of Nintendo, and the first person not related by blood or marriage to the Yamauchi family to run the company.

    The Nintendo DS and Wii were both strongly influenced by his philosophies and ideas for where gaming needed to go to evolve. Both ushered in Nintendo's biggest financially successful era.


    • “The next generation is a place where the best idea, not the biggest budget will win,”
    • “The key here is not what you are playing but how you will be playing. Revolution will also create entirely new genres to expand the definition of video games.”
    • “Nintendo has strong views on how we should run our company. We consider ourselves, above all else, as a gaming company. We believe other companies (in the console marketplace) see themselves primarily as technology companies.”
    • “If we continue down the same path as we have in the past, people may become tired of gaming,”
    • “We understand that people tend to be conservative when it comes to entertainment, ... So for Nintendo to be secure, we must cater to the minds of the conservative players and those who admire something different.”
    • “The game has changed, ... and the way the game is played has to be changed.”
    • “We believe we know what makes a good game better than anyone else.”
    • “We thought about how everyone in the family uses the TV remote, but some people don't want to even touch the game controller.”
    • “The feeling is so natural and real, as soon as players use the controller, their minds will spin with the possibilities of how this will change gaming as we know it today. This is an extremely exciting innovation --one that will thrill current players and entice new ones.”
    • “If you want our world-known names, you can't have them unless you own the Nintendo machine.”
    • “In order to realize the goal of creating a new starting line that anyone can instinctively understand we have come up with a design that differs greatly from any of today's controllers. We have also made bold innovations in play style as well.”
    • “We thought it was the requirement of moving right and left fingers separately and nimbly that was creating a psychological barrier, ... To expand the gaming population, it was needed for us to design a pad so that any family member would see it on the living room table, think that this was something relevant to them and pick it up.”
    • “For the controller to be placed on the table at all, we had to make it compact - I believe that this will be possible for this controller. Also, just like a TV remote control, it can be manipulated with one hand.”
    • “This is an extremely exciting innovation -- one that will thrill current players and entice new ones.”
    • “Throughout the history of game development, the game control mechanism has become more and more sophisticated, ... Perhaps those who have quit gaming or who have never played games look at the game controller and think it's too difficult to play, even before they dare to touch it.”
    • “Our mission is to revive the gaming industry by increasing our user base,”
    • “Small developers can compete on creativity not on scale or staff size.... Nintendo is willing to help bring these ideas to life,”
    • “Until now, within a single household, we've had family members who play video games and family members who don't play video games - and they've been very separate. Gradually, the barriers between those two have gotten stronger. ... Today, if you don't understand the controller, you're not able to enjoy video games. ... We expect [the Revolution controller ] to become the standard in video game controls.”
    • “Selling five million units in less than 14 months means DS is the fastest among any game machines ever launched in Japan to hit that level. To achieve this rapid growth, we were required not only to go after frequent game players, but to reel back people who had left games and to make video games enjoyable for those who had not played games at all.”
    • “To achieve this rapid growth, we were required not only to go after frequent game players, but to reel back people who had left games and to make video games enjoyable for those who had not played games at all.”
    • “We hope to create a system which allows both Nintendo and [third-party publishers] to make a profit by using [software titles] from the past.”
    • “The profitable part of the online business is very likely several years away. Entering the business because it's the hot topic of the day doesn't make a profitable business nor satisfied customers, ... That's why it will be a part of Nintendo's strategy, not the mainstay, as other companies are attempting to do. There still are too many barriers for any company to greatly depend on it.”
    • “In order to expand the gaming population, it is taken for granted that we need to offer games to satisfy veteran gamers. At the same time, I believe that we need to make a new proposal, so that those who do not play games can say, 'I can do it' and, 'I want to touch it.'”
    • “I was a developer for many years before my current role, but I've never been a very good gamer. I've never been able to control a first-person shooter, but as soon as I used the Revolution controller, I found it very easy to control the game. So, I think that's a genre that's particularly well suited for the controller.”
    • “These products propose a different use for the DS in entirely new fields.”
    • “Software sales have traditionally been dominated by console games, but the situation changed dramatically towards the end of the year, and games for portable devices overwhelmed console games.”
    • “For young players, classic games are brand new. For older players, they bring back memories and make you feel good.”
    • “Video games are meant to be just one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone.”
    • “No one else can match the environment we're creating for expanding the game experience to everyone. Our path is not linear, but dynamic.”

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