He passed away on July 11, 2015
In June 2014, Nintendo announced that Iwata would not be present at E3 2014 due to medical-related reasons. It was later revealed that he was undergoing surgery to remove a tumor in his bile duct. A little over a year later on July 12, 2015, Nintendo announced that Iwata died the previous day at the age of 55 due to complications from the tumor. He is survived by his wife Kayoko. Funeral services are planned to be held on July 17.
Satoru Iwata initially began as a programmer, having begun at HAL Laboratories, developing titles such as Kirby and Earthbound. After becoming acquainted with then-director of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, he was offered a position in 2000 at Nintendo and succeeded Yamauchi as the president of Nintendo.Nintendo has just issued a short statement announcing that president Satoru Iwata has passed away at the age of 55.
The statement reads:
Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.
Throughout Mr. Iwata's tenure at Nintendo, he spearheaded many different and unique gaming experiences for fans all over the world to reach - mainly, the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii console. Mr. Iwata also garnered much praise for his down-to-earth appearances in the Nintendo Direct announcements and through a series of interviews called Iwata Asks, in which a round table is conducted with developers to talk and look more closely at Nintendo titles.
Lately, Mr. Iwata has seen his share of struggles with the Nintendo Wii U, but looked forward to a brightening horizon with the Nintendo NX and the DeNA platform. It's truly saddening to think that he won't get to witness this dream coming to fruition. He will, however, be remembered for his contributions and for making gaming accessible to a worldwide audience.
SourceOn my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer. - Satoru Iwata