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Miyamoto remembers the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in new book

Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto has opened up about his relationship with late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in a new book called 'Iwata-san,' and it makes for emotional reading.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

July 23, 2019

2 Min Read

Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto has opened up about his relationship with the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in a new book called 'Iwata-san,' and it makes for emotional reading. 

In excerpts translated by IGN, Miyamoto recalls how working with Iwata was stress-free affair, largely because the pair struck up a close friendship that transcended workplace hierarchies. 

"To me, he was a friend more than anything. It never felt like he was my boss or that I was working under him. He never got angry; we never fought about anything," explains Miyamoto.

“Normally, if someone younger than yourself with fewer years of experience becomes president, it might be difficult to get along with each other, but it was never like that. It had always been obvious that he was more suited for the position (than me), so it never became a problem. I think it allowed us to naturally become true friends."

Although the duo never actually worked on a game together, they would regularly meet for lunch to discuss projects and chew the fat. It's a tradition that began after they went for a bowl of ramen together late one night when Iwata was in-charge of Smash Bros. developer HAL Laboratory. 

"Nintendo doesn’t pay for social expenses, so we had to go Dutch on the bill," says Miyamoto, recalling one of their first meals together. "That became a tradition that lasted even after he became company president and I became an executive."

Commenting on his friend's legacy at Nintendo, Miyamoto explained Iwata has undoubtedly inspired the next generation of developers, who still hold many of his words close to their heart. 

"He left many words and structures that live on in the work of our younger employees today. The only problem is that, if there is some good-for-nothing idea I come up with over the weekend, I have no one to share it with the next Monday. That I can no longer hear him say ‘Oh, about that thing…’ is a bit of a problem for me. It makes me sad."

'Iwata-san' is currently only available in Japanese from publisher Hobonichi. More excerpts from the book can be found over on IGN.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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