It’s very common to see the internet mourning the loss of a beloved artist or politician, but outpourings of grief for the heads of large corporations is far from normal. But Iwata was different, and it was those differences which went a long way towards creating the ‘Nintendo difference’ that lifelong fanboys like me go on about when questioned about our loyalty to a corporate entity.
Iwata wasn’t a career businessman concerned only with profit margins. He joined Nintendo as a programmer who loved games, and worked at the ground level of countless Nintendo classics, even going so far as to step in and personally lead the debug efforts on the almost delayed Super Smash Bros Melee long after he had been promoted to a corporate role.
And finally, as a corporate frontman, Iwata understood the kind of trust and bond that could be forged through directly engaging with the community as a human being. His personal hosting of regular Nintendo Direct videos, and willingness to have fun and engage in self parody is as legendary as it is abnormal, especially in the stuffy and traditionally minded world of Japanese business.
There isn’t much more to say that hasn’t been said elsewhere, but its been wonderful, yet of course bittersweet, to see so much love being sent ‘directly to’ the great man today.
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