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Satoru Iwata
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    (December 6, 1959-July 11, 2015)
    Born in Sapporo, Japan
    Software producer and later president of the video game company HAL Laboratory
    President and CEO of Nintendo (2002-15)
    Died of bile duct cancer at age 55 (2015)
    The consoles that were released by Nintendo during his tenure were either hugely successful (like the Wii and DS) or huge failures (like the GameCube and Wii U), with no middle ground.
    His frequent uttering of the phrase 'Please understand' (usually when he was about to announce a game delay) during media briefings made him a joke on social media.
    He was often criticized for making Nintendo's consoles gimmicky and for being behind the times on HD and online gaming.
    Many thought he should have resigned when Nintendo's finances plummeted in the 2010's.
    He kept the details of his illness private and his death was a huge shock.
    He led Nintendo to huge success in the mid-to-late 2000's.
    Under his leadership, Nintendo pioneered touch screen and motion sensing technology in gaming.
    He worked on some of Nintendo's most famous video game franchises while at HAL, including Kirby, EarthBound and Pokémon.
    He took personal responsibility during Nintendo's financial woes and took a massive pay cut.
    He believed that innovation was much more important in gaming than graphics and technology.
    He continued working after he got cancer, right up until his death.

Credit: Diplomat

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