As you’ve likely heard all over your social media platforms of preference, the gaming world lost a key figure this past weekend. However, it’s a bit selfish to say that something was lost—he was a human being himself, with his own life that he led. That’s why we here at GameCola would like to take a moment to remember some of the great times we’ve had that were, at least in some part, touched by Satoru Iwata.
Most of us are familiar with his recent work as head of Nintendo—he’s listed as Executive Producer on nearly every recent first-party Nintendo game from Wii Sports to Metroid Prime Pinball. However, back during his days at HAL Laboratory, he was involved with such old-school GameCola favorites as Balloon Fight. And, I mean that in the sense that this was a favorite on old-school GameCola, back during the bi-monthly newsletter days, not just that the game itself is old-school. He also had a hand in Air Fortress, which is a game that left an odd imprint on a young Jeddy.
For more widely-known games, Iwata took the reigns of HAL shortly after the start of the Kirby franchise, and went on to be heavily involved with another all-time GameCola favorite: EarthBound. While it’s true that games like Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. have gotten more play by more people, it’s hard to argue the more personal touch of a game like EarthBound—especially for some of the GameCola staff.
And, let’s not forget Elite Beat Agents. I mean, come on.
How much of a personal hand did he have in any of these games? It can be tough to say with some of them. But, he’s been involved in some way with so many games that have meant so much to so many people that it’s difficult to ignore. And, we’d prefer to remember the mark a person left on the world than to worry about how the world will be without them.