Satoru Iwata dead: Nintendo chief executive who brought 'wealth of imagination to the world' dies aged 55

Iwata joined the company as a programmer in the 1980s

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The Independent Online

Tributes have been paid to Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata, who has died aged 55.

The company has said that Iwata died of a bile duct tumour on Saturday in a Kyoto University Hospital.

Iwata was president of the iconic gaming company from 2002. In his role, he led Nintendo’s development of the Wii console and the DS handheld. He joined the company in the 1980s as a programmer.

It is not yet known who will now lead the company.

Nobuyuki Hayashi, a consultant and technology expert, said:  “He didn’t just create technology. He created a whole culture. It wasn’t just a consumer product that he had delivered. He brought to people something that’s eternal, what people remember from when they were kids. He was special.

Tributes have been posted on Twitter by fans thanking him for the childhood memories his games brought and by fellow creatives for the innovations he brought to the gaming industry.

Iwata’s funeral will be held on 17 July. He is survived by his wife Kayoko.

Additional reporting by AP