Shigeru Miyamoto has talked about former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in a new novel.
In Iwata-San, a new book released in Japan about late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto shares some of his favorite memories about Iwata.
Miyamoto still remembers one of their first meal together. At the time, Iwata was running HAL Laboratory, developers of the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. games, and he went out with Miyamoto to have some ramen.
“Nintendo doesn’t pay for social expenses, so we had to go Dutch on the bill. That became a tradition that lasted even after he became company president and I became an executive,” Miyamoto said.
While the two didn’t work on many games together, they would share ideas over lunch each Monday. As Iwata rose through the ranks of Nintendo, he eventually became Miyamoto’s boss. While you would think this would cause some friction between the two, you’d be surprised.
“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 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.”
Following Iwata’s passing in 2015, Miyamoto says that “Nintendo has been doing just fine. 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.”
While we go find some tissues, let’s have Miyamoto have the final word:
“To me, he was a friend more than anything,” said Miyamoto. “It never felt like he was my boss or that I was working under him. He never got angry; we never fought about anything.”
While there’s no word on an English version, Iwata-San is available in Japanese now.