Iwata was a businessman first and a creator second
No, he was helping create games long before he even became president of HAL Laboratory in 1993:
While attending university, Iwata worked for HAL Laboratory as a part-time programmer in 1980. Among their first creations was a peripheral device that enabled older computers to display graphics for video games. With this device, Iwata and members of HAL created multiple games that were "straight rip-offs of Namco’s Rally-X, Galaxian, and others". Despite this, HAL became the first company to establish a license with Namco for developing games. He joined the company in a full-time capacity after graduating in 1982, becoming its fifth employee and only programmer. Around the same time, Iwata's father was elected mayor of Muroran. Despite his passion, Iwata's family did not approve of his career choice, and his father did not talk with him for six months after Iwata joined HAL.
Iwata became the company's coordinator of software production in 1983, the time during which he helped HAL create a relationship with Nintendo so they would be able to produce games for its newly released Nintendo Entertainment System. He traveled to Kyoto himself to request permission to work on games for the NES, to which Nintendo obliged. His first commercially published game was Joust for the NES—a port of the 1982 arcade game. Other video games he worked on were Balloon Fight, NES Open Tournament Golf, EarthBound, and the Kirby games. Nintendo initially contacted several other developers to produce Open Tournament Golf; however, all of them declined as they did not believe the large amount of data could be stored within an NES cartridge. Iwata seized this opportunity and "recklessly" stepped up to develop the game. It proved particularly taxing as Iwata had to create his own data compression method in order to fit all 18 courses into the game. Similarly, HAL had to program parallax scrolling for F-1 Race as the NES hardware did not initially support it.
Iwata's proficiency with programming quickly placed him in high esteem among fellow programmers and gamers alike. He would often continue to work on weekends and holidays because of his passion. With the company on the verge of bankruptcy, Iwata was promoted to president of HAL in 1993 at the insistence of Nintendo's then-President, Hiroshi Yamauchi.]