Lorne Lanning offers apology after Nintendo fans take issue with a comment concerning Satoru Iwata

A few days back, we shared a video interview with Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning concerning the Switch. Mr. Lanning discussed a number of topics, including some of the struggles Nintendo faced with the Wii U. In that video feature, Mr. Lanning made comment that some took offense to.

The biggest problem I see at Nintendo is the thinking. Personally, I think it killed Iwata; that he couldn't move the organisation into a really successful arena.

Those offended by the comment feel Mr. Lanning's words were either brash or poorly-chosen, in relation to the passing of Mr. Iwata. Lorne has heard that sentiment, and has offered up the following apology via Twitter.

Yesterday, a number of news outlets reported on a conversation I had while appearing on the GameOverGreggy show in April of this year. I would like to sincerely apologize for the poor choice of words concerning Satoru Iwata. My intention was certainly not to disrespect the great man, who I have long held with utmost admiration and respect and consider a hero in the industry.

My comments on Nintendo's current policies and practices as they pertain to the Switch's ecosystem, these are personal opinions. I state them, not to disparage anyone but to encourage what I believe would be a healthier ecosystem that would benefit all involved...platform holder, developer, publisher and, of course, gamer.

I feel Mr. Lanning's words were just poorly chosen, and he didn't mean any negativity towards Mr. Iwata. With that said, it's still nice to see Lorne take to Twitter to offer up an apology.

Miyamoto remembers Iwata's uncanny ability to motivate people

Coming from Shigeru Miyamoto...

“Iwata had this unique ability to rally people around a vision. Similarly, to then put them into a structure that could make that vision a reality. I always remember his ability to take something, give it shape and then to motivate people. That always impressed me about him.

He was a technologist – a programmer originally. And typically, you go to a programmer and tell them what you, as a designer, want to do. They then tell you all the reasons why they can’t do what you want. Mr Iwata was different. Instead, he would say he was going to figure out how to make it work. He’d always be positive, always try to make the impossible happen. I still remember that to this day."

Sakamoto reflects on Balloon Fight creation, Iwata dev stories and more

The following comes from a Nintendo interview with Yoshio Sakamoto...

- Sakamoto joined the company in 1982
- he was originally hired as a Game & Watch designer
- he made titles like Snoopy, Donkey Kong Circus, and Mario Bombs Away using that panorama screen
- after that, he worked on an arcade game called Vs. Wrecking Crew, headed up by Gunpei Yokoi
- Yokoi believed that if you could draw, you could make a game, which lead Sakamoto to try out drawing & game design
- Sakamoto handled the logo, the title screen, and the drawing of Donkey Kong for Donkey Kong Jr.
- Yokoi said, “How about making a game that feels like you’re floating and has a combat element too?”
- this lead to the creation of Balloon Fight
- SRD was in charge of developing the arcade version and the Famicom version was developed by Mr. Iwata
- Yokoi suggested that bubbles be added to the game, but Sakamoto believed it to be impossible due to the Famicom's rudimentary graphics capabilities
- Yokoi told Sakamoto not to give up on the idea without trying, so Sakamoto set out to make it happen and everything worked out
- Iwata came to Kyoto and worked in a room provided by Nintendo doing while handling Balloon Fight
- Yokoi entered Iwata's room and sat down without saying a word, then he played the game and made a list of suggestions
- Balloon Trip mode was an idea Mr. Yokoi had mentioned and Mr. Iwata made it in three days
- Yokoi played the finished mode and suggested fixes
- this usually required consulting a large bundle of papers, which made making tiny changes quite a task
- Iwata heard Yokoi's request and took just a few minutes to make the changes Yokoi requested, which shocked Yokoi and Sakamoto
- Sakamoto suggested a similar suggestion to the NES Classic Edition 10 years ago
- he wanted to make a Famicom shaped Gameboy Advance that played games on the television
- his idea made it all the way to the mock-up stage, and also a box was created

Did You Know Gaming - Satoru Iwata

Thanks to MarioCheated for the heads up!

Iwata shared various messages with Nintendo employees shortly before passing

The loss of Satoru Iwata stings just as much today as it did when he first passed. The man is sorely missed, and sadly it seems Mr. Iwata knew that his time was coming to an end.

When Iwata left the hospital, he took some time to write various messages to Nintendo's staff. He shared thoughts about his time working, memories that he had of former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi and even some personal stories. Looking back, it seems quite clear that Iwata knew he didn't have much time left, so he wanted to depart with some of his wisdom while he still could.

A gaming historian may have found the first code Iwata ever wrote for Nintendo

What's the big deal about these old Famicom boards? Turns out Nintendo was working on a deal with Atari back in the day to bring out some games on Famicom, but that deal fell through when timing of the Famicom release was delayed. Still, there were multiple Atari-related projects worked on. That includes the arcade classic Joust, which just so happens to be the first game that Iwata ever coded. Believe it or not, it seems like the boards above could be the remnants of that Atari deal. If they're legit, they could indeed be the very first thing Mr. Iwata coded for Nintendo. A pretty amazing find, if you ask me!

New book on Satoru Iwata gives insight into his younger days

Satoru Iwata may no longer be with us, but there's still so much we can learn from the man. Perhaps some of that knowledge can come from a new Kindle book released in Japan. This book is rather unique, as it gives perspective on the younger years of Iwata from 28 of his college classmates. You can check out the Amazon listing below.

Order here

Satoru Iwata today's featured article on Wikipedia

In honor of Mr. Iwata's passing a year ago, Wikipedia has made the page featuring Satoru Iwata the featured article for the day. Even for those aware of Mr. Iwata and his accomplishments, the Wiki page still has some really interesting and detailed info. You might read it and find out some stuff you never knew!

Page here

Remembering Satoru Iwata one year later

It's been a full year since we lost Satoru Iwata. The loss still stings just like it did back on that day. I honestly cannot believe it's already been a year, mostly because the wound is still so fresh. Here's to a wonderful man that helped create some of the amazing memories that Nintendo fans take with them every day, as well as the millions of smiles he helped bring about. You are sorely missed, good sir.

Dyack excited for NX, talks Shadow of the Eternals, working with Nintendo & more

Coming from a MetalDave interview with Denis Dyack...

On Shadow of the Eternals…

“There’s likely to be some announcements in the not-too-distant future. When we actually do it, I can’t say at this point, but I do think that there’s going to be a couple of shockers coming. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the responses are. We’re really excited. And remember as well, our company we’re not just doing games, so we’re pairing with television and film as well so it’ll be a myriad of things coming out on some of the things that we’re doing. It’s going to be very different.”

On working with Miyamoto…

“I’ve never met someone who’s so focused on trying to make things good, and he says both very focused feedback on particular gameplay items and then at the same time he’ll give you 10,000 overview of what he thinks of the feel and the spirit of the game. He’ll be like, ‘I’m not sure if we’re going too much in this direction, and I think the spirit of the game needs to go in the spirit in this direction.’ So you get both specific feedback of various mechanics and at the same time he would give very general feedback on the spirit of where everything stood. It was pretty awesome working with Mr. Miyamoto, and he did contribute (to Eternal Darkness) for sure.”

On working with Iwata…

“So a lot of people don’t know this – the first person to ever visit Silicon Knights from Nintendo Japan was Mr. Iwata. Mr. Iwata was the person who recommended that Nintendo buy an equity stake in Silicon Knights, so he was the person who drove all of that. And so I got to know him quite well and he was on our board of directors for awhile, I spoke to him on a regular basis whenever I was in Japan. So I would say the level of interaction with Mr. Iwata was equal to that of Mr. Miyamoto and some cases more actually because he had board of director’s duties and things like that. I remember he became president of Nintendo I think when we were working on Twin Snakes. I remember being on stage with Mr. Kojima, Mr. Miyamoto, Bill Trinen, and we’re all talking, and then they announced it and I congratulated Mr. Iwata and I was like, ‘Wow’. And he was like, ‘I know’.”

On Iwata’s passing…

“He was amazing. I was so shattered when he passed away, and he is one of the best guys I’ve ever met in the industry…”

On NX…

“Am I really, really excited about the NX? I think so. I think probably more than ever, on any other previous console generation. I remember Mr. Iwata saying some things… just seeing how excited he was on talking about the future. I know these guys, and I feel really good about what’s coming. So, and I think those who are concerned and worried, don’t.”