Shigeru Miyamoto has reflected on his friendship with Satoru Iwata, speaking about the late Nintendo president in the new Hobonichi-published ‘Iwata-san’ book.
IGN has translated quotes from the commemorative book, which has gathered articles that were posted on Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun or the Iwata Asks discussions from the official Nintendo website.
“To me, he was a friend more than anything,” Miyamoto explains. “It never felt like he was my boss or that I was working under him. He never got angry; we never fought about anything.”
Even the fact that, as his boss, Iwata was seven years younger than the creative mind behind Super Mario never became a point of friction.
“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 always 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.”
In thinking back, Miyamoto remembered one of the first meals that they shared together – when Iwata was still running HAL Laboratory but had traveled to Kyoto to help with a project.
“Nintendo doesn’t pay for social expenses, so we had to go Dutch on the bill,” he explained. “That became a tradition that lasted even after he became company president and I became an executive.”
Iwata used to call himself a “Miyamoto watcher,” as he was often able to recall Miyamoto’s quotes better than he could.
“Since he passed away, Nintendo has been doing just fine,” Miyamoto shares. “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.”