Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd., posing during an interview after Nintendo’s E3 presentation of their new Nintendo 3DS at the E3 Media in Los Angeles June 15, 2010. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Nintendo has confirmed it – its CEO Satoru Iwata has lost his battle against cancer.

Satoru was one of Japan leading businessmen, the person behind some of Nintendo’s most popular devices, since 2002.

He was described by his co-workers as a gamer first, then as a businessman – I guess this is the best business card you can get, and it explains his success.

While Iwata was a programmer for Nintendo, Super Mario was the game of the 80s in Japan – you really couldn’t avoid it even if you tried – but with its decline in the 90s, it was time for Nintendo to shift gear. Enters Iwata in a lead role.

2004 saw the release of the Nintendo DS, the world best-selling hand-held console, followed two years later by the launch of the incredibly successful Wii.

Iwata leaves Nintendo at the beginning of a new era. This past March the company has signed a deal with DeNA, to enter the world of mobile gaming.

Many people have tweeted to remember this man, including Playstation, gathering the support of its own fans for the gesture. One Twitter user, James Sims, has created a collage of Nintendo’s characters to honour him. It is a fitting way to remember Mr Satoru Iwata. Twitter is using #ThankYouIwata #Nintendo if you want to join in the tribute.

Rest in peace, Mr Iwata.