Host Geoff Keighley also shared his final memories of Iwata, from shortly before E3 when the two met in Japan. Iwata was noticeably thinner, Keighley said, but still in good spirits.
The full text of Fils-Aime’s speech lies below, or you can watch it via the following video:
“One of the most over-used words in the English language is unique. That’s what all of us want to be, on same level or another. But few of us truly are. Satoru Iwata was one who was truly unique, in the fullest meaning of the word.
“If you were to design the perfect person to lead a video game company, you would want someone who understood electrical engineering, who understood software design, who understood. Not many could claim to understand all of these areas, but Mr. Iwata did.
“And not only did he understand all of these areas, but he was accomplished in every one. If you’ve read the Iwata Asks series you know he could drill down to the particulars of both hardware and game design. No one could lose him in the details.
“On his business resumé, there’s one number that stands out. Our dedicated gaming industry is now over 30 years old. In that time, only five platforms have achieved lifetime sales excess of 100m worldwide. Satoru Iwata was involved in three of them.
“At HAL Laboratories helped bring Kirby Dream’s Land and other games to Game Boy. And then as president of Nintendo he oversaw the introduction of Nintendo DS and Wii.
“Beyond his resumé I can add another signature point: the man was fearless. Remember how you first felt when you heard the name ‘Wii’? Or remember what was said when you found out about Nintendogs? Or Brain Age. Or a dual-screened portable device. You may have been puzzled but he already knew – he had already heard the criticisms internally. But he always championed an idea he believed in, and we all benefited.
“For Mr. Iwata it was not enough to repeat the words of Nintendo’s mission – to surprise and delight with the unexpected. He lived those words. He was unique.
“Finally, on a personal level, he was my boss and he was my mentor and he was my colleague. But most of all he was my friend, and I’m a better person for it. I think every gamer is better for having Mr. Iwata’s talent and vision shape the passion we all share.
“No matter what is going on in our lives or in the world, Mr. Iwata wanted Nintendo to be about putting smiles on people’s faces. Nintendo, at its heart, is about making people feel younger than are today. Mr. Iwata – I hope you’re smiling, right now. Thank you.”