In a bizarre move, PETA, or “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” decided to put out a statement on the unexpected death of Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata.
The organisation sent over the following statement this morning:
We at PETA are deeply saddened by the death of Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata. Many of us grew up with Nintendo — we’ve celebrated games such as Nintendogs, which PETA Europe named Best Animal-Friendly Video Game, and our love for these games powered the parodies we’ve made, such as the Super Mario Bros. — spoofing Super Chick Sisters, in which players try to save Princess Pamela Anderson from the evil Colonel Sanders, and Pokémon Black & Blue: Gotta Free ‘Em All, in which players battle to free Pokémon from human enslavement. Our thoughts are with Mr. Iwata’s family and everyone at Nintendo today.
That comes from Joel Bartlett, PETA’s senior director of marketing innovations.
The statement from PETA follows the news from Sunday night that longtime Nintendo president Iwata passed away from a rare form of cancer (what is known as a bile duct growth). Iwata was 55 years old.
Iwata’s work in the video game industry, and his time at Nintendo, was highly influential on the greater game landscape. He helped create such iconic characters as Kirby, and oversaw Nintendo’s most successful home game console in history: The Nintendo Wii.
His death was sudden and unexpected; Iwata had surgery in June 2014 to remove the cancer in his bile duct, and statements following that surgery made it sound like he had recovered.
He issued this statement through Nintendo at the time:
In general, it is said that a bile duct growth can be difficult-to-treat, partly because of the difficulty of detecting it early. In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms. I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted.
Iwata missed this year’s game industry trade show, E3, in Los Angeles this past June, but spoke at Nintendo’s annual shareholder meeting around the same time. When Iwata announced he would miss this year’s E3, Nintendo issued the following statement to IGN:
Nintendo’s focus for E3 this year will be showcasing the many games we have coming for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Mr. Miyamoto and other members of our development team will be in Los Angeles to explain these games and the unique experiences that each offers. Mr. Iwata’s focus in this period will be on other areas of our business that require his presence in Japan
Iwata even appeared in an aggressively silly Nintendo video this past June — a stand-in for their usual E3 press conference — as a puppet, alongside Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime and Nintendo creative director Shigeru Miyamoto.
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