Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has passed away at age 55.
"Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth", reads a statement from the publisher.
Iwata-san had spent the last couple of years battling the growth discovered on his bile duct, which resulted in his absence at last year's E3.
Iwata began working at Nintendo in the 1980s as a programmer, working at the HAL Laboratory. Much of the success of Kirby can be attributed to Iwata, who created the eponymous Dream Land in Kirby's debut on the Game Boy in 1992. He became a director of the company in 2000, and was appointed President of Nintendo in May 2002. Iwata oversaw the launch of the GameCube, the Nintendo DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U.
Iwata-san was with Nintendo through some of its best times - the Wii boom back in the mid 2000s - and the roughest - the tough launch of its successor.
Nintendo said it has not decided who the next president will be. In the meantime, Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda will jointly run the company.
R.I.P. Mr. Nintendo Satoru Iwata thanks for all the fun and enjoy that big Mario Kart in the sky!