Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, Dead at 55

CEO died as result of a bile duct growth, the company announced Sunday

Last Updated: July 13, 2015 @ 1:05 PM

Nintendo’s global president Satoru Iwata has died at the age of 55, the company announced on Sunday.

Iwata, a longtime employee and ranking executive since 2002, was the fourth president in Nintendo’s history. He was most recently named CEO of the gaming brand’s North American division in 2013.

“Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth,” the company said in a statement.

Nintendo has been making increasing strides to break into Hollywood for several years. Donkey Kong, a trademarked character from the video game of the same name, will appear in Columbia Pictures’ “Pixels,” opening July 24.

Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan and Peter Dinklage, the film tells of an alien invasion where the enemy takes the form of beloved video game characters like Kong, Pac-Man and select Angry Birds.

Not to mention November’s hack of Columbia parent Sony Pictures Entertainment, which revealed that producer Avi Arad (“Iron Man”) was negotiating for film rights to Nintendo’s popular franchise Mario Bros. Leaked emails between Arad and then-chairman Amy Pascal saw the pair developing the property as an animated feature.

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