Satoru Iwata’s reply to this fan letter was as wise as you’d expect

Satoru Iwata fan letter reply 2013 wise encouraging

On Twitter, a Japanese Nintendo fan has shared a reply to a letter that he/she had written to Satoru Iwata back in 2013. Twitter user @Cheesemeister3k has helpfully provided a translation of Iwata’s words. He discusses how he got into game development and why he was passionate about it. Iwata then concludes with some wise career advice, the type of sensitive and insightful comments that you would expect to hear out of our dearly departed president of Nintendo.

Check out the original letter and the translation below.

Hello. This is Iwata from Nintendo. Thank you for the letter. I’m very happy that you chose Nintendo for your “Hello Work at 12” project.

In middle school, I developed an interest in computers, and before long I’d decided to study computers seriously in college. While I was a college student, I realized how fun it was to make video games, and chose that for my job. Making video games is a job that requires a lot of energy, but for me it was even more fun than playing them. That and the fact that other people could also enjoy what I’d made gave me a sense of purpose.

Game development requires the drawing together of many different fields. You need people to think up game designs, people to draw pictures, people to make music and sound effects, people to program, people to test the game, people to make sure that the whole team is working together well, and so on. That’s why I don’t think there’s a right answer to the question of what you should study.

I do think that you’ll be able to find what you’re good at by thinking deeply about all the things you’re interested in, not settling for spending your days without increasing your knowledge, making lots of discoveries, and repeating that process. While what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing might not necessarily be the same, I’ve had the experience of others recognizing things I’m good at, even if I didn’t actually like it at first. That’s one reason why you should continue studying and gaining experience without bias.

Please do your best.

Perhaps more than any other video game company, Nintendo has become known for literal game-changing visionaries such as Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Masahiro Sakurai. It’s always heartwarming when something like this comes along and reconfirms what we already know about these titans.


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!