…In Memory of Satoru Iwata
With the sad passing of Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata at the young age of 55, it made me think, do we really appreciate the people behind the thing we love. Do we really appreciate what these people give up in their lives in order to fulfil their dreams and make memories for millions around the globe.
Let’s put the life of a video game creator into perspective; video game creators put video games as first priority in their lives, usually at their expense of families, children, and loving spouses. The reason? Passion, dedication, deadlines and pushy publishers. In a survey taking last year of approximately 1000 developers, it was discovered that 52% work between 40-60 weeks during crunch periods of development. While 32% put in 61-80 hours.* This has, unsurprisingly, a negative impact upon the personal lives of developers.
So, let’s say, you just put all this time and effort into something you truly believed in. The studio (which you are apart of) had a great vision to revolutionise a genre for the better. You put in all this hard work, putting your own personal life onto a back burner for a few months to get this thing out the door because the publisher wants to see the money starting to roll in. Against all the odds, you pull it off.
Or so you thought. The game comes out, and there is a few bugs which serves as an irritant to those people who you were trying to make memories for. Do they give you any sort of time period to try to right this wrong? Do they point the finger at the publisher who for all they know pushed the game out 6 months ahead of the studios initial release window? No, they shit all over your hard work.
This in itself would be enough for me to question why the hell I even do it. Not only does it have a negative impact on game sales, but it could cause a studio closure if the publisher doesn’t see enough profit from the title.
Now, I am not saying we should forgive all the wrongs the video games industry does to us as consumers. What I am saying, is maybe as a community we should stop getting irate if a game gets pushed back. These people put their own personal (and sometimes professional) lives on the line to try and provide entertainment to millions of us around the globe. Sure, sometimes they get it wrong. But I feel in a time when we are all thanking Iwata for all the enjoyment he provided us with, for helping the hobby we fell in love with – I think it is time we start to appreciate all developers much more than we do.
They are gamers too.
“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.” – Satoru Iwata