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Please be excited: Ask Iwata is getting an English translation

The collected wisdom of Satoru Iwata, edited by Hobonichi, will see an English translation and release next year.



ask iwata english translation
Viz Media

The collected wisdom of Satoru Iwata, edited by Hobonichi, will see an English translation and release next year.

It’s been a little over five years since Satoru Iwata sadly passed away.

He began his career as a proto indie developer in Akihabara before joining HAL Laboratories as a part-time employee in 1980, before going full-time in 1982. After taking the helm at HAL in 1993 he transformed the struggling company’s fortunes, before joining Nintendo in 2000. He became president of Nintendo in 2002, overseeing the launch of the DS and Nintendo Wii and branching out to a wider audience of players.


These consoles rapidly became two of the most successful consoles in Nintendo’s history and cemented Iwata’s place as one of the most influential faces in video games. While those financial successes didn’t last – the Wii U years represented a less than successful period for Nintendo – Iwata rang in other changes at Nintendo, opening more direct channels with fans through social media and away from typical, industry-focused events.

Iwata, along with Reggie Fils-Aime, oversaw the launch of Nintendo Direct presentations – an online video presentation that seemed bizarre at first but is now standard industry practise – and a long-running series of interviews called Iwata Asks, in which he chatted with members of the Nintendo team about games that were in the works, among other things. This uncharacteristically open approach for such a traditionally secretive company earned both Iwata and Nintendo enormous praise and an extremely loyal fanbase.


Then Satoru Iwata fell ill, missing E3 in 2014 to have a tumour removed from his bile duct. He continued to work, in spite of his illness, but very sadly passed away on July 11 at the age of 55. He is greatly missed in the industry.

Some of Iwata’s wisdom, often taken from his Iwata Asks interview series, was immortalised in a book called Ask Iwata. Subtitled “words of wisdom from Nintendo’s legendary CEO” and collected and edited by Hobonichi – the renowned maker of fancy diaries, notebooks and sketchbooks – the book was published in Japan last year.

Now Viz Media – the manga publisher, not the rude British comic book – has announced that an English translation of Ask Iwata will release next year in both print and digital formats.

Please be excited. We certainly are.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.


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