Satoru Iwata receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Joysticks

Satoru Iwata, the late Nintendo president and CEO "with the heart of a gamer," is the winner of the 2015 Golden Joystick Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. A panel of judges voted unanimously to bestow the honor on Iwata for his contributions to Nintendo and the gaming industry as a whole.

Iwata passed away (opens in new tab) in July at the age of 55, due to complications stemming from bile duct cancer. He received leadership of the company after longtime president Hiroshi Yamauchi stepped down in 2002, though his contributions to Nintendo games began as a programmer at HAL Laboratories in the early '80s.

Iwata's programming and business expertise made him a beloved figure within the company, and his approachable demeanor - just months before his death he was still speaking "directly" to fans via the company's quirky Nintendo Direct video presentations - made him an essential part of Nintendo's carefree charm. All this and more (opens in new tab) made him an easy choice to follow industry icons like Hideo Kojima and Ken Levine in receiving the Golden Joystick's Lifetime Achievement Award.

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I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.