We all know that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata started out as a promising video game programmer before he became the company’s president. Interestingly, the last game he helped to create was Super Smash Bros Melee on the GameCube. In a recent interview with 4Gamer Iwata revealed that he helped get the GameCube hit to market on time by tinkering around with the code.
“Aaah, I wonder if it’s alright to admit this? Well, I guess the proverbial statute of limitations is up, so I’ll tell you, but my actual last work on programming happened when I was working as the General Manager of Corporate Planning at Nintendo. Something happened and the Gamecube version of Super Smash Brothers didn’t look like it was going to make its release date so I sort of did a code review for it (Wry Laugh).”
“At the time, I went to HAL Labs in Yamanashi and was the acting head of debugging. So, I did the code review, fixed some bugs, read the code and fixed more bugs, read the long bug report from Nintendo, figured out where the problem was and got people to fix those…all in all I spent about three weeks like that. And, because of that, the game made it out on time.”
“And that was the last time that I worked as an engineer ‘in the field’. I was right there, sitting by programmers, in the trenches, reading code together, finding the bugs, and fixing them together.”