Handheld gaming pioneer retires from Nintendo ⊟
Like me, you probably weren’t familiar with Satoru Okada until today, but his contributions to our portable gaming hobby are immeasurable. He frequently collaborated with fellow legendary developer Gunpei Yokoi, helping create the Game & Watch and Game Boy. Okada also went on to work on the many iterations of the Game Boy, GBA, DS, and presumably 3DS.
Along with his hardware work as General Manager at Nintendo’s Research & Engineering department, Okada directed a number of classic NES titles like Metroid, Kid Icarus, Super Mario Land, Balloon Fight, Duck Hunt, and Famicom Wars (Advance Wars). After more than 40 years at the company and a career that almost any other developer would be jealous of, he has retired.
Shout-out to Per Erik Voskuil for the initial report — he’s the author of upcoming book Before Mario, based on his blog that digs up Nintendo’s curious works before the company became a household name with the NES. Check out the book here. Credit also to Dadot, who created the handheld gaming tribute video that the above GIFs were taken from.
[Update: Erik points out that Okada actually retired a while ago! Still, it was worth taking a moment recognizing this crucial but often forgotten figure from portable gaming’s history.]