Tokyo: Videogame enthusiasts and developers across the world paid tribute on social media Monday to Nintendo`s chief executive Satoru Iwata, mourning his death at the age of 55.
Many took to Twitter to express their sorrow after the Kyoto-based company announced his death from a rare tumour in his bile duct over the weekend.
"Absolutely devastated about news of Iwata San`s death. Nintendo fans the world over will miss him. #RIPIwata Arigato," tweeted @illyadesigns, using the Japanese word for "thank you".
"I`m in absolute shock this morning. #RIPIwata," said @JamieTNumber1, a self-described gamer.
Iwata announced his illness last year, and was absent from the June 2014 shareholders` meeting, although he subsequently returned to his desk and continued his high-profile role.
A leading figure in the videogame industry, Iwata oversaw the success of Nintendo`s Wii games console and a surge in revenue before smartphone games started eating away at its success.
That eventually forced a rethink of Nintendo`s avowed position that it would never canibalise its console business by letting its creations be used in smartphone and tablet gaming.
Reana@Reana5SOS tweeted an image of Mario -- the mustachioed plumber of the eponymous franchise -- in tears with the phrase "R.I.P. Satoru Iwata and Thank You."
"I`m at a loss upon hearing this immensely tragic news. Rest in peace, Satoru Iwata. The worldwide gaminig community mourns," said Tyler Malka, owner of an online forum for gamers and game industry developers @NeoGAF.
"Oh my goodness, RIP Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo. He gave me and millions of others countless hours of joy. Very very sad," tweeted @andymientus.
The reaction from competitors and peers in the industry was also heartfelt.
"What a terribly sad day," Peter Moore, chief operating officer at US-based videogames developer Electronic Arts, said on Twitter.
"Iwata-San was such a gentleman. Huge loss for the industry."
Rival Sony PlayStation said "Thank you for everything, Mr. Iwata" on its Twitter account.