According to a recent press release by Namco Bandai, Namco founder Masaya Nakamura died last week on 22nd January although the news of death was made public just today.
The Namco founder was 91 years old at the time of his passing and is known for creating one of the biggest video game publishers these days.
Nakamura originally founded Nakamura Manufacturing after World War II in 1955. At that time, his company made amusement fare machines such as family rides for Japanese department stores.
The company, Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, later dubbed Namco, was highly popular in that time and had products on the rooftops of majority of Japanese department stores.
The company’s business started booming in the late 70’s with arcade hits like Galaxian, Galaga and Xevious.
However, despite such successful titles, it was Pac-Man that really made the mark for Namco as it was a smash hit success of its era and shaped the Japanese video game industry for years to come.
Pac-Man later went onto to spawn sequels and spin-offs and even influenced numerous other platformers in not only the Japanese video game industry but also the western market.
The Namco founder was also involved in film production since 1993 after purchasing the film studio Nikkatsu.
In 2005, Nakamura’s company merged with Bandai to create Bandai Namco, the developers and publishers responsible for video game franchises like Naruto, Ace Combat, Dragon Ball Z and the Tales game series.
Nakamura was also awarded the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun in 2007 as a recognition of his achievements by the Japanese government.
Masaya Nakamura was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame in 2010 alongside his most successful and well known creation, Pac-Man. He also occasionally made guest appearances in the games created by Namco such as a playable hidden character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.