On January 22nd 2017, the world lost one of the biggest and beloved names in video game history. The New York Times reports Masaya Nakamura passed away at the age of 91.
Masaya Nakamura In Life
Masaya Nakamura was born on December 24, 1925 and founded his business Namco in 1955. Though Namco began as an amusement ride manufacturer, it grew into the third largest video game developing entity in Japan during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Many arcade games were born under his company, but perhaps the most played and popular of them all is Pac-man, developed by Toru Iwatani. Even more games we grew up with and loved were published by Namco. Here’s just a few of them:
- Sky Kid
- Time Crisis
Throughout his career, Nakamura received much praise in his field. He was inducted in the International Video Game Hall of Fame during the Big Bang Gaming Extravaganza in August 2010. After the merger of Namco and Bandai in 2005, he held an honorary position. Even more incredible, in 2007, the Japanese government presented this gaming giant with the “Order of the Rising Sun” for all of his contributions to Japanese industry.
Masaya Nakamura passed on at the age of 91; his death was announced to the public by Namco on Monday. The details of his death have been kept private as were his family’s wishes. However, there will be a public memorial to honor him and all he has achieved not only for himself but for the gaming industry as a whole.
Throughout the timeline of the arcade, many cabinets have come and gone. Some didn’t last, others enjoyed years of success. However not many came close to the most famous and memory-inducing of all, Pac-man. This little yellow circle has imprinted his likeness and “wakka wakka” sounds in many minds and has permanently etched itself into the gaming history books. This and many other well-known arcade and console games would not have been delivered to the world to enjoy and admire without Masaya Nakamura.
If you were one of the millions who would save your quarters for the arcade and went running for the cabinet decorated with everyone’s favorite dot-muncher and 4 colorful, troublesome little ghosts, spare a moment for the Father of Pac-man, his memory, and his family.