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An icon in the gaming community has passed away. Masaya Nakamura founder of Namco died at the age of 91 on January 22, as confirmed by Bandai Namco. The cause of death has not yet been announced. Bandai and Namco had previously merged.
Nakamura founded Nakamura Manufacturing, a company that started out designing amusement rides for children in 1955 after he graduated from Yokohama National University. Nakamura Manufacturing later changed its name to Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, abbreviated Namco. The company soon moved into the video gaming industry, creating legendary arcade games like Pac-Man and Ridge Racer. Pac-Man was awarded as the “most most successful coin-operated arcade machine” by Guinness World Records in 2005.
“From its launch in 1981 until 1987, a total of 293,822 ‘Pac-Man’ arcade machines were built and installed in arcade venues around the world,” according to the Guinness World Records’ website. Pac-Man has the first series of games to introduce a “family” of characters, with Ms. Pac-Man being the first video game marketed for women along with “children” named “Baby Pac-Man” and “Jr. Pac-Man.” Pac-Man was created by Namco’s in-house video game designer Toru Iwatani.
Namco merged with Bandai, changing its name to Bandai Namco in 2005. Nakamura stayed as the chairman and supreme advisor of the company’s Entertainment arm, according to the Japan Times.
Two years later, the Japanese government awarded Nakamura The Order of the Ring Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for services to the Japanese industry.
Japan is known for being one of the first countries to lead the world in the video game industry, so his founding of Namco is undoubtedly one of the most influential and well-known pioneers we as gamers have ever had. All of the writers here at mxdwn games sends our love and condolences to the family and friends of the video game icon.