It’s a sad day for video gaming fans, as Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco, has passed away at the age of 91.
Bandai Namco made the official statement earlier today, although Nakamura actually passed away last week, on January 22nd.
Nakamura began Namco back in 1955 as Nakamura Manufacturing, a company that specialized in making amusement park rides. However, in 1958, he renamed it Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, or Namco for short.
However, the company would hit its stride when it entered the video game division, making a number of classics like Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig-Dug, amongst countless others. It would continue this stride into the 90’s with entries in the home market, including ports of popular arcade games like Time Crisis and Ridge Racer, along with various entries in the Tekken franchise.
Nakamura’s company merged with Bandai in 2005, creating Bandai Namco Games in the process and revolutionizing third party releases across a number of categories, including anime-based games and arcade-style titles. This year looks to be a strong one for the company as well, with Tekken 7 set to release this June, and other releases on the way as well.
Our sympathy goes out to Nakamura’s family and peers. He will be missed.