Masaya Nakamura, founder of historic Japanese games publisher Namco, has passed away at the age of 91.
Namco, which has since merged with Bandai, confirmed that Nakamura passed away on January 22.
After graduating from Yokohama National University, Nakamura founded Nakamura Manufacturing, a company that made amusement rides for children, in 1955. The business was later renamed Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, abbreviated to Namco. The company soon moved into the video games market, making legendary arcade games like Pac-Man and Ridge Racer.
In 2005, Namco merged with Bandai to form Bandai Namco, with Nakamura staying on as a chairman and supreme advisor of the company’s Entertainment arm (via The Japan Times).
Two years later, the Japanese government awarded Nakamura The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for services to Japanese industry.
In founding what became Namco, Nakamura is undoubtedly one of the most influential and legendary members of the video games industry’s history. GameSpot extends its condolences to Nakamura’s family and friends.