Masaya Nakamura – A prominent figure in video games history
Bandai Namco have released a press statement to announce the passing of Masaya Nakamura. Nakamura was the founder of Namco. He was also known as the ‘Father of Pac-Man’. He passed away on January 22nd and was aged 91.
Masaya Nakamura established Namco in 1955. Namco was initially an amusement ride manufacturing company. Their first venture was a children’s wooden horse ride on the roof of a department store.
After the boom and bust cycle of video games in the ’70s, Nakamura saw the opportunity to enter the video games market. He bought out Atari’s video game operations in Japan. It would be from there that Namco would start releasing video games including Pac-Man in 1980. The game was engineered by Namco’s Toru Iwatani. It has become the biggest arcade hit ever.
In 2002, Masaya Nakamura stood down as CEO and took up a ceremonial role within the company’s management. Namco then merged with Bandai in 2005 to form Bandai Namco. In 2007 Nakamura was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government.
Pac-Man or originally Puck-Man has become a very important figure in video games. It’s also a pop culture phenomenon. Namco have been responsible for many other popular video games including Tekken, Point Blank and more.
Do you have memories of playing Pac-Man? Share them in the comments!