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„The Father Of Pac-Man” Passed Away

Without Masaya Nakamura, one of the key Japanese developer/publishers would not exist.

Nakamura, who was born on December 24, 1925, graduated from the Yokohama National University in 1948. He founded Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955, and it started out by running children’s rides on the roof of a department store in Yokohama.

By the mid-70s, Atari Japan ran into financial trouble. Two entities wanted to purchase the company. One of them was SEGA (!), making pinball machines around that time, and the other was Nakamura, who offer eight hundred thousand (!) dollars against SEGA’s fifty thousand. (Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, took only half a million for the deal.) Meanwhile, Nakamura’s company was known as Namco by this point. The company ended up with a large success with a yellow circular character that eats pellets and ghosts, whom we still call today as Pac-Man

Namco became Bandai Namco in 2005 after a merger with Bandai. Bandai Namco is still one of the key companies in both the Japanese and the international gaming industry.

Nakamura also had an interest in movies: in 1993, Namco purchased the Nikkatsu film studio, and he was credited as an executive producer in several movies.

Katsuhiro Harada, the father of Tekken (remember, an important Namco franchise even today) also mourns – he considered Nakamura as if he was his father.

Nakamura passed away at the age of 91 on January 22, according to Bandai Namco‘s statement. His wake and funeral were only attended by close relatives. Rest in peace.

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