Today, Bandai Namco announced that Masaya Nakamura, founder of Namco, passed away on January 22.
In 1955 Masaya Nakamura began a company by the name of Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, which was responsible for building children’s rides for department stores. In the late 1970’s the company was renamed Namco (an acronym for the original), and began focusing on the development of video games under Nakamura-san’s direction.
Namco went on to develop games like Galaga, Pole Position, Dig Dug and of course, Pac-Man. When the video game market crashed in the 1980’s, Namco was one of only a few brands to survive and eventually became a household name.
When Namco and Bandai merged to form Bandai Namco in 2005, Masaya Nakamura remained in an advisory role. In 2007, Nakamura-san was awarded the “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette” by the Japanese government for his contributions to Japanese industry. Today, Bandai Namco publishes Dark Souls, Ace Combat, and Tekken amongst many others.
Out of the family’s wish for privacy, Masaya Nakamura’s cause of death was not disclosed.