Namco founder, Masaya Nakamura, passed away on Jan. 22 at the age of 91.
In a recent press release, Bandai Namco announced that the 91-year-old had died last week and been buried during a private ceremony held for close family. The annoucement was withheld to ensure privacy for the family. Nakamura was heavily influential in the video game industry for decades. He founded Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955, and then later renamed it to the Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company or NAMCO in 1977.
Namco was an industry leader during the late 70s and 80s, described as the golden age of video games, and produced iconic arcade games such as Galaxian, Galaga, Ace Combat, Tekken, and Soul Calibur but perhaps its most significant contribution was Pac-Man. The arcade classic would go on to win the hearts of gamers all over the world and become the highest selling game in the industry’s history. Nakamura has had a massive impact on the development of video games and the industry saddened by his loss.
Namco later merged with Bandai in 2005 and continues to be a major contributor to the video game industry. Among the properties Bandai Namco Entertainment publishes today are Tekken and Dark Souls.