Bandai Namco shared a sad press release today about the passing of Masaya Nakamura, founder of Namco, at age 91.
Long before Nakamura-san and his company Namco was involved in video games, it started out as Nakamura Manufacturing, a Tokyo-based company that worked on children’s rides for amusement parks in 1955. In 1958, the company changed its name to “Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, which would later be known as Namco, using its acronym.
In 1978, Namco made their first original video game with Gee Bee, which followed by Galaxian in 1978, Pac-Man in 1980, and Galaga in 1981.. During the golden age of arcade video games, Namco made some of the most successful titles of the era with games such as Dig Dug, Xevious, and Pole Position in 1982.
From there, they’ve worked on countless titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System and beyond until their eventual merger in Bandai in September 2005. To commemorate his contribution to the Japanese industry, Masaya Nakamura received the “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette” from the Japanese government in 2007.
Bandai Namco states that Masaya Nakamura passed away on January 22, but the news of his passing was announced to the public today. Only close relatives attended his wake and funeral. Information on a farewell event to look back at the life and achievements of Masaya Nakumra will be announced for a later date.
Rest in peace, Nakamura-san.