Masaya Nakamura, the Japanese video game pioneer known as the “father of Pac-Man”, has died aged 91, his company said Monday. Nakamura, who passed away on January 22, founded a company in 1955 that would later become Namco. He played the role of top adviser for the company before his death.
The company started out by installing two wooden, mechanical horses on a department store rooftop and went on to develop household and arcade games, theme parks and other amusement facilities. It merged with Japanese toy giant Bandai in 2005. Namco game designer Toru Iwatani created the yellow Pac-Man, which hit the market in 1980.
PAC-MAN; now a cult-classic game went on sale in 1980 and turned in to a major hit in Japan. The gobbling character became popular among gamers for the speed and maze like nature of the game.
The popularity crossed the borders and took the world by storm which prompted the Guinness World Records to rank it as “the most successful coin-operated arcade machine”. The company did not release details about Nakamura’s death, citing the wishes of his family.