Founder of Namco, Masaya Nakamura Passes Away At Age 91
(Originally Printed February 1st, 2017)
IN HONOR OF MASAYA NAKAMURA. “MOM? DAD? CAN I HAVE A QUARTER?” THAT QUESTION WAS PROBABLY UTTERED IN THE 1980S MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE OF PAC-MAN.
The only thing that probably came in a close second was “Doesn’t New Coke suck?”
Masaya Nakamura, founder of Namco, and known as “the father of Pac-Man”, passed away January 22nd. His death was announced on January 30th by Namco. He was the man responsible for flooding every pizza shop, mall arcade, and store breezeway with a Pac-Man arcade machine during the 1980s. You couldn’t walk without tripping over one of the damn machines.
Pac-Man was designed and created by Toru Iwatani while distributed and produced by Namco. Under Masaya’s leadership, Namco made sure we will never forget his part of a world wide success Pac-Man would be. Pac-Man holds the throne for the highest grossing arcade game of all time.
In the early days of Namco, Masaya manufactured small amusement rides for stores and malls. Seeing the potential and growth of video games he started hiring programmers, staff, and started developing many popular games for distribution. In his later life he became a movie producer. He stepped down from Namco in 2002.
Without Masaya’s vision and tenacity to tap into the little known market of video games, we might all have been stuck with pong forever. Next time you see one of those vintage Pac-Man arcade machines pop in a quarter, and remember Masaya. Thank him by keeping his dream!
THIS HAS BEEN DRUNKEN SPIDEY. TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE PAC-MAN MOMENT AND UNTIL NEXT TIME, THROW ME A BEER.