Namco’s founder, Masaya Nakamura, has passed away at the age of 91. Publisher Bandai Namco confirmed to GameSpot that the businessman and engineer passed away on January 22.
Nakamura graduated from the Yokohama Institute of Tehcnology in 1948 while studying ship building. Following Japan’s economic recovery from World War II in the 1950s, he formed Nakamura Manufacturing, which installed toy rides in department stores. The rides proved to be popular, and were built in stores across the country.
The company entered into the gaming sphere in the 70s, with titles like F-1. This led to the creation of popular titles like Galaxian and Pac-Man. The company was renamed Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company (from which Namco was derived) in 1977.
In 2005, Namco merged with Bandai to form Bandai Namco. Nakamura stayed on as chairman and supervisor to the company’s entertainment division. For his service to Japan, he was awarded with The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in 2007.