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Bandai Namco Holdings announced today the passing of Namco founder Masaya Nakamura on January 22. He was 91 years old.
Known as the “Father of Pac-Man” due to the fame of the arcade game and franchise in the 80s that even Guinness recognized as the “most successful coin-operated arcade game,” Nakamura established Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955 which became Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company (NAMCO) a year later.
The company, under his management, expanded from amusement entertainment to arcade games starting in the late 1970s and early 1980s with titles such as Galaxian and Pac-Man (developed by Toru Iwatani), years before entering console gaming.
Nakamura remained as an honorary advisor at Bandai Namco until his recent passing. In 2007, the Japanese government awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun for his contributions to the Japanese entertainment industry. In 2010, he was induected into the International Video game Hall of Fame, along with Pac-Man, the same year Bandai Namco celebrated the franchise’s 30th anniversary.
[Source]: Bandai Namco: お知らせ 2017年01月30日.