Namco founder Masaya Nakumura dies at 91

Namco founder Masaya Nakumura dies at 91
Jake Tucker

By Jake Tucker

January 30th 2017 at 2:27PM

Japanese government awarded Nakamura with the Order of the Rising Sun in 2007.

Masaya Nakumura, the founder of Japanese games outfit Namco, has passed away. Nakumura, who was 91, passed away on January 22nd, with Namco Bandai announcing it with a press release today.

Nakamura founded amusement-ride company Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955, and originally the company produced games and rides for Japanese department stores. Later, they became known as Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company and then Namco.

Nakamura founded Nakamura Manufacturing back in 1955. Then an amusement-ride company making family rides and carnival-style games for Japanese department stores, the firm later became Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company - or Namco as it became known.

The company rose to prominence with arcade hits like Galaxian, Galaga, Pole Position and Pac-Man, which was key to the rise of the Japanese games industry. Since then, they've continued to be one of its driving forces, producing franchises like Tekken, Ace Combat and Soul Caliber. They linked up with Bandai to become Namco Bandai in 2006.

In recognition of his service to the company and all he has done to assist the rise of the video game industry in Japan, the Japanese government awarded Nakamura with the Order of the Rising Sun in 2007.