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Founder of the Japanese video game company Namco, and the “Father of Pac-Man,” Masaya Nakamura, died at the age of 91.

Nakamura is widely regarded for his role in bringing Pac-Man — created by Toru Iwatani in 1980 — to Japan and to the US by way of a licensing deal with MidwayNamco was originally founded as Nakamura Manufacturing, which sold coin-operated children’s rides to a department store in Yokohana, Japan. The name was later changed to Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company (NAMMCo!) and began producing arcade machines such as 1976’s Namco F-1.

Simplified to Namco, the company sky-rocketed when it purchased Atari Japan from owner Nolan Bushnell for $500,000 — a far higher hid than Sega‘s offer of $80,000. This deal granted Namco exclusive license to distribute Atari’s games in Japan for a decade, leading to the development of original games such as Gee Bee and Galaxian.

Namco cemented its rightful place in the video arcade industry with the release of Pac-Man, known as Puck-Man in Japan for all you trivia buffs. The game’s main character would later become a major cultural icon. The Guinness World Records named Pac-Man the world’s most successful coin-operated arcade game of all time.

In 2005, Namco merged with Japanese toy maker Bandai where Nakamura held an honorary position until his death on January 22, 2017.

Source: Ars Technica UK

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Christina E. Janke

Christina is the co-host of “Intro to Geek” on Shauncastic and Editor-in-Chief at Agents of Geek. Her love of all things Mass Effect knows no bounds. She also carries an obsession with comic books, video games, and quirky television shows. Her heroes are Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Gail Simone. She hopes to be just like them when she grows up.

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