Namco confirms passing of founder and 'father of Pac-Man' Masaya Nakamura

masaya nakamura namco
Bandai Namco
The founder of legendary Japanese video game corporation Namco has died at the age of 91. Masaya Nakamura apparently passed away on January 22, but this wasn’t announced publicly until early on Monday, per his family’s requests.

In 1955, Nakamura founded his own company dedicated to the design and manufacture of children’s amusement rides for department stores and other public spaces, according to a report from Kotaku. In 1977, the company was renamed as the Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company — which was later shortened to its initialism, Namco.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Namco was quick to respond to the growing popularity of video game arcades. As such, the company was poised to make a major impact when the arcade boom hit in earnest, prompting a demand for high quality games across Japan and further afield.

Namco released its first original game in 1978, the now-forgotten Gee Bee. The company hit its stride almost immediately, launching three huge hits over the next three years; Galaxian in 1979, Pac-Man in 1980, and Galaga in 1981. This period was followed by the release of three arcade classics in 1982, in the form of Dig Dug, Xevious, and Pole Position.

In the late 1980s, and even more so in the 1990s, Namco began to take more of an interest in the console market as the gaming industry shifted away from the arcade model. At this time, Nakamura became more involved with film production, as Namco had acquired film studio Nikkatsu.

Nakamura was awarded the Japanese government’s Order of the Rising Sun in 2007, in recognition of his contribution to industry. In 2010, he was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame. Despite the fact that he was a businessman rather than a designer, he’ll be remembered as the father of Pac-Man because of his role in the game’s international success — and given that the character remains popular some 30 years after his debut, that’s some legacy.

Gaming

These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Gaming

The third DLC for ‘Spider-Man’ swings onto PlayStation 4 next week

The third part of Spider-Man's episodic DLC, Silver Lining, releases on December 21. The episode focuses on Silver Sable and Hammerhead, and it includes three new suits for Peter Parker.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

Ice meets fire in HBO's latest 'Game of Thrones' season 8 teaser

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Gaming

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.
Gaming

Skateboarding legend says ‘Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam’ will appeal to his fans

Tony Hawk's Skate Jam is now available for free on iOS and Android devices, and Digital Trends had the chance to talk to the legendary skater about its development and how it captures the magic of his best games.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Gaming

Cops called to handle ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ noise end up playing the game

A group of friends were playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch when cops arrived to respond to noise complaints from neighbors. In an unexpected twist, the officers ended up playing the game, too.
Gaming

Spawn creator suggests the antihero could appear in ‘Mortal Kombat 11’

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane hinted that the comic book antihero could join the cast of Mortal Kombat 11 during a Reddit AMA. Spawn previously appeared in SoulCalibur II on the original Xbox.
Gaming

Grabbing a Switch for the holidays? Here's what you need to know to play online

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Check out the best deals from GameStop’s Game Days Sale

GameStop has hundreds of games available for discounted prices between now and December 25 as part of its Game Days Sale. We checked out the deals and have rounded up all of the best Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One deals here.
Gaming

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.