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Namco founder Masaya Nakumura passes away

91-year-old transformed amusement ride company into long-running video games publisher

Masaya Nakumura, the founder of Japanese gaming giant Namco, has died.

The 91-year-old passed away on January 22nd, but the news was made public today, according to a Namco Bandai press release translated by Kotaku.

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's better known.

Namco made its name with arcade video games such as Galaxian, Galaga, Pole Position and Xevious in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It's biggest hit, of course, was Pac-Man. Both Pac-Man and Namco were instrumental in shaping the Japanese gaming industry.

The Japanese government awarded Nakamura with the Order of the Rising Sun in 2007 for his contributions to what has long since been a thriving industry for the nation.

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