Bandai Namco have announced that Masaya Nakamura, Namco founder in 1955, has sadly passed away on January 22nd. The news of his passing was only made public today at the request of his relatives.

He was a true trailblazer, a man who helped to establish the Japanese gaming industry from a very humble beginning. In 1955, the company started by running children’s rides on the roof of a department store. After expanding throughout Tokyo, the business eventually changed their named to “Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company”, or NAMCO.

After moving on to arcade video games in the late 1970’s, it would be Pac-Man that would cement his legacy. It was the biggest hit for Namco of the era. Pac-Man‘s impact was so huge not just in Japan, but around the world, and it is still contributing to pop-culture and newer iterations of the classic Pac-Man today.

Masaya Nakamura was awarded the “Order of the Rising Sun” for his contribution to Japanese industry in 2007. As well as this, himself and Pac-Man were inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame in 2010. It would be an understatement to say that the Namco founder will leave a legacy that will last forever.

The team at Gamer Professionals send our dearest sympathies to Mr. Nakamura’s family.