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Japan’s ‘Father of Pac-Man’ Dies at Age 91

January 30, 2017

Pac-Man chases Ludlow (Josh Gad) in Columbia Pictures' PIXELS.Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Japanese toy and game software maker Bandai Namco Holdings said on Monday that its founder Masaya Nakamura, known as “Father of Pac-Man,” has died at the age of 91.

Nakamura, who has served as a top adviser to the company, died on Jan. 22, the group said in a statement. It did not give details of the cause of his death.

Pac-Man, a monster-eating game, went on sale in 1980 and proved a big hit in Japan and internationally, prompting the Guinness Book of World Records to name it as the world’s most successful arcade game at the time.

Why people love Pac-Man, 17 years later.

Nakamura founded the company that became Namco in 1955, which started life operating two electrically-powered rocking horses on top of a department store in Yokohama, southwest of Tokyo.

He took up the post of top adviser of the holding company when it was formed in 2005 through merger of Namco and Bandai.