Father of PacMan Dies at 91
Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco and well known classic game Pac-Man died at the age of 91. The game has been played more than 10 billion times in the past 36 years from its first release.
Nakamura Company’s first name was Nakamura Manufacturing that used to sell coin-operated children rides. Later, it changed to NAMMCo (Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company) and produced electromechanical arcade machines.
Nakamura died on Jan 22 but announced late in a release from his company Bandai Namco. The cause of death was not mentioned. His game gained a massive worldwide success. According to CNN report, more than 100,000 units were sold in the US during its first release. Guinness World Records named it as the world’s most successful coin-operated video game in 1981.
Namco had struggling and tough time when Nakamura purchased the striving Atari Japan at the price of $500,000 which was far higher than the $80,000 proposed by Sega. This deal provided Namco a license to distribute Atari’s games in Japan for almost 10 years.
According to Namco, the idea of Pac-Man’s design was actually inspired by pizza. The name was derived from the Japanese phrase “paku paku,” that describe the sound mouth while eating. Nakamura continued its honorable position at Namco, and awarded as the Rising Sun in 2007 by the Japanese government for all his achievements.