The businessman responsible for Nintendo transition from being a card company to one so entrenched in electronic entertainment, Hiroshi Yamauchi has passed away at the age of 85. One of the most influential men the world of videogames has ever seen, Yamauchi is responsible for the games that made up your childhood, and without him, the videogame landscape would be very different.
Having joined the Hanafuda card company in 1949, Yamauchi became chairman in the 70’s and steered the company towards electronic games, despite not really enjoying them. In fact, it was he who hired a young designer by the name of Shigeru Miyamoto; creator of such iconic franchises as Donkey Kong, Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero and Pikmin
He oversaw the introduction of the NES in the early ‘80s, and stayed on as president through the SNES, Nintendo 64, and GameCube era’s he stepped down in 2002, to be replaced by current president Satoru Iwata. even so, he remained with the company as its largest shareholder, maintaining an advisory role. He was partially responsible for brainstorming the Nintendo DS.
Details on his death are scant, but Ninetndo’s released a statement saying “‘Nintendo is in mourning today from the sad loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning’.
Rest in Peace.
Last Updated: September 19, 2013