If anyone considers themselves a gamer, then Yamauchi is a name they should know.
Hiroshi Yamauchi was a revolutionary in the gaming industry as he was one of the original pioneers of gaming who made the industry thrive in its early life cycle. Yamauchi was the grandson of the original owners of the Nintendo company which, back in the day, was not a video game company. Early Nintendo produced other products like trading cards, board games and pitching machines. Then, when Yamauchi took contr
ol, he turned Nintendo into something no one expected it to be.
He transformed the company into a power gaming company with its release of arcade hits Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. He continued this success with the release of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (also known as the Famicon in Japan). He also was the first person to give another gaming pioneer a chance to develop games: Shigeru Miyamoto (the creator of a lot of popular Nintendo characters and series, but that’s for another time). Yamauchi was no doubt a force in making Nintendo what it is today. He remained president of Nintendo until 2002, when he stepped down stating he just didn’t have the energy to do it anymore.
Recently on September 19th, 2013, Yamauchi unfortunately passed away in Kyoto, Japan. He was 85 years old and the cause of death was reported to be complication of pneumonia. That is a day that gamers should mark on their calendars to remember as one of the saddest days in gaming history. It was a day that the industry lost one of it’s original pioneers and one of the forces that drove the industry into what it is today.
Without the work of Yamauchi, who knows if we’d have the games we’d loved in the early times of gaming, or even some of the enjoyable titles that Nintendo has released in recent times? He was also a major key in making video games what they are today. Without him, we wouldn’t have any of the characters in Nintendo that remain audience favorites today. May Yamauchi- the man behind one of the biggest gaming companies in the world- rest in peace, and may his legacy live on in our minds and our hearts as we remain loyal fans of Nintendo.