Masaya Nakamura—known as the "Father of Pac-Man"—died on Jan. 22 at the age of 91, Namco announced today. The businessman was a pioneer in the Japanese arcade gaming industry and founded video game developer and publisher company Namco in 1955.
Pac-Man, created by Namco engineer and video game designer Toru Iwatani, was first introduced to the world in 1980. At the time, the yellow guy with the big chomper only had competition with space shooter games like Space Invaders and Asteroids. It soon became one of the most iconic faces in both the video arcade world and pop culture.
Following the success of Pac-Man and its massive franchise, Namco developed popular games like Tekken, Ridge Racer and Ace Combat. The company later merged with Bandai in 2005. Namco stated they will not comment on Nakamura's cause of death, citing his family's wishes.
Continue the celebration of classic video games with Fuse's look back at the Nintendo 64 console, which turned 20 last year: