Speed Reads

WAKA-WAKA

The 'father of Pac-Man' dies at 91

Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco and the "father of Pac-Man," passed away last week, Bandai Namco Entertainment announced Monday. The cause of death was not released. He was 91.

Nakamura founded Namco in 1955 and achieved success at the height of the coin-operated arcade gaming mania of the 1980s. Namco pioneered some of arcade gaming’s most popular titles, including Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Galaga. Pac-Man in particular became Namco's claim to fame, laying the foundation for the future of video games by offering an alternative to shooter- and Pong-style games.

The news of Nakamura's passing was withheld until after his funeral services, which were attended by close family and friends. He died Jan. 22.

Namco estimated in 2015 that Pac-Man has been played more than 10 billion times since its launch in 1980. The Pac-Man franchise also holds several Guinness World Records, including being the "first video game family," developing the "first female character in a video game" with Ms. Pac-Man in 1982, and notably becoming the "most successful coin-operated arcade machine."