Hiroshi Yamauchi has been reported to pass away of pneumonia last Thursday in a Hospital in Central Japan. He was 85 years old.
Mr. Yamauchi was the third president of Nintendo and a very important pillar to turn the company from selling card games to a well known company in the videogames business thanks to his visionary capabilities after taking over from his Grandfather Fusajiro Yamauchi at the age of 22. He ran the company for 53 years from 1949 and stepped down from his President position in 2002. He successfully pushed the NES into the USA markets and saw the company deliver the next consoles until the gamecube. He continued as an advisor with the company for three more years before retiring.
“We will continue to treasure the values Yamauchi taught us – that what makes you unique lies at the core of entertainment. And we at Nintendo will continue to change the company flexibly to adapt to the times, as Yamauchi did, to carry on his spirit.” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in a statement.
It is truly a sad loss for Nintendo and many that grew up with these consoles and titles bearing his name. While he would sound detached in interviews plainly stating that wasn’t interested in playing the games they created, he truly had a knack for the business and Nintendo saw a great growth thanks to his drastic but right calls, like hiring Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto, who also became the key to developing the franchises that we have all come to know like Mario and Zelda.