Japan's 'Father of Pac-Man' arcade game dies at 91

Mr Masaya Nakamura (centre) posing with Bandai president Takeo Takasu (right) and Namco vice-chairman Kyushiro Takagi in Tokyo on May 2, 2005.
Mr Masaya Nakamura (centre) posing with Bandai president Takeo Takasu (right) and Namco vice-chairman Kyushiro Takagi in Tokyo on May 2, 2005. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese toy and game software maker Bandai Namco Holdings said on Monday (Jan 30) that its founder Masaya Nakamura, known as the "Father of Pac-Man", has died at the age of 91.

Mr Nakamura, who served as a top adviser to the company, died on Jan 22, the group said in a statement. It did not give details of the cause of his death.

Pac-Man, a monster-eating game, went on sale in 1980 and proved a big hit in Japan and internationally, prompting the Guinness Book of World Records to name it as the world's most successful arcade game at the time.

Mr Nakamura founded the company that became Namco in 1955, which started life operating two electrically-powered rocking horses on top of a department store in Yokohama, south-west of Tokyo.

He took up the post of top adviser of the holding company when it was formed in 2005 through the merger of Namco and Bandai.