Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former president of Nintendo, has passed away at the age of 85. Video-Games have lost their Walt Disney.
The importance of this man to the gaming industry cannot be overstated. He was the one who decided to change his family company’s direction away from traditional toys and playing cards toward electronics and ultimately video games. He made the decision to branch out into American and European markets. This was the man who tapped then-unknown Shigeru Miyamoto to create what would become Donkey Kong.
This was the man who willed home video gaming back into existence as a viable worldwide business when it was all but dead. It’s neither exaggeration nor hyperbole to suggest that the entirety of modern video-gaming – everything from the first Game & Watch titles and every single thing that came after – was built on the foundation he laid. More incredible still, he remained in charge of the company all the way into 2002 and had an active role in all major company decisions well into the GameCube era. It’s impossible to imagine what this industry would’ve looked like without him… or if it would even have existed at all.
Gomeifuku wo inorimasu, Yamauchi-sama.