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January 2017 Retro Gaming Article

January 30, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Namco founder, Masaya Nakamura, who led the company through Pac-Man's success, passed away at 91

Masaya Nakamura
After the success of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga has gone on as the premiere arcade shooter of all time!
He founded Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955, which later became Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company; better known as Namco. One of my favorite games, Galaxian, was the first to use multi-colored sprites. I adored Space Invaders, but I dropped innumerable quarters into Galaxian; amazed by the flying enemies as opposed to the Invader's march.

Although unaware at the time, I'd become a life long fan of Namco and the many games they produced. For a brief time, I had a Dig Dug cabinet in my living room. Those were the days! :)

In my arcade days of the 1980s I didn't pay too much attention to brands. I was a careless teen with a pocket full of quarters and time to kill. Arcades were my favorite hangout. My friends and I lived in them on weekends and as often as possible during the week.

It wasn't until the Sony PlayStation released in 1995 that I began to notice arcade brands and which ones created my favorite arcade games. This was due to the large storage ability of CD-based games and the Namco Museum series of games. I loved compilation games from Namco's to Williams Arcades and Midway... the Activision and Intellivision collections. The arcade had finally come home in a comparable manner and less expensively than a NEO GEO AES.

From Polygon:
A shrewd and aggressive move by Nakamura to acquire Atari's Japanese subsidiary in the 1970s gave it a foothold in the emerging coin-operated video game market, and set the stage for Namco to launch several hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

This set the stage for a world of entertainment that encompassed my young life, lasted well into adulthood, and has been passed on to my son. Masaya Nakamura's positioning of his amusement company changed the world I grew up in. RIP Masaya Nakamura.

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