Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former chief at Nintendo, who is credited with transforming the business initially owned by a family into a video games global empire, died on Thursday from pneumonia, at the age of 85.
In 1949, when he was 22 years-old, Yamauchi took over the business ran by his grandfather and after that he managed it for 53 years.
In 1983, when he was running the business, Nintendo released a games console called the “Family Computer”. It was the beginning of the modern video-game industry.
Known abroad as the “Nintendo Entertainment System”, the early console became an international phenomenon with the company’s global success skyrocketing on the back of the legendary Super Mario series, the international press comments.
Yamauchi started Japan’s first mass production of plastic playing cards and took the company public.
After running Nintendo for more than half of a century, Yamauchi stepped aside in 2002 and brought in Satoru Iwata to replace him. Iwata is still running Nintendo.
Yamauchi’s death comes just two days after Eiji Toyoda, a member of Toyota’s founding family who oversaw the automaker’s global ascent and helped drive a revolutionary production process, died at the age of 100.