For the members of the Geek Nation who are not good with names, I assure you that you know who Hiroshi Yamauchi is. One the greatest visionaries behind Nintendo, has- with all sadness- passed away at the age of 85.
This is terribly sad news, because though some many not recognize name, Mr.Yamauchi’s work and visions has been a pinnacle in many of our childhoods and (I proudly say it) adulthood. Mr. Yamauchi was the visionary who led Nintendo starting in 1949-2002. Under his direction, Nintendo experienced amazing growth, popularity, and became an industry giant. Though not the creator of wonderful games like Mario Brother, and Donkey Kong, without Mr. Yamauchi these project would never have seen completion or release to the public.
Ironically, the business that bought Mr. Yamauchi fists full of money, was not something he partook in. Mr. Yamauchi did not play video games! However, this did not stop his technological mind set- transforming his family business that once produced and sold playing cards, into a gigantic video game mogul. Personally, I find it funny that Mr. Yamauchi says he never played video games, or had time for them, when in reality he was a gamer himself- rather a board gamer. Mr Yamauchi was a master level Go! player.
Yamauchi may have brought Nintendo amazing success, and grew a larger than life fan base, some of Mr. Yamauchi’s work ethic was deemed questionable by employees, and “unethical” by competitors. However, since his retirement in 2002, Nintendo has struggled within the last four years; unable to replicate the succsess of the Wii and Nintendo DS.
Regardless of your thoughts on Mr. Yamauchi’s business practices it is hard to deny the success, and influence, Nintendo has/had while under his supervision. Nor, can we deny that his products have greatly influenced generations of people.
“His contributions were inestimable,” Scott Steinberg, an expert on the industry, told The Times on Thursday. “He impacted millions of individuals — entire generations who grew up with joysticks, controllers and gamepads in hand.”
Mr. Yamauchi passed away at the age of 85, on September 18th, due to penomia complication. He leaves behind his son and two daughters.