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Masaya Nakamura, the “Father of Pac-Man,” who founded the Japanese video game company behind the hit creature-gobbling game, has died at age 91, the AP reports. At the time of his death on Jan. 22, Nakamura held an honorary position at Bandai Namco, formed in a 2005 merger with the pioneering company, then called Namco, he started in 1955.

With humble beginnings in two mechanical horses on the rooftop of a department store, the company went on create video game arcades and amusement parks. The most successful game was Pac-Man, which went on sale in 1980. Guinness World Record has named it the world’s most successful coin-operated arcade game. Designed by video game maker Toru Iwatani, the idea for Pac-Man came from the image of a pizza with a slice carved out. It launched at a time when rival games such as Space Invaders were few.

Pac-Man is estimated to have been played more than 10 billion times. Nakamura reportedly chose the word “Pac” to represent the munching of the Pac-Man devouring its prey.


Article Courtesy of WJW Fox 8 News Cleveland

Picture Courtesy of Tan.xiao and Getty Images

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