Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi has passed away

Ben Parfitt
Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi has passed away

The man who changed Nintendo from a simple toy company to the world’s leading video games provider has passed away.

Hiroshi Yamauchi died this morning at the age of 85.

Yamauchi became Nintendo president back in 1949, succeeding his grandfather. He immediately recognised the potential of electronics and was the man responsible for the publishing Shigeru Miyamoto’s Donkey Kong in 1981, kickstarting the company’s transition to what we know it as today.

Despite having no background in gaming, he oversaw the entire publishing process and was personally responsible for the release of nearly every major Nintendo hit for over two decades.

He continued in his role until 2002, overseeing the launches of the NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Game Boy and Game Boy Advance in the process. He was succeeded by current president Satoru Iwata.

Yamauchi remained a member of the Nintendo board until 2005 although he maintained a significant stake in the company – helping him to become one of the richest men in Japan.

A statement from Nintendo given to MCV said: "Nintendo is in mourning today from the sad loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning."

In a world where the word legend is criminally over-used, Hiroshi Yamauchi is a man certainly befitting of the title. MCV offers its condolences to his friends and family.

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