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Nintendo’s Hiroshi Yamauchi Passes Away Aged 85

Posted on September 19, 2013 AT 05:59am

Hiroshi Yamauchi, ex-Nintendo president, has died aged 85, Nintendo has confirmed.

Yamauchi was president of Nintendo for 53 years (from 1949 to 2002), and was the man in charge when the company first entered the video game market. He joined the company when its primary business was trading cards and utilized Shigeru Miyamoto’s Donkey Kong to find success in the coin-op market in the 80s.

He also oversaw Nintendo’s entry into the home console market with the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom in Japan). Yamauchi stepped down as president in May 2002, but retained close ties with the company.

Nintendo issued the following statement: ”Nintendo is in mourning today from the sad loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning.”

“Hiroshi Yamauchi transformed a run-of the-mill trading card company into an entertainment empire in video games,” Ian Livingstone, co-founder of Games Workshop, told the BBC. ”He understood the social value of play, and economic potential of electronic gaming. Most importantly he steered Nintendo on its own course and was unconcerned by the actions of his competitors. He was a true visionary.”

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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