Original Namco Founder Masaya Nakamura Dies at 91

Bandai Namco announced some unfortunate news: Masaya Nakamura, the original founder of Namco, has died at the age of 91.

His death was made public today, while he actually passed on January 22nd. He founded Nakamura Manufacturing back in 1955, which later became known as Bandai Namco Entertainment.

At Mr. Nakamura’s request, both the wake and funeral were only held privately with his immediate family and relatives – the news of his death was also postponed until after the aforementioned events. A “Farewell Gathering” is planned at a later time, to celebrate Nakamura and his life.

Born on December 24th, 1925, Nakamura later graduated from Yokohama National University in 1948 and founded Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955. After the company was rebranded to Namco in 1977, he became the president of Namco in 2002.

Once Namco merged with Bandai, he became president of Bandai Namco Games in 2006. Prior to his death, he also saw a role as honorary member of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and even a senior advisor to the Japan Amusement Machine and Marketing Association.

Our deepest condolences go out to the Mr. Nakamura’s family, and we thank him for all the wonderful gaming memories his company has brought throughout the decades. What are some of your favorite games from Bandai Namco? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • TRUndercover

    Tales franchise, Tekken franchise, Ace Combat franchise are literal staples for me.
    As far as publishing games goes, the company is still on wonderful footing; they distributed certain games internationally that are awesome e.g. Enslaved: Journey to The West, MG: reVengeance, the upcoming Nii No Kuni…. Bandai Namco are and hopefully will continue to be legendary.
    Mr. Nakamura’s work is a very big part of my forays into gaming.

  • Quetzalcoatl


  • ElKonsolero

    Would through in the Souls Series and some of the Musou/Warriors Games are also published by Namco. Also can´t overlook the huge impact Pacman had on the gaming market back in the day.

    Namco is usually a very gamerfriendly company and i think Nakamura had a large part in that. RIP

  • Mr.Sixes
  • SiliconNooB

    Tekken 2 was the first game that I ever got for my Playstation – Christmas morning ’96 or ’97 [my memory is a little fuzzy]. I loved Tekken 2 in the arcades, but I couldn’t afford to play it as much as I’d like – so opening it up on Christmas morning felt like having my own Tekken 2 arcade cabinet. A very special game for a very special system.