Nintendo pioneer Hiroshi Yamauchi dead at 85

By on September 19, 2013, 11:00 AM
nintendo, pioneer, zelda, mario, visionary, hiroshi yamauchi, starfox, donkey kong

Japanese businessman Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man responsible for pulling Nintendo from the brink of bankruptcy and transforming it into the iconic brand it is today, has died at the age of 85. He passed away of pneumonia in a hospital in central Japan, the company confirmed in an e-mail to BBC News.

The great-grandson of Nintendo’s founder, he led the company for 53 years before handing the torch on to current president Satoru Iwata in 2002 due to poor health. He remained with the company as an advisor for three additional years before exiting completely.

When he took over the struggling company in 1949, Yamauchi wisely vowed to never borrow money to assist in business operations. That’s remained true even to this day as the company had a holding of roughly $8.7 billion in cash and equivalents as of June 30.

Yamauchi also believed that the quality of a video game was more important than the hardware used to play it. That point was made clear when he hired Shigeru Miyamoto in 1977 as Nintendo’s chief game designer. As you may know, Miyamoto is responsible for creating many of the company’s most lucrative franchises including Mario, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, F-Zero and Zelda.

As per his request, he elected to forfeit his $11 million retirement fund and asked that it be included as company profit instead. At the time of his death, Yamauchi was the second largest Nintendo shareholder as he owned roughly 10 percent of company stock.

User Comments: 11

Got something to say? Post a comment
learninmypc learninmypc said:

Yes, so sad. Here is a related article. [link]

DuhWookie DuhWookie said:

RIP Hiroshi

You developed a brilliant console <3

Prosercunus said:

He sounded like an awesome man. Very loyal to his company and sensible as well while remaining far more down to earth, which makes sense for someone in the gaming industry. Responsible for bringing in Shigeru Miyamoto.

What can you say about a guy like that? He is personally responsible for countless hours of fun in my life. Rest in Peace.

Moxiy Moxiy said:

Trully tha grave is full of riches. May he rest in peace...

Guest said:

RIP Hiroshi, you brought joy into the lives of many young people with the Nintendo consoles, including myself.

JC713 JC713 said:

RIP. Amazing man.

Guest said:

That Mario dying music would be epic at his funeral.

Guest said:

Man's influence changed the world. I honestly believe without him thrusting gaming into international spotlight that Techspot, PC Gaming or any of our crazy consoles would not be here to day.

RIP, I'll some Duckhunt in your memory.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Goodnight, sweet prince.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

One of the greatman in gaming history! RIP

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

R.I.P to the man who pretty much created the video game market as we know it.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.