The Japanese business mogul who is credited as the transforming force behind Nintendo’s move from a playing cards to video game company has passed away.
Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo’s president during its transformative years into a video game company, has died at 85.
It is not clear at this time how Yamauchi died. Nintendo has released this short 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, former Nintendo president who transformed a small playing cards company into a global video game giant, has died at 85.
— Hiroko Tabuchi (@HirokoTabuchi) September 19, 2013
Yamauchi, Nintendo’s third president and great-grandson of Nintendo’s founder, led the company from 1949 to 2002, seeing it through some of its best years and also its worst. Under his direction the company published titles with characters recognized the world over, such as Super Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda, but it also had its share of stumbles such as the Gamecube.
Yamauchi stepped down as President on May 31, 2002, as all signs were pointing to the Gamecube as being a commercial failure. He was replaced by current Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. Before his death Yamauchi was Nintendo’s second largest shareholder, holding 10 percent of all shares.