Japanese businessman and arcade game icon Masaya Nakamura, the “Father of ‘Pac-Man’” has died at the age of 91.

What do we know about his passing?

Much of the information concerning Nakamura’s death had been kept under-wraps for about a week after his passing. His official date of death had actually been on Sunday, January 22, but reports of his death had been kept private out of respect to his family until this past Monday. Nakamura died close to a month after turning 91 in December. His exact cause of death is also currently unknown at this time, and is also believed to be withheld from the public due to his family’s wishes.

A private ceremony, including a wake and funeral, have already been held, according to reports, but a public “Farewell Gathering” ceremony intended to honor Nakamura is currently being planned for his fans by his company.

His company’s game won a Guinness World Record

Nakamura was the founder of Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955, which would later be known as Namco, the company that went on to develop the popular “Pac-Man” games. After a merger in 2005, the company would eventually become Bandai Namco Entertainment.

Reportedly inspired by the shape of pizza after taking a slice, the “Pac-Man” character had been created by video game engineer Toru Iwatani, and was later released in 1980. The character’s name was reportedly taken from the Japanese onomatopoeia “pakku pakku,” which reportedly describes the sound the character makes when playing the game.

Proving quite popular in its first year, the game sold more than 100,000 units in total within the United States alone. The game also won a Guinness World Record in the following year of 1981.

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Over the years, the character appeared in various forms of merchandise, such as a cell-phone game, and has appeared in animated films and television shows, including two shows starring the character himself. Added to that, the game overall is the highest-grossing arcade game worldwide. It's safe to say that even though Nakamura has passed, his creation lives on.

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