Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi dies at 85

Hiroshi Yamauchi joined the company in 1949 and was its president until 2002.

Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who joined the company in 1949 and is widely credited for turning Nintendo into a leading video game developer, has died at age 85.

Under Yamauchi's leadership, Nintendo diversified from its beginnings as a trading card company and introduced both gaming hardware, such as the NES, and arcade hits like Donkey Kong into market in the '80s, as well as establishing the development studios that would go on to create some of the industry's most enduring video game characters.

He also oversaw the release of the Super Nintendo, GameBoy, Nintendo 64, Virtual Boy, and GameCube.

Details of Yamauchi's passing have not been revealed; however, Nintendo has released a statement saying the company "is in mourning today from the sad loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning."

Yamauchi served as Nintendo president until 2002, when he was succeeded by Satoru Iwata. He worked as the chairman of Nintendo's board of directors until 2005, when he retired from the company.

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martingaston

Martin Gaston

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor
389 comments
matrixman2k
matrixman2k

....I am truly without words, even as now they fail me. This most despairing and utterly sorrowful news has stricken me with a lament spanning these many painful hours, with no relent in sight. And shall indeed trouble my slumber for the proceeding time, for sure. I shall truly regret the times without this great mind and the colossal and magnified legacy that he en trailed, namely Nintendo. He shall indeed leave hearts and minds receding in loss and yearning his person. May his next of kin and his, find the solace and tranquillity that is most wanting in these times of utter despair. 

He aided gaming and formed it as such as we perceive it now, needless to say the most penurious state that was gaming then, after Atari had its fill. The dawn of what will be plunged into the modern times and cherished by many, the "Mickey Mouse" and "Disney" of Japan, nay the world. Mario, The legend of Zelda and many others tinkered and fondled with the hearts of many, forming their childhoods and adolescents, aright. Myself included, those glory moments shan't be the same while deprived of Nintendo. 

How despicable and most demeaning was the actions of Gamespot assuming Martin Gaston (News Editor) had any part in the matter of how this news article was published taking the "back seats" was utterly appalling, and disgusting; seeing his picture makes for an easy assessment that clearly this man either was not around during the days of NES or he lacks the understanding of the magnitude of Hiroshi; the while other unimportant news and articles plague Gamespot.

Reading the many condolences that are at large here, gives me great ease, thank you all for your kindness. I only just returned from a campaign on the GTA5 news and would like to conclude with a saying: "Fools start what wise men conclude, needless to say, was it the noise that didn't sound or was it the ear that didn't hear? Verily, ignorance and self-feebleness shrouded in self-importance makes for human stupidity."  

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

I'm glad he lived a long life. Every man has to die sometime, and Yams had contributed more than enough to this industry to help make it what it is today. Heck, if it were not for him, the industry might've never recovered from the '83-'84 crash. Thank you, Yams.

Furwings
Furwings

Unlike a lot of us who’s first console was the NES and know full well who the man was and his incredible legacy in this business, a lot of today’s younger gamers have no idea who Hiroshi Yamauchi even was.

That’s what’s so appalling about GS treating it like just another news story and burying it the next day to the point where I had to search for his name to find the article! Pathetic and inexcusable!

His passing has also reminded me why Nintendo is still very important to this industry and why this industry still NEEDS Nintendo in it – even if some editors at GameSpot disagree…

A lot of gamers today have no emotional attachment to Nintendo. It could be they never grew up with their systems and games, or maybe they preferred the Genesis to the SNES, or maybe they are younger gamers who’s first console was the PS1 or PS2.

Some will be quick to point out that they’ve simply “outgrown” Nintendo. Fair enough. I’m not going to try to tell everyone else what I think they SHOULD like. It’s fine if you simply have no interest in Nintendo home consoles or portables. That’s why there are alternatives made by Sony and Microsoft.

What I don’t get and never really will get is this venomous, poisonous, vindictive attitude a lot of non or former Nintendo gamers have where they actually wish ill will towards them and are almost rooting for them to fail? Why?!

I love sitting in our upstairs living room and playing Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U and Pikmin 3 with my 8-yr old son. Even in this era of online ultra-realistic FPS games and overly-violent, vulgar and quite honestly immoral games like GTA V, some people (myself included) still enjoy being able to play a game with their families and not have to worry about whether it’s age-appropriate or not. 8-year olds should NOT play GTA V PERIOD! In fact the ESRB ratings system is extremely flawed when Halo gets the same rating (‘M’) as GTA. But that’s a whole other can of worms…

The point is, Nintendo is still mainly about good old fashioned, family-orientated fun be it on the Wii U or the 3DS. If you don’t like that or that doesn’t appeal to you, fine I get that. But PLEASE at least try to look at it from an objective opinion and you’ll (hopefully) realize that this industry still NEEDS to cater to that market and have those games and experiences that really only Nintendo creates and can provide.

Cheer_
Cheer_

I have actually lost much respect for this website, which would not exist if not for Yamauchi. Theres absolutely NO EXCUSE for this story not to be big front page news. The front men of this site should also have done something to the site to honour him. I guess GTA V reviews are more important. WTF? As if GTA V would exist if not for Yamauchi. RIP Yamauchi. You will be remembered forever

thegedden
thegedden

Wow for the importance for this man's contributions to the gaming community and industry, you'd think a editor could manage more than 1.5 paragraphs of his works???

GS you actually just disturbed me... 


RIP much love and respect to 

Hiroshi Yamauchi

crocodileman94
crocodileman94

You'd think that something like this would make it to the front page. Maybe Nintendo didn't pay them enough to acknowledge it...

lifeline81
lifeline81

The words can't say how sad to hear about this news. Nintendo was part of my childhood; most of our childhood. All I can say is this. Thank you. You can rest knowing how many hearts Nintendo touched over the year because of your great mind. 

cashx002
cashx002

What a great life he lived. He made mine better, that's for sure! Thank you sir. 

TheEveryMan
TheEveryMan

If anybody has read David Sheff's book, you will know that Yamauchi, Gunpei and all the original members of staff at Nintendo were responsible for pushing the company to get heights back in the 60s and 70s. Rest in peace, such a shame you are gone, but I guess you'll be able to hook up with Yokoi now and see how he's doing. Give him our regards.

radcrab123
radcrab123

god bless u good sir may u rest in peace

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

*bows deeply*  *salutes*  RIP, sir.  The Super Mario Bros. theme music will forever play in my head.  :)

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

Really sad news. Thanks for the great memories.

Rest in peace.

G_W_X
G_W_X

Sayonara Yamauchi-San.   Thanks for the awesome Nintendo console gaming during your tenure. 

One more thing... One last Megaton! hai! 

snikeyeah
snikeyeah

Rip you great man, condolences to the family.. :'(

tightwad34
tightwad34

The world lost a genius. RIP. At least he wasn't very young. Still sucks any which way.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Thanks for the memories, and thanks for bringing home console gaming back to life.

D1N02982
D1N02982

This guy pretty much saved gaming every gamer needs to know who he is

dummpymonkey123
dummpymonkey123

Some people having defining moments others define a generation this man defined the legacy we call gaming rip I hope they buried you will every console you spirt touched

dummpymonkey123
dummpymonkey123

Gamespot it's bullshit this legend isn't at the top of the gaming news list he deserves to be up there for at least a day smh rip to a great

tiki_tidalwave
tiki_tidalwave

We are transported back to our childhood memories whenever we hear the passing of outstanding contributors to the video game community.  Thank you kind sir for all you have provided for us.

ziqi92
ziqi92

We lost a legend. RIP Yamauchi-sama.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Rest In Peace You amazing man, Thank You for bring us Nintendo.

Shadow7871
Shadow7871

Rest in peace Hiroshi Yamauchi and thank you for all your hard work.

toddx77
toddx77

If it wasn't for this man video games might not have taken off again after the crash and things could be very different now.  RIP Yamauchi-sama

slicknick316
slicknick316

Remember playing mario when i was 5 and reading Nintendo Power at my grandmothers house wishing that i could get Mario 3. RIP Hiroshi Yamauchi.You brought  a lot of joy to the world. Thanks for the memories.


blutosan
blutosan

For every crazy game developer or programmer with a risky idea, there has to be a crazy investor to back up that idea. It took some guts to invest in games that actually established new genres. This guy was that crazy investor and God bless him for it.

BladeOverload
BladeOverload

Today is a day in which all fanboyism and biases should be set aside in respect of one of the most impacting men in gaming. Rest in peace Yamauchi, and thank you.

ChrisJ2004
ChrisJ2004

For those that don't know, Nintendo was founded in 1889. That's EIGHTEEN eighty-nine. Nintendo is over a century old.

Superzone
Superzone

Rest in peace, sir.  Thank you for all the amazing times I've had playing Nintendo games.

SciFiCat
SciFiCat

A great man indeed, one that worked within Nintendo longer that most of us in this comment section has been alive.  Just think about that for a moment and realize that this man was with Nintendo before even video games ever existed.

Respect, this guy was one of my childhood's legendary figures.

Garm31
Garm31

RIP. lets hope Nintendos poor decision making doesn't make him turn in his grave.

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

@Snaptrap i envy him. he lived long enough to build the company up before they hit it big and then when they did he was able to see nintendo's videogame ventures go from their arcade hits of the early 80's to bigger hits like super smash bros melee. nintendo was his life and its thanks to him that it still prospers to this day.

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

@Furwings im pretty sure most editors at gamespot were either in diapers around the time of the nes or werent even conceived yet so i can understand the lack of understanding on their part of what a huge event the passing of a legend such as yamauchi was supposed to mean to a significant percentage of the gaming community, 30 and 40 something gamers.

Cheer_
Cheer_

@Furwings This is probably the most intelligent response to the issue I have read since Yamauchi's death. Thank You. Yes, the industry NEEDS Nintendo whether Sony and Microsoft like it or not. Everyone is waiting for Xbox and Sony to push Nintendo away. Those two consoles would probably not exist but not for Nintendo. Nintendo was a HUGE part of my childhood. I can remember when my mom used to get me out of bed on a Friday night when I was 6 years old and take me to the TV room to play Mario with her on the NES. People have been saying for 10 years that Nintendo is doomed. Nintendo will be just fine. Xbox and Sony are fighting over the hardcore serious gaming audience but Nintendo is targeting a completely different audience. A mother of 3 with children 4-10 is much more likely to buy a Wii U than a PS4 with the new Halo or GTA V. All sony and xbox care about is who has the better graphics and the faster CPU and who can attract the most gaming nerds. That audience of gaming nerds and hardcore gamers should go buy a top end PC and forget PS4 or Xbox. My PC make both those consoles look like an 80s plastic stop-watch. Nintendo's Wii U is cheaper, and I think its actually better. My wife and I had a blast together playing the new Mario U. It was great. While I agree the Wii U's sales have not been stellar to start with, I think that will change. This issue is due mainly to a lack of content. Satoru Iwata knows about this, which is why he is planning to drop a bomb before the holidays - That is: He is releasing a whole pile of new BIG titles all at once just a month or two before Christmas because that is when the Wii U sales should soar. I think he is doing this to overshadow all the hype about the other two consoles. I actually think its a smart move. After all, Yamauchi appointed him his successor and was still alive for 10 more years after the fact. I think if Yamauchi lost confidence in Iwata, he would have said something in that 10 year span. I think Iwata has this cased and will get Nintendo through it. Yamauchi is trusting him too and he will. If Nintendo ever did go under (Which I don't believe for a microsecond would ever happen), but if it did I would spend the rest of my life crying. I have a HUGE emotional attachment to Nintendo and countless memories. Xbox and PS4 have 4K output. No one will care for another year or 2 while 4K TV's come down in price. They are too expensive right now so its useless. Nintendo will be just fine. Nintendo wont get kicked out of the market by the other two. Nintendo will be fine. I am rootin for them to win first place in the 8th gen console race.

P.S. RIP Yamauchi. I will tell my kids about you when they are older

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

@Cheer_ GTA V is more important to them because they all wear diapers and know nothing of this man.

thegedden
thegedden

@crocodileman94 Yes Nintendo would have o pay crappy GS pay their own respects... this site I never return to..

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

@dummpymonkey123 He must have offended someone at Gamespot (years ago) who makes these decisions. Either that or the editors are complete children and don't know who he is.

Class_Act998675
Class_Act998675

@Garm31 And your post shows that you have no class, and you're some overweight virgin that no one likes. 

MikeDrawsALot
MikeDrawsALot

@Garm31 Errm, you realise those decisions were ultimately his to let pass, right?

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

@KimCheeWarriorX It's hard to appreciate what he had done when many gamers now weren't even old enough to play video games. I remember their first arcade games. Finally the NES. Nintendo wasn't even large enough to manufacture the console. They had to turn to Mattel who had just exited the business. I remember turning on my NES for the first time. So many good memories. If I did decide to buy a console again, it would be from Nintendo. I respect them retaining the qualities that they were founded on. Perhaps when they get more games, I'll pick up a Wii U.

Garm31
Garm31

@MikeDrawsALot @Garm31 This guy build the company to where it is today. Nintendo are now in so much trouble. Their terrible decision to release an ancient last gen console, on the brink of next gen is moronic. It could force them to drop out of the console war.

ziqi92
ziqi92

@Garm31 @MikeDrawsALot Nintendo has a crap ton of money in the bank thanks to the global success of the DS, Wii, and 3DS. Microsoft lost so much money last gen over the RRoDs and Sony lost $6 billion last generation because of the PS3, PSP, and now they're still suffering losses from the Vita.

Nintendo is going nowhere. The Wii U doesn't even have all of its traditional first party titles out yet. You need to learn to read financial reports. Nintendo doesn't hesitate to reveal Wii U sales numbers yet I'm not seeing much on Sony's Vita...