The man behind game developer Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, passed away last week in Kyoto, Japan. In his 53-year reign as president of Nintendo, he shifted the focus from playing cards and toys to video games.
From some playing cards to millions of videogames
Yamauchi took charge of a small playing cards company, founded by his great-grandfather, in 1949 and managed to transform the company into one of the big three gaming companies in the world, alongside Microsoft and Sony. It stood at the forefront of gaming with the release of the portable console Game & Watch in 1980, introducing the now world famous Italian plumber Mario.
Also in the eighties, he expanded the company internationally by founding Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe, with a focus on each separate region. The launch of the legendary Game Boy increased the international expansion. Nintendo’s next revolution turned out to be the Wii-console with motion control, published under the guidance of his successor, Satoru Iwata, whom he had given control as president in 2002.
Hiroshi Yamauchi passed away in a Kyoto hospital at the age of 85, succumbing to the effects of pneumonia.