Nintendo’s former president Hiroshi Yamauchi has died at 85, the company confirms

Thursday, 19th September 2013 10:26 GMT By Dave Cook

Nintendo’s third president Hiroshi Yamauchi died this morning at 85, according to a confirmation by the company.

Nikkei reports that Yamauchi died this morning in a Jpanese hospital due to complications stemming from pneumonia.

Yamauchi joined Nintendo in 1949. Starting with the launch of the Game & Watch series, Yamauchi served as a vital cog in the company’s transition from card-manufacturer to the video game force we know today, and helped bring legendary developers Shigeru Miyamotu and Gunpei Yokoi to the forefront of the business.

He helped split the company into the various R&D departments we know today, and spearheaded Nintendo’s charge into the gaming market worldwide.

He stepped down on May 31, 2002 to be succeeded by current president Satoru Iwata.

“We will continue to treasure the values Yamauchi taught us – that what makes you unique lies at the core of entertainment,” said Iwata in a statement. “And we at Nintendo will continue to change the company flexibly to adapt to the times, as Yamauchi did, to carry on his spirit.”

Via Johnny.



  1. ShiiRo

    Easily one of the two or three most important people to ever grace the game industry. Without him Nintendo would’ve just continued being a card company. He’ll be missed. RIP.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. braindead1981

    RIP. I agree with ShiiRo, he was such an influental person and as long-time president of Nintendo the responsible person for Nintendo to shift and focus from producing cards to becoming a game industry giant. Without him, maybe we might have never heard of legends like Shigeru Miyamoto or Gunpei Yokoi. He might have been a tough and controversial guy at times, but he sure helped Nintendo to become a legendary name known around the world. Thank you!

    #2 1 year ago
  3. efnaldinho

    Rest In Peace.

    What a man.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Lv01

    legend. very sad news.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. AngryConsumer

    Cause of death was probably because of the low WIIU sales… RIP Hiroshi Yamauchi.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. mistermogul

    RIP Yamauchi

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Gheritt White


    #7 1 year ago
  8. Dragon246

    A self made man, trying and trying till he made Ninty reach its zenith. And wasn’t hesitant to step down when he felt its time of others to take over.
    Great man. RIP.

    Btw, Ninty would have wanted someone like him at the helm right now. Yamauchi tried very hard to diversify Ninty, something the present incompetent leadership fails to do.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. digmouse

    RIP Yamauchi, you are a true legend, may you bring joy to the heavens as you did to earth.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Bomba Luigi

    Probably one of the First Names in Videogames I learned, because he was so many Times the one at the End of the Credits.

    Great Man, so many nice Memorys about the NES and SNES in my Childhood wouldn’t exist without him. RIP.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. fearmonkey

    He was great for Nintendo but also bad for Nintendo.

    He was partly the reason that Nintendo became a video game powerhouse, but some of that can be attributed to his son-in-law, who brought Howard Lincoln in, and was key in defending Donkey Kong from Universal.

    His no nonsense old time business sense was the reason that Square and Nintendo parted ways, because he was so ticked that Square started making games on the playstation. Square loved the CD format and Nintendo stayed with Cartridges and that was all his decision.

    My favorite memory was the fake article where he told off Ballmer, about MS trying to buy Nintendo.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Cobra951

    Such sad news. May he rest in peace. His essential contributions to the game industry will live on.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Lengendaryboss


    #13 1 year ago
  14. game_on

    This man died at an respectable age and as one of the richest people of Japan. So don’t really understand the sad faces here, or did anyone actually know this man in real life?

    #14 1 year ago
  15. SCAssassin

    We’re sad because the guy who arguably helped create our childhood gaming is dead, not because we thought he didn’t live a good life..

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Cobra951

    @16: And also because we’re not heartless assholes.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. game_on

    @17 So someone who doesn’t shed any tears about some old dead guy he doesn’t know is an heartless asshole? Go RIP someone you truly know, instead of faking your sympathies here.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Telepathic.Geometry

    Mixed emotions here. On the one hand, he achieved great things and steered the ship through the formative years of gaming as we know it, and for that I guess we should respect him. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that he was… not a very nice person.

    Still, however you look at it, a great entity has left the gaming stage. RIP.

    (Also, @18: Grow up, if people wanna grieve, leave them to it…)

    #18 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.