Programmer Kazuhisa Hashimoto, best known in the games community as the creator of the Konami code, passed away last night at the age of 61.
Hashimoto’s death was first shared online by composer Yuji Takenouchi, who has worked on numerous Konami titles. Konami itself later confirmed Hashimoto’s passing over Twitter.
“We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the ‘Konami Code,’” Konami wrote in a statement. “Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san’s family and friends at this time.”
We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the "Konami Code".
Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san's family and friends at this time. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/vQijEQ8lU2
— Konami (@Konami) February 26, 2020
The now famous Konami command – Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A – was developed by Hashimoto in the 1980s when he worked for Konami developing a Nintendo Entertainment System port of the arcade title Gradius.
“I hadn’t played that much and obviously couldn’t beat it myself, so I put in the Konami Code,” Hashimoto said in an interview in 2003. “Because I was the one who was going to be using it, I made sure it was easy to remember.”
Although it was never intended to be included in the final game, the Konami Code accidentally made it onto store shelves. The Konami Code has since found its way into many games – According to Wikipedia, more than 100 Konami games now include some version of the code – as well as into pop culture as a whole.