Hiroshi Yamauchi, the third president of Nintendo, died Thursday due to complications with pneumonia. He held the position from 1949 all the way into the new millennium until 2002. Yamauchi is responsible for taking the card business Nintendo started and shifting it toward toys and video games. His style of running the company was strict but that firm attitude and an eye for up-and-coming entertainment catapulted Nintendo to worldwide success.
Yamauchi set in motion the company we know today as developers of family-friendly games. He placed Gonpei Yokoi and Shigeru Miyamoto in charge of many titles and projects that turned out to be phenomenal successes including Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. and the Game Boy. Yamauchi’s term as president brought financial success to Japan. He felt consoles should be cheaper because people aren’t playing with them, they play the games used on the machine. This idea set the company apart from its counterparts. It was more about enjoying the game than making money.
Hiroshi Yamauchi lived a long and prosperous life. He was a humble person, even refusing to take a hefty retirement pension and then donated billions to fund a cancer center in Kyoto. President Yamauchi left the company he morphed into a billion dollar industry, in good hands. We thank him for his dedication.