Most fans know that Nintendo started out as a playing-card company, as a small family-owned business. In 1949, at age 22, after the death of his grandfather, Hiroshi Yamauchi, took over as president. Earlier today, Nintendo confirmed the death of their former president.
His most well-known task, though, was when he capitalized on a growing trend by turning Nintendo into a video game company. Yamauchi was the man who led Nintendo to develop the Famicom and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Sure, there were times when Nintendo failed under his leadership, but there were also times when they soared. One of Yamauchi’s biggest achievements is probably the hiring of Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind such names as Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda, just to name a few. In 2002, he was succeeded by Nintendo’s current president, Satora Iwata.
Yamauchi’s leadership was evident as he led Nintendo into the future. He was known for keeping the company’s overhead very low by delegating production to smaller suppliers. In the beginning, they did not approve many games a year. However, under this model, they grew and their profit margins rose. In fact, Forbes ranked Yamauchi as Japan’s richest man just five years ago.
Those of us at NintendoFuse, along with the entire gaming community mourn the death of a great visionary. Yamauchi was, in many ways, one of the forefathers of video games. His vision helped Nintendo go from a small card-game manufacturer to the multi-billion dollar video game giant it has become. Further, his leadership at Nintendo drove other companies to innovate as well, making the game industry better overall.
Hiroshi Yamauchi is survived by his son, Katsuhito.
In honor of Yamauchi, Nintendo is staying silent on their social media channels today.
In remembrance of Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo will not be posting on our social media channels today.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 19, 2013