Nintendo’s legendary pioneer Hiroshi Yamauchi, 85, dies of pneumonia, in Japan
In a recently-released e-mailed statement Kyoto-based bigwig game-console maker Nintendo said that the company's 85-year-old legendary pioneer Hiroshi Yamauchi died of pneumonia on Thursday, in Japan.
Yamauchi - who succeeded his father as the Nintendo president in 1949 - led Nintendo for more than five decades, from between 1949 and 2002. In the year 2008, Yamauchi had a net worth of approximately $7.8 billion, and was ranked the richest man in Japan by Forbes Asia. He handed over the reins of Nintendo to the company's present president Satoru Iwata, and moved into an advisory role for three years.
Going by the data compiled by Bloomberg, Yamauchi was Nintendo's second-biggest shareholder, with a stock-holding of nearly 10 percent.
During his 53 years of leadership at Nintendo, Yamauchi transformed Nintendo from a maker of Japanese playing cards into the world's biggest maker of video games on the back of blockbuster titles like Super Mario and Zelda.
Yamauchi's business philosophy was that the quality of video games is much more important than the hardware on which these games are played --- a point which was proved when, in 1977, he appointed Nintendo's chief game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto who came up with popular game characters such as Mario the plumber, Donkey Kong and Zelda.