Masayuki Uemura, Lead Engineer On NES And SNES, Has Sadly Passed Away

Masayu­ki Uemu­ra, the project engi­neer who influ­enced the icon­ic Fam­i­com (NES) and Super Fam­i­com (SNES) con­soles, passed away on Decem­ber 6th at the age of 78. Rit­sumeikan Uni­ver­si­ty, where Uemu­ra was employed as a pro­fes­sor after retir­ing from Nin­ten­do, announced his passing.

Uemu­ra’s impact on the gam­ing indus­try is mas­sive. NES released in 1983 and was remark­able for the way it revi­tal­ized the home video game mar­ket, after the crash of the Atari. Of course, the NES explod­ed in pop­u­lar­i­ty, lead­ing to Nin­ten­do’s sec­ond smash hit–the Super NES–in 1990.

Speak­ing to Famit­su (trans­lat­ed by Poly­gon), Umeu­ra recount­ed the process of devel­op­ment behind the NES. “One day, Hiroshi Yamauchi (then-Nin­ten­do pres­i­dent) called me in and said ‘Make me some­thing that lets you play arcade games on your TV at home,” he said. “Don­key Kong was a huge hit in the arcades by then, and I sup­pose he want­ed to get our name into homes as well.”

In an inter­view with Kotaku, Uemu­ra revealed what life was like after the NES was a major hit. “Well, my salary went up. That’s a fact. So I was get­ting paid more, but the flip side was my job got a lot hard­er. Pres­i­dent Yamauchi’s atti­tude played a big part in this, but my feel­ing was one of ‘seize the day.’ Just go for it,” he said.

Uemu­ra retired from the com­pa­ny in 2004 and left to teach game design at Rit­sumeikan Uni­ver­si­ty. He con­tributed to an impor­tant part of gam­ing his­to­ry, as well as allowed for many great expe­ri­ences to be had by all of us. 

I am a Platinum lover and an ex- Cod-aholic. I've been playing games since I was 5 years old and I refuse to quit, despite my mother's attempts to get me to. God of War and its successors are my all time favorite games.

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