The Ritsumeikan University Center for Game Studies announced that Masayuki Uemura, the lead architect for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)/Famicom and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicom) has passed away at the age of 78.
Uemura was employed at Nintendo from 1971 to 2004 and was put in charge of developing many of their early consoles. He first worked on Nintendo’s early electronic systems like the Color TV-Game 6, 15, and Color TV-Game Block Breaker. He would later move on to the Famicom (NES), and Super Famicom (SNES) as well as produce several games for Nintendo consoles like Ice Climber and Clu Clu Land.
After he retired from Nintendo, he became a development advisor for the company while also becoming an academic researcher for video games at the Ritsumeikan University Graduate School for Core Ethics before becoming director of the Ritsumeikan University Center for Game Studies in 2011.
In 2016, he was the Japan Media Arts Festival’s Special Achievement Award for his contributions to the Japanese video game industry.
Uemura helped to create two of the most important game consoles of all time in the NES and Super NES, the former of which saved the North American Video Game industry and helped launch console gaming into the mainstream.
The video game industry as a whole would be a very different place without Masayuki Uemura and we are grateful for all that he has given in shaping Nintendo and video games.