The boss behind Nintendo’s gaming success dies aged 85

THE MAN who made Zelda, Donkey Kong and the Mario brothers famous died yesterday at the age of 85.

Nintendo said yesterday it was mourning the “loss of the former president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning.”

Yamauchi, who succeeded his grandfather at the company when it was still a playing card manufacturer, ran Nintendo for 53 years.

From 1949, Yamauchi oversaw the production of a string of blockbuster games consoles including the 1983 FamiCom, which was released internationally as Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The NES was followed by the Game Boy, the N64, and the Wii.

He was an executive adviser to the company after he stepped down for health reasons in 2002.

At the time of his death, Yamauchi’s net worth was estimated by Forbes at $2.1bn (£1.3bn). Yamauchi’s successor Satoru Iwata continues to head the company.