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Obituary: Masayuki Uemura, lead architect of the NES and SNES, has died at 78

Uemura, who retired from Nintendo in 2004, had been teaching video game development at Ritsumeikan University.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

December 9, 2021

1 Min Read
Masayuki Uemura sits in front of a TV explaining the SNES.
Image from French documentary film "Otaku," posted on YouTube by Game Escape

Ritsumeikan University has tragically announced that Masayuki Uemura, faculty member and former lead architect at Nintendo, has died at age 78.

Uemura passed away on December 6, 2021. He was most well-known for serving as the lead architect on the original Famicom and the Super Famicon, known respectively as the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment system in the United States. 

Uemura worked at Nintendo for 32 years, from 1972 to 2004. Though he would occasionally consult as a research and development advisor, he spent most of his life in retirement teaching at Ritsumeikan University's Center for Game Studies.

His passing is being mourned by fans and public figures such as Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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