Masayuki Uemura might not be a name that modern gamers are too familiar with. Uemura is actually on the most integral names to the modern success of consoles like the Switch. Masayuki Uemura retired from his position at Nintendo in 2004, leaving behind a huge legacy. The current success of Nintendo is owed in no small part to the original NES and SNES. Known as the Famicom family of consoles in Japan, they released to major sales booms.
For those not in the know, Nintendo wasn’t in the video game business until the ’80s. During the 1970s when Masayuki Uemura joined up, the card games business was their big moneyspinner. In 1981, Uemura began working on the Famicom—also known as the NES—after Nintendo’s then-president Hiroshi Yamauchi pushed the company towards video games.
After helping to develop their first console, Uemura helped promote the console. In 1983, the NES revolutionized the games industry. The engineer also helped work on various NES games— like Baseball, Clu Clu Land, and Ice Climber. He remained an advisor in the Research and Engineering Department until his retirement.
Uemura spoke very highly of the company in a public talk about the video games industry. He gave the talk at The National Videogame Museum last year.
“There was something different about Nintendo,” Uemura said. “Here were these very serious men thinking about the content of play. Other companies were importing ideas from America and adapting them to the Japanese market, only making them cheaper and smaller. But Nintendo was interested in original ideas.”