The gaming world lost a legend on Jan. 22nd, 2017. Masaya Nakamura is considered the "Father of Pan-Man" and the founder of a little company you might have heard of called Namco. Originally launching Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955 where they made kiddie rides for various department store throughout Japan and eventually rebranding the company as Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, where the name Namco was established from.
He oversaw the development of big gaming deals such as purchasing Atari's Japanese division and having access to the Atari properties for distribution in Japan led to Nakamura wanting Namco to aggressively pursue their own original properties. In the first big push came Galaxian in 1979 and followed by the golden child that is Pac-Man in 1980.
And again the company struck gold with the release the Ms. Pac-Man in 1981.