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Minoru Arakawa

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Minoru Arakawa

Kyoto University

Minoru Arakawa Book Review Game Over How Nintendo Zapped an American

September 3, 1946 (age 77) (
Kyoto, Japan

Alma mater
Known for
Founder of Nintendo of America

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Minoru Arakawa (荒川 實, Arakawa Minoru, born September 3, 1946) is the founder and former president of Nintendo of America and the co-founder of Tetris Online, Inc.


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Born in September 1946 in Kyoto, Japan, Minoru Arakawa attended Kyoto University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying Civil Engineering. In 1972, he was hired by Japanese conglomerate Marubeni as part of their international staff, with the responsibility of helping to develop hotels, offices and condominiums overseas. He married the daughter of Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, Yoko Yamauchi, but continued to work for Marubeni, eventually moving to Vancouver with his family in 1977.

Arakawa accepted the offer from Hiroshi to establish Nintendo of America. The company was founded in New York City in 1980, and Arakawa became its first president. After a disastrous experience with the Radar Scope arcade game Arakawa was in charge of importing to the US, he rebounded by converting the poorly received Radar Scope to the phenomenally successful Donkey Kong, which has had many sequels. As this was first game to feature Mario, Arakawa is credited with naming the character, a name which stems from his, at the time, Italian landlord Mario Segale.

Starting in 1985, he and Howard Lincoln were instrumental in rebuilding the North American video game industry (after the crash of 1983) with the Nintendo Entertainment System. Arakawa also hired Howard Philips, who would be invaluable to the creation of Nintendo Power magazine.

Arakawa resigned as NOA president and was succeeded by Tatsumi Kimishima, former chief financial officer of Nintendo's Pokémon subsidiary, in January 2002. Arakawa won a lifetime achievement award in February 2007 at the Interactive Achievement Awards.

In January 2006, Arakawa co-founded Tetris Online, Inc. with Henk Rogers and Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov, which developed various games for Nintendo DS, Wii, iOS, and Facebook. Arakawa served as the president of Tetris Online, Inc. until March 2013. He is also an advisor to Avatar Reality.


Minoru Arakawa Wikipedia

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