Nintendo of America co-founder Alan Stone has passed away, but he will always be remembered for pioneering the entrance of both Nintendo arcade games and home consoles.
The gaming world just got a little less bright today with the passing of Nintendo of America co-founder Alan Stone. He was 71.
The American businessman had done much to bring over Japanese video games to a western audience in his lifetime, and is largely responsible for Nintendo’s early success with coin-operated arcade games in the United States. After introducing games such as Radar Scope and the original Donkey Kong to an evidently hungry market, Stone co-founded Nintendo of America and became involved in the process of designing what would eventually become the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Stone was a key cog in the system that moved Nintendo of America from selling arcade cabinets to bars and pizza parlors to a company aiming to bring home consoles to the mainstream market, something which would drastically changed how gamers access content. Stone went from helping sell 60,000 units of Donkey Kong in the United States to introducing the beloved Nintendo icon Mario to households across the nation, where he would quickly become an staple character for the industry as a whole.
Stone’s successful career spanned decades, ranging far beyond his early days with Far East Video and later at the helm of Nintendo of America. In 1994, he left Nintendo to become President of Sega Enterprises, a position which he would hold for the next 10 years. By this point Stone was firmly settled in California, and the industry veteran would go on to be recruited by companies such as GPlay, 10-Plus Entertainment, Raging River, and Nanotech Entertainment, where he would become the chief operating officer in 2014.
The 71-year-old executive has received much love from friends and strangers alike on social media, and it seems those who knew him well have no shortage of good things to say about Stone. UDC’s Michael Green provided a heartfelt eulogy when the news of Alan Stone’s passing broke,:
“It was with great sadness that I just read that Alan Stone, one of my oldest and best friends has died. He had bravely fought that terrible disease, yet throughout all maintained his dignity and humor. We became friends when he was running Nintendoland we became the UK distributor. He was a businessman with the highest integrity and the finest business ethic. He went on to do a magnificent job as president of Sega USA. He built up so many friendships over the years that have endured till today. Hilary and I had so many great times with Al and Darlene that we will always treasure. The industry has not lost a good man, it has lost a giant. We will never forget you Al, and our heartfelt condolences to Darlene.”
The gaming industry is losing many of the innovators who were at the helm during the burgeoning era that made gaming a truly commonplace experience. Former Nintendo Presidents Satoru Iwata and Hiroshi Yamauchi are no longer with us today, but much like Stone, their work will always be remembered.
Stone is survived by his wife Darlene, his daughter Christi, and his grandson Harper. We at Game Rant would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family at this tragic time.