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Namco pixel artist Hiroshi Ono has passed away

RIP Mr Dotman.

Hiroshi Ono, graphic designer and pixel artist at Namco, has passed away.

Known as Mr Dotman, he was responsible most famously for the sprites in Galaga.

The news was shared in a statement on his official Twitter page, stating he passed on the 16th October after a long illness.

Ono joined Namco in 1979 and was involved in the graphic design for some of the company's best-loved arcade cabinets, including Pac-Man.

He then went on to design the sprites for the likes of Galaga, Dig Dug, Xevious and Mappy. He continued working for Namco long after it merged with Bandai, eventually leaving in 2013 to go freelance.

In a 2011 interview celebrating the 30th anniversary of Galaga, series creator Shigeru Yokoyama credited Ono with the pixel designs, calling him "an authority on pixel design, but these characters were the first he made".

A documentary about Ono's life has been crowdfunded in Japan and will continue production.

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Ed Nightingale

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Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.


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