Nintendo wasn't always the gaming juggernaut it is today. A large part of the company's success can be attributed to the vision of Hiroshi Yamauchi, who died Thursday morning.

According to NPR, Yamauchi died due to complications from pneumonia at the age of 85. Yamauchi took over as Nintendo's president in 1949, and held the post until 2002, when he was replaced by Satoru Iwata.

As the third-generation leader of the family-run Nintendo, Yamauchi brought the company from a humble playing card company into the future with the development of the NES, and its subsequent successors. Until his passing, Yamauchi remained Nintendo's largest shareholder and an executive adviser to the company.

"We will continue to treasure the values Yamauchi taught us — that what makes you unique lies at the core of entertainment," Satoru Iwata said in a statement. "And we at Nintendo will continue to change the company flexibly to adapt to the times, as Yamauchi did, to carry on his spirit."