Kazuhisa Hashimoto, has passed away. A very talented producer who introduced the world to the ‘Konami Code,’”
Konami said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san’s family and friends at this time.”
The news of Hashimoto’s death was first shared on Twitter by composer Yuji “TECHNOuchi” Takenouchi. Hashimoto created the code—Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A—as an employee of Konami in the 1980s, when he was creating the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the arcade game Gradius.
“I hadn’t played that much and obviously couldn’t beat it myself, so I put in the Konami Code,” Hashimoto said in a 2003 interview. “Because I was the one who was going to be using it, I made sure it was easy to remember.”
Konami would go on to use the code, or slight variations of it, in many of its games. It also became an iconic pop culture reference that has shown up practically everywhere.