Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the created of the famed Konami Code—up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A—has died. Konami announced Hashimoto's death in a brief tribute on Twitter.
We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the "Konami Code". Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san's family and friends at this time. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/vQijEQ8lU2February 26, 2020
Hashimoto created the Konami Code in 1985, to assist with testing during the development of Gradius for the NES. "I hadn’t played that much and obviously couldn’t beat it myself, so I put in the Konami Code," he said in a 2003 interview available on Siliconera (opens in new tab). "Because I was the one who was going to be using it, I made sure it was easy to remember."
For some reason, the code was left behind when the game was released, and when its presence was discovered Konami made the fortuitous decision to leave it in place. From there, it grew into a phenomenon, in videogames and beyond: It's been used in dozens of games since, including multiple PC games like Fortnite (opens in new tab) and BioShock Infinite (opens in new tab), it's embedded into GOG's website (opens in new tab), and in 2017 the Bank of Canada (opens in new tab) stashed a Konami Code Easter egg in its announcement of a new $10 bill.
The cause of Hashimoto's death wasn't provided. He was 61.