Posted by Alex (2021 posts) -

Sad news for fans of both video games and professional wrestling today as we learn that Masato Masuda, the original designer and creator of the Fire Pro Wrestling franchise, has died. He was 48 years old.

News initially broke by way of Goichi "Suda51" Suda, who took to Twitter to say that "[Masuda] was one of the greatest creators of video games and he was my direct teacher. Thank you for giving us our favorite Fire Pro-wrestling. You are the god of it." Inside Games also confirmed Masuda's passing, noting that his death occurred on March 29.

Before going on to create the Fire Pro series, Masuda crafted one of the first noteworthy wrestling games ever made in Pro Wrestling for the Nintendo Entertainment System/Family Computer Entertainment System. The studio behind the game, TRY, eventually became Human Entertainment, the studio best known for its many entries in the Fire Pro Wrestling franchise.

The series was noteworthy for a variety of reasons, including its tight, sometimes unforgiving gameplay, its wealth of customization options, its use of unlicensed characters that typically looked an awful lot like real wrestlers, and its staunch dedication to 2D, sprite-based art. The series rarely saw release outside of Japan, but became something of a cult favorite among hardcore wrestling fans who had the means to import them. Suda himself actually worked on the franchise as a director and writer on both Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Super Bout, and Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special.

I certainly count Fire Pro among my all-time favorite video game franchises, and it's horrible to learn not only that its creator is gone, but at such a young age. Our condolences go out to Masuda's family and friends.

Staff
#1 Edited by CaLe (3944 posts) -

ご冥福を祈り致します。

#2 Posted by xxNBxx (971 posts) -

RIP

In honor of Mr. Masuda you should play some Fire Pro on a Bombastica.

#3 Posted by Rayeth (1033 posts) -

A true legend. He will be sorely missed.

#4 Posted by edgeCrusher (144 posts) -

Another one bites the dust. It's a damn shame to see the people who made the games we love die off, especially at such unnaturally young ages. Rest in peace.

#5 Posted by TurboMan (7498 posts) -

damn, 48...

#6 Edited by TruthTellah (8721 posts) -

48. Just too damn soon.

#7 Posted by BulletConcerto (50 posts) -

That really sucks and at such a young age as well. It's a shame. RIP

#9 Posted by Hone_McBone (123 posts) -

The firepro series was the wrestling franchise I played & had the most fun with my friends with. We'd have some drinks, pick random computer controlled wrestlers & throw some money down.

#10 Edited by Y2Ken (1110 posts) -

Really sad to hear this. Fire Pro Wrestling is an incredible franchise, and it's always sad to lose someone so talented as Masuda at such a young age.

#11 Posted by cmblasko (1177 posts) -

That's really sad to hear. RIP Masuda, thanks for the memories.

#12 Posted by SgtSphynx (1333 posts) -

How did he die so young?

#13 Edited by Homeslice (535 posts) -

Masuda didn't have a page on Giant Bomb yet, so I took a few minutes and made one. He deserves it!

#14 Edited by Slow_pC (242 posts) -

I would hope to see some FPro on UPF ... :(

#16 Edited by SteamRickroller (308 posts) -

Goddammit. Really sad to hear about this. RIP.

#17 Edited by KaneRobot (1507 posts) -

Best wrestling game series. Thank you, sir.

Fire Pro D on Dreamcast remains the one and only game I was passionate enough to A) import and B) Learn just enough to modify code (in this case, translating downloadable moves from Japanese to English). On a similar note, Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium on the Super Famicom was the game that turned me on to emulation.

Didn't know he was behind NES Pro Wrestling as well. Makes sense now based on the "touch to grapple" system it had.

#18 Edited by JJOR64 (18941 posts) -

Always sad to hear when older known devs pass away.

Poo...

#19 Posted by ultrapeanut (385 posts) -

Such a legendary series. =[

#20 Posted by hunterzolomon (182 posts) -

i always loved the fire pro series for its just depth of game play and being able to have matches using barbwire ropes and explosion deathmatches with every american wrestler

#21 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3189 posts) -

damn man, 48...

Peace be with you Masuda-san.

#22 Posted by InsidiousTuna (378 posts) -

RIP Masuda-san.

#23 Posted by Strychnine (21 posts) -

Man. This is truly some sad news... R.I.P Masuda-San.

As long as the Fire-Pro series keeps going, I'll keep buying..

:(

#24 Posted by Goldanas (546 posts) -

I own Pro Wrestling for the NES, and played it a ton in its heyday. It was easily one of my favorite NES games to play with and against my brother.

Thank you, Masato Masuda, for the good times.

#25 Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles (1700 posts) -

@xxnbxx said:

RIP

In honor of Mr. Masuda you should play some Fire Pro on a Bombastica.

Great idea, RIP Mr Masuda.

#26 Posted by MattClassic (431 posts) -

Genuinely saddened by this. Been a longtime fan of the Fire Pro series for as long as I can remember. Pouring one out for you tonight, Mr. Masuda.

#27 Edited by Vuud (1946 posts) -

Elbow drop a stranger in his honor.