We’ve got some sad news on the industry front – with a Miami Herald obituary confirming the former Rare director Joel Hochberg passed away earlier this week, aged 87. Joel lives on through his wife, children, grandchildren and extended family.
As highlighted by GamesIndustry.biz, he signed on with the Ultimate Play the Game and Rare founders Tim & Chris Stamper in 1986, overseeing the company’s business operations within the US, with a division based out of Miami, Florida. During this time he also held a position as the president of Rare’s coin machine company Rare Coin-It Inc.
Hochberg was credited over the years with a “special thanks” in games like Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye 007, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Prior to Rare, he was the vice president of arcade maker Centuri.
On social media, former executive Tim Stamper mentioned how Hochberg “changed the course of history” – giving the company access to its first Famicom in the earlier years. Other former Rare employees and industry figures have also paid their respects.
On behalf of the team and community here at Nintendo Life, our thoughts go our to Joel’s family, friends and colleagues.