It has been revealed that Akira Saito, a programmer for M2, has passed away at the age of 43. His death was due to cancer, which he had been battling since last year.

M2 is largely known for their high-quality emulation, including the Sega 3D Classics series on the 3DS, as well as various systems for Nintendo’s Virtual Console service. In a blog post (in Japanese) by M2 president Naoki Horii, it’s mentioned that Saito was particularly proficient in sound emulation, and was also a big fan of Sega. Saito also worked as a programmer on Konami’s “Rebirth” series for WiiWare, including Gradius Rebirth, Contra Rebirth, and Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth.

We here at The Punk Effect send out sincerest condolences to Mr. Saito’s family, friends and colleagues.

Sources: Sega Nerds, Gamasutra