Seven Fascinating Facts of Nintendo History

Dive into the world of Nintendo, the gaming giant with a history as rich and amazing as the games it has graced us with, as we uncover seven fascinating facts about this iconic company.

1. The Origin of Mario’s Name: Back in 1981, Nintendo of America was preparing to release its soon-to-be iconic game, Donkey Kong. However, financial challenges led to an unforgettable visit from the company’s landlord, demanding overdue rent. This altercation happened in front of the company’s president, Minoru Arakawa. In a unique twist, the team decided to name Donkey Kong’s protagonist after their relentless landlord, hence the legendary “Mario” was born.

2. Shigeru Miyamoto’s Safety First Policy: Renowned for creating the likes of Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, Shigeru Miyamoto is an invaluable asset to Nintendo. Such is his importance to the company that they have barred him from biking to work, emphasizing that his safety is paramount.

3. Nintendo’s Hint Hotline: If you were a gamer stuck in a Nintendo game during the 90s, your best bet would’ve been the Nintendo Power Line. This hotline, active until 2010, was a go-to source for game hints, solidifying Nintendo’s support for their gaming community.

4. The $9,000 Kid Icarus: In an astonishing discovery, a man from California stumbled upon a pristine, unopened copy of a 1987 Nintendo game called Kid Icarus in his mother’s attic. Incredibly, the game, still in its original shopping bag with a receipt indicating its price of $38.45, was auctioned for a staggering $9,000.

5. The Stubborn Ape – Donkey Kong: When Shigeru Miyamoto proposed the name “Donkey Kong,” intending to convey “stubborn ape” to the American audience, he was met with laughter from Nintendo of America. Despite this initial response, the name stuck and has since become synonymous with Nintendo’s gaming history.

6. Nintendo’s Best Selling Games: Out of the 50 best-selling video games of all time, an impressive 26 were developed by Nintendo, a testament to the company’s enduring popularity and innovative game design.

7. Nintendo in a Time Capsule: In a testament to Nintendo’s cultural impact in the 1990s, a time capsule was buried at the old Nickelodeon Studios. It encapsulated items important to children of that era, including a Nintendo Gameboy, a Back to the Future VHS, and CDs from pop icon Michael Jackson. This highlights the status Nintendo had in shaping the childhood of an entire generation.

The Extraordinary Saga of Sega: 7 Unusual Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Born amidst the sun-kissed shores of Hawaii as an American enterprise, Sega initially served as a key distributor of coin-operated jukeboxes, games, and slot machines to military installations. The company made an unexpected move to Japan following the US government’s decision to outlaw slot machines in 1952, marking a new chapter in its corporate narrative.

Long before the era of Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus, Sega was already setting the pace. In an impressive display of foresight, the company rolled out an online gaming subscription service in 1994, years ahead of industry giants Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

The compassionate side of Sega was revealed when Kenji Eno, a renowned video game designer, discovered that his creations were admired even by blind fans who played them with extraordinary dedication. Touched by their efforts, he created “Real Sound: Kaze no Regret“, a unique blank-screen game designed solely for visually impaired players. In a noble gesture, Sega distributed a thousand consoles, pre-loaded with the game, to blind individuals. The game remains a favored choice among visually impaired players today.

The New Jersey–based video-game developer Imagineering created a peculiar game in the ’90s, ‘Desert Bus.’ Players undertake an 8-hour real-time journey from Tucson, Arizona, to Las Vegas, Nevada, and earn just a single point for each completed trip. Despite its seemingly dull objective, the game’s quirky charm has attracted a cult following.

The iconic Sonic the Hedgehog 3 game harbors a unique secret; the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, was involved in its music production. His involvement was short-lived due to the contemporaneous child molestation scandal or his dissatisfaction with the sound quality of the Sega Genesis. Nonetheless, some samples of his songs still remain in the game, though.

Sega produced an RPG named Segagaga for the Dreamcast. The game’s objective mirrors the real-life struggle of the company: to ensure Sega’s survival in the fiercely competitive console market.

The tale of Sega’s resilience climaxed in 2002 when the company’s president made an extraordinary sacrifice. To rescue Sega from bankruptcy following the Dreamcast’s failure, he gave up his entire company stock worth $695 million. Tragically, his heroic effort was followed by his untimely demise after a fierce fight with cancer.

Nintendo’s Resurgence: Reviving the Video Game Industry Post-1983 Recession

The video game industry in the US faced a significant downturn in 1983, seeing a sharp drop in revenue from $3.2 billion to a mere $100 million by 1985. However, the slump was mitigated when Nintendo launched the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), a move that is often credited with the industry’s subsequent resurgence.

From Silicon & Synapse to Blizzard: A Name Evolution in Gaming History

The video game developer and publisher known today as Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., originally started out as Silicon & Synapse, Inc., established on February 8, 1991. Due to unfortunate confusion with silicon-based breast implants, they altered their name to Chaos Studios, Inc. in 1993. However, to avoid conflict with Chaos Technologies, they underwent another name change in 1994. The name Blizzard Entertainment was chosen, as it cleared a name verification process. This American company is now renowned for its video game development and publishing activities.