Hiroshi Yamauchi

Believe it or not, there was once a time when the video games as a whole were considered dead.

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Back in 1983, before I was just a twinkle in my mother’s eye, Atari and companies like it declared bankruptcy due to bad business practices, a flooded market, and horrible games that made way less then the average then-rich game executive was willing to predict. The term “video game” became a dirty word for board meetings and investors, as it became clear to them that the video game industry was a massive money pit. Or so they thought.

Meanwhile, a gambling card company turned arcade game manufacturer in Japan saw evidence to the contrary. The Famicom system was selling like hot cakes in the land of the rising sun, and the prospective CEO saw a potential market growth in their video game system. He took a huge risk as he brought his business venture to the United States, and only managed to convince retailers to store their product by shipping it with the robot you see here. The robot wasn’t a great success, but the game console that came with it winded up selling over 60 million units, allowed the video game console to rise from the grave, and brought a new golden age of video gaming back into the public consciousness. The results can still be seen today.

You all can guess where this is going; that company was called Nintendo, that system was the Nintendo Entertainment System, and Hiroshi Yamauchi was their CEO.

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Hiroshi Yamauchi: born November 7th, 1927 – died September 19 2013.

 

Rest in Peace, Yamauchi San

We honor you passing, because you refused to let our games pass away.

 


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