Our last post concluded with the video gaming industry crashing in 1983, despite a huge start after the innovative creation of the Magnavox Oddisey and the rise of Atari. This event took place after a flood of overhyped, low-quality games diluted the market. But we enjoy videogames more than ever nowadays so, what really saved the market?
Nintendo To The Rescue
Nintendo made 1985 made a strategic product relocation from Japan to the United States. Their #1 product had been known as Famicom in Japan, but in the US it became the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). A name everyone could remember, in spite of its longitude. The 8bit NES game console brought improved graphics, colour, speed, sound, and gameplay…and music! 30 years later we can still remember the distinctive and fun soundtrack of Super Mario Bros.
The company took over the world of gaming when they released Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Metroid. These games remain the core of gaming that many have not gotten over even till date, with new sequels and remakes coming up every year.
And NES Did it, Again
Additionally, Nintendo made regulations for third party games that would be allowed to run on its console. With this, they made sure the quality of the games was kept high, thus avoiding another “crash”. This sure brought results with the birth of games such as Capcom’s Megaman, Squaresoft’s (now Square Enix) Final Fantasy, Konami’s Castlevania, and many more.
1989 came and Nintendo made waves again with the release of the 8bit GameBoy handheld gaming console, created by Gumpei Yokoi, the same genius who made Metroid possible. The console came with its own greenish screen and everybody loved it, even if it was bulky, cumbersome, and drained more batteries than you could possibly afford. But the key here was games, and there was a plethora of awesome titles for the device.
And Along Came Tetris- The Four Squared Game We All love
Tetris was already available in 1984, but it was made widely popular with the Gameboy version, one that will forever remain in the hearts of gamers. Fast-forward many, many years later, and in 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship- CTWC launched to keep the Tetris name engraved on the sands of time. You could check these videos to see how your childhood games have transformed with the same model and mechanics, yet they are still interesting. (insert video links here from old Tetris and Tetris for Championships and Nintendo Switch)
The Console Wars
At this point in the history of Video games, Nintendo Entertainment System was totally dominating the industry – unrivaled. But this went on not for long. SEGA came in 1989 with a 16-bit Genesis Console- cool huh? But it had a very slow start. The problem is that a console would only be as good as the games on it. But SEGA didn’t stop, in 1991 they released the much adored supersonic mascot and game, Sonic the Hedgehog.
With clever ads, TV commercials and aggressive marketing strategies, such as claiming to have “blast processing” -which didn’t mean anything, really they took the world and made a huge success. Marques Brownlee MKHD, in a video, explained what the rivalry looked like while reviewing retro game techs in April 2019.
He pointed out that Nintendo was not used with having to go the extra mile to market their games. But SEGA was truly the inception of video game marketing. SEGA ads flooded the TV screen. They were innovative with their advertisements and strategy, so much so that it blew people’s minds off. Yet Nintendo had an ace in the hole, they also released their own 16-bit Super NES (SNES) the same year Sonic launched. This caused a schism between players and homes. Some homes which had NES and SNES consoles with more conservative and family friendly games, and the other ‘cool’ kids or homes that had SEGA consoles with Sonic and more teen/adult oriented games. This was the heart of the era known as the “Console Wars”.
Rating Video Games
Games such as Mortal Kombat 2 and Street Fighter 2 in the mid-90s saw hindrances and lawsuits from people who had the opinion that the violence in these games were harmful to children. This led to the industry-wide Entertainment Software Rating Board and Rating signs on all game packages ever since then.
What happened to SEGA in 2001
SEGA was popular then. Maybe you can remember Sunset Riders, with Pacoloco, some other bosses you had to fight and the crazy Rose boss fight at the end of the game. Rocket Knight, Streets of Rage, Contra Hard Corps, the Sonic Trilogy, and a myriad of fabulous and super fast space shooters. SEGA also brought celebrities as big as Michael Jackson into gaming consoles, with the movie to game adaptation of Moonwalker. The Sega Genesis had a wide lifespan and saw a couple of add-on devices to keep it alive, like the Sega CD and the unsuccessful 32X. Then the Sega Saturn, successor to the Genesis, flopped hard. But Sega had a champion hidden under the rug-the mighty 128-bit Dreamcast. It was short lived, but the plethora of good games and absence of shovelware is unique. Sadly, it had to compete with two other titans, the Nintendo Gamecube and the Playstation 2, and despite being more advanced than the latter, Sega´s previous shortcomings had taken a considerable economic toll on the company.
2001 was a big surprise for diehard fans of SEGA consoles, as they made a critical and widely unpopular decision. Stay tuned as we will know what happened to them and the videogame scene of the early 2000’s in the next article on WUNBIT!
An Order of Fresh and Cool Games, Coming Up!
Watch out for our own cool video games and exciting news on WUN tokens coming up in the next few weeks. We are set to keep games thrilling and exciting while making them profitable for gamers around the world. Join Wunbit today, it’s free!