Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children

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9780679404699: Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children

A chronicle of Nintendo's quick climb to the top of the global video game market describes the company's tactics and how they have been used in the last decade to help Nintendo become one of the most successful high-tech companies in the world. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An exhaustive, gung-ho progress report on Japan's Nintendo, the transnational enterprise that bestrides the expanding market for computer/video games like a colossus. Drawing on what appears to be open-door access to corporate brass, freelance journalist Sheff (Playboy, Rolling Stone, etc.) provides a thorough rundown on the Kyoto-based company, which for much of its 103-year history had trouble surviving in the humdrum playing-card business. Credit for the family firm's dramatic breakout goes to Hiroshi Yamauchi, who first took Nintendo into electronic toys and then (as the state of the semiconductor art permitted) into ever more dazzling high-tech diversions--notably, the immensely popular Mario Bros. series of games. By Sheff's tellingly detailed account, the ultracompetitive CEO cajoled, inspired, or browbeat a small cadre of talented engineers and programmers into creating products that yielded pretax profits approximating $1.25 billion on sales exceeding $4.3 billion in fiscal-year 1992. While rivals scramble to keep pace with the industry's top gun, Nintendo could, Sheff argues, cash in on the commercial potential of its installed hardware base, now devoted solely to fun and games. At last count, roughly two-fifths and one- third, respectively, of the households in Japan and the US owned one or more of the company's playback systems. The design of these machines is such that most models could be incorporated into networks with interactive capabilities (banking, bill-paying, retrieval of information from databases, etc.) while maintaining their appeal for the youthful consumers who use them mainly for amusement. Whether Nintendo will lead the way into a brave new tuned-in, turned-on, wired-up world remains an open question in Sheff's mind, but he leaves little doubt that it has the clout and capacity to do so. A revelatory, if overlong, appraisal of the world's multimedia past, present, and future as shaped by its dominant player. (Fifteen line drawings--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Using extensive interviews with Nintendo executives in Japan, America, and Europe, Sheff, a magazine reporter, gives a narrative account of the swift rise of the Japanese company from the early Eighties to the present. This well-written book examines what has made this company--which has $4.7 billion in annual sales in America alone--so successful and pervasive. It loads 16 chapters with sales totals, market shares, and sweeping comparisons with IBM, Apple, and Disney in an attempt to get inside the workings of this relentlessly competitive high-tech business. In nonacademic and nontechnical language, this book does a good job of exploring Nintendo's planning, R & D and engineering, product development, market penetration and development, Japanese business methods, software development, arrival in America and legal issues, business with the Russians, worldwide competition, and plans for staking out the future. Filled with absorbing human anecdotes, this refreshing work is recommended not only for specialized business readers but for anyone curious to learn about the flourishing Nintendo organization. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/92.
- Joseph W. Leonard, Miami Univ., Oxford, Ohio
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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David Sheff
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