The story of how Nintendo became such a huge name throughout the world and how the deal went down is something that a lot of people might not believe if they heard the honest truth from the man that brokered the initial deal, Owe Bergsten. While everyone knows that Nintendo is a Japanese product, no arguments and no need for one, Owe was one of those that helped to make it a truly well-known commodity that would eventually become one of the most popular and endearing game systems the world over. And to think, it all started so simply. Joe Skrebels of IGN can give you the long and short of it, but the idea is that Owe went to Japan trying to figure out what he could import that would be a big seller and came across a very simple and not entirely popular game that held his attention for long enough that the decision to make something of it came to fruition within his mind. Owe wasn’t a big player at the time, but he knew how to get by in the world by making things appear a little more impressive than they were, and despite the many upon many obstacles he faced the success that he wanted did eventually come his way. And it all happened because of a lie, and the idea that the internet hadn’t been invented yet, meaning there was no easy way for people to check his validity when it came to being a distributor.
The lie was that he was essentially someone that could help take the game he’d become interested in to new heights that might allow both supplier and distributor, a title he would claim, to flourish in a big way. Unfortunately one of the earliest problems was that he couldn’t get the game to sell in his native country. Damien McFerran of NintendoLife has more to say about this. What had caught his attention wasn’t selling initially to anyone else, and before he knew it the product had changed, as technology is wont to do, and he had to change things up more than once in order to get the ball rolling again. But in this current day and age do you think that anyone knows about this story other than those that have done their homework? The chances are slim to none really since most people that are into Nintendo want to play the games, learn about the characters, and master whatever game is their favorite. Thoughts of Nintendo usually include Mario, Luigi, and many other titles that have become popular and endured the years. Even thoughts of Duck Hunt and that stupid grinning dog might be more common than the story behind it, and at this point it wouldn’t matter how many people knew since at this time Nintendo is a legend in the gaming world no matter how far it’s moved ahead. Nintendo games were what many people cut their teeth on, metaphorically-speaking, and the brand name that many people look to for nostalgic reasons as well as current entertainment.
This makes a person wonder whether the stories that we’ve been given are the unvarnished truth or if there’s something else to it that we’re not hearing. It wouldn’t be all that surprising at this point to learn that there is in fact another side of the story that has to be revealed in the case of many different parts of pop culture that we believe that we have a good handle on. But to learn that one of the greatest gaming systems in the world was based around a lie that eventually became the truth is something that makes me wonder just how many great ideas have been born of lies but became their own truths after a while. Sometimes the human imagination, coupled with determination, ambition, and drive, make strange but wonderful things happen based on desperation and a need to make something out of little to nothing. Owe did this in a way that’s hard to fully explain since it takes someone that not only has nerves of steel but could also talk the devil into turning on the AC in hell if they had the inclination. Yeah, it’s that serious because the way he handled this deal was that impressive. There are only so many people in this world that could possibly broker a deal like this and make it work in a way that would one day produce a legend that would be so enduring as Nintendo has become.
There’s no denying that Nintendo has become a worldwide sensation and has been for a long time now, and to think that it was based on something that could have blown up in Owe’s face is kind of amusing really, but not in a mean sense. In a big way it’s impressive really since it took a lot of nerve to do what he did.