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Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World Paperback – March 29, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (March 29, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679736220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679736226
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,323,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

DAVID SHEFF's books include Game Over, China Dawn, and All We Are Saying. His many articles and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Wired, Fortune, and elsewhere. His piece for the New York Times Magazine, My Addicted Son, won an award from the American Psychological Association for Outstanding Contribution to Advancing the Understanding of Addiction. It led to his #1 New York Times Best Seller, Beautiful Boy, which was named the best nonfiction book of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. Beautiful Boy was also an Amazon Best Book of 2008. Sheff and his family live in Inverness, California.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 35 customer reviews
I recommend this book to anyone interested in the industry of video games.
Leng Ho Keat
This book covers the rise of old-school Nintendo, from its transformation from a trading card company to right around the launch of the N64.
Bob O
If you're into video games or just like reading about how things came to be, this is a great read.
PattyCakes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Karl Becker on November 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
...I'd be worth almost as much as M. Arakawa. This book has been referenced many, many times in various articles. If some reporter needs a "secret" fact about Nintendo, they'll turn to this book. "Did you know the president of Nintendo of America has a tendency to fall asleep?" and so on. Of course, this book is worthy of all that referencing, as it is one interesting tale of a pretty interesting, if not secretive, company. If you're interested in knowing a little more about what *really* was the cause of some of the biggest video games in history, this is one source of knowledge. The best part about the book is, if you're a fan of Nintendo (or video games in general) , this book will grab your attention and not let go. For as much of the book is spent on Tetris, it's all that more interesting. Hearing about secret meetings in Communist-run facilities, with these guys from little video game companies running back and forth and deceiving these Russians who don't know what kind of hit they have on their hands... it's James Bond-level stuff! A great read!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Leng Ho Keat on June 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was caught up in the Pokemon craze for a while and when I came across this book about Nintendo, the game company that distributed the game, I just had to read it. I was not to regret it.
The author had an easy style, one that merged dry facts with a fair amount of story telling. He also managed to throw in suspense at regular intervals, just like a novel. But that is what makes this book, in my opinion, an excellent one. There are serious lessons in business to be learned from this book, yet the author managed to tell it in a easily digestible style. Perhaps, it has got to do with his extensive experience in writing articles for magazines.
While it detailed the history of Nintendo and how it rose from a humble card-making operation to the dominant player in the world of video-games, I was more impressed with the management lessons that could be learned from the marketing genius of the company. Yamauchi, the person behind Nintendo, was clearly an astute businessman in his own right. While not as famous as the late Morita, he clearly has a place among the very best of Japanese businessmen in the 1980s.
The book also revealed the legal and social environment of the 1980s and early 1990s. In a country like America where litigation can be considered a profit centre of a large corporation, Nintendo was faced with several legal suits that could potentially cost it millions of dollars, including the possibility of bankruptcy. Coupled with the fact that America at that time was also faced with one of the largest trade deficits with Japan and Japan-bashing was the call of the day, how Nintendo managed to survive those years was another interesting sub-plot in the book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely fabulous. David Sheff succeeds in giving a vivid history of one of the greatest game companies. It captivates the reader with it's suspense. I especially liked the stories on how Nintendo won various lawsuits, how the different games were developed, how they got their names(especially Mario)and the company's struggle with negative press publicity. Brings out clearly American's obsession with video games and their original apathy towards the same. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Minoru Arakawa and the other founders are not only profiled in their professional capacities but also the struggles in their personal lives are well brought out. The author's quickness to point out when Nintendo was wrong and his sense of humour are uplifting. The book is an absolute must have for anyone interested in the world of business.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
I picked this one up in the bargain bin of a local bookstore recently, and figured that it would be an interesting look at the company behind so many hours of my entertainment when I was a kid.
I was surprised to find a very interesting, well written, and in-depth book talking about all the major players in the industry, from the executives of Nintendo to the game designers at the individual software houses.
This book is a great deal of fun and you always want to see what's going happen next. Sheff makes it so dramatic that you wonder whether he's making it all up because its almost too good to be true.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Seiche on May 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Great book - couldn't put it down. Remarkably bought it at a used book store for $2. Sheff does a really good job at detailing the intricacies of intellectual property and licensing behind Nintendo.
Bottom line is that Howard Lincoln architected some of the winningest deals that made Nintendo the force it now is. Good excercise in co-opetition or game theory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By guy incognito on April 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Insanely addictive read, was hard to put down. From engineering ingenuity to financial takeovers to international politics with Bush and Gorbachev, this story has it all. What a history of not only Nintendo's ascension but the videogame industry from its infancy. Of how Atari employed a young Steve Jobs to help reduce number of chips used in games and how the creator of Tetris was rewarded for his ingenuity with a pc and a game boy (the only one in USSR). Can't recommend enough.
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