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Game Over, Press Start to Continue: How Nintendo Conquered the World
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Game Over, Press Start to Continue: How Nintendo Conquered the World

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  806 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
The riveting story of Nintendo's conquest of the interactive entertainment industry offering true tales filled with cocky arrogance, confidence and international intrigue that rival any novel. Whether it is recounting the struggles over the game"Tetris," offering blow-by-blow narrative of Nintendo's bitter legal warfare or its see-saw competition with other companies for m ...more
Paperback, 494 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Cyberactive Media Group (first published January 1st 1993)
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Trevor Hubbard
Jun 08, 2014 Trevor Hubbard rated it really liked it
"Game Over" is a great book. David Sheff presents the story of how Nintendo, a 19th century trading card company, grew to be what it is today (well, not today, really - the early 1990's, when Sheff was writing the book). Sheff makes the story interesting and tense, diving deep into personal accounts of major events in the Nintendo timeline. The way he wrote about Nintendo absolutely transformed my image of the company - they went from the lackadaisical gaming company that represented childish in ...more
Matt Hartzell
May 14, 2014 Matt Hartzell rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History buffs and gamers
Shelves: history, video-games
This exhaustively researched history of Nintendo was a highly interesting read. In some ways, it was painful. As a kid who grew up with a deep love of Nintendo, it was a little disheartening to learn about some of the tactics they employed in their rise to complete dominance of the video game and toy consumer markets. As a child, I had no concept of Nintendo's business practices, which were at times extremely heavy-handed, aggressive and borderline-illegal. Looking at this period of time in retr ...more
Patrick Lum
Oct 02, 2013 Patrick Lum rated it really liked it
With Hiroshi Yamauchi's death late last month I figured it was an opportune time to re-read probably the most comprehensively researched and vivid account of Nintendo's rise to then-dominance both in Japan and in the USA. Unfortunately, Game Over suffers somewhat because it is only really half of the picture of what Nintendo is now - it is a book that ends (initially) in the late 90s, and thus has nothing to say on the state of Nintendo, of consumer expectations and of modern technology. Much of ...more
Jun 17, 2008 Michael rated it liked it
I think all video-game histories are doomed to disappoint me... perhaps nothing matches the feeling of living those days. Written in 1993 (before the rise of the Playstation and the Xbox), this book goes into detail about some unknown-to-me inner workings at Nintendo, especially concerning the Game Boy and the way the corporation dealt with its licensees. Overall, the business side of Nintendo doesn't interest me; I wanted more about game development history. Sadly, the book was somewhat weak on ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Latique rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though it is a tiny little book with an intriguing title, I still didn't expect very much from Game Over: Nintendo's Battle to Dominate Video Games (British title). Oh ho ho, I was so wrong. Just a little background here so people might understand why it is I enjoyed this book so much: I've been playing video games since I was 5 years old and my brother bought a SNES; I've played video games on various platforms, but have always kept up-to-date with Nintendo's latest (my current video game ...more
Chris Salzman
Jun 02, 2011 Chris Salzman rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I've read this one, but it's stuck with me. It's a deep look at the early years of Nintendo's involvement in videogames. I'm continually amazed that people who seem to dislike fun things and love things like board meetings, suits and budgets (here's looking at you Hollywood fat-cats) work so hard to make entertainment businesses profitable. Anyway, good read if you're at all interested in the history of Nintendo.
Matthew Ciarvella
Aug 09, 2015 Matthew Ciarvella rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
For the series video game history enthusiast, but that's not a bad thing. "Game Over" goes seriously "inside baseball" and talks about the business of Nintendo and the story around that business. As a kid who grew up on Nintendo before jumping over to the Xbox in my teen years, this book dissolved my illusions about who Nintendo was during the 80s and 90s. Nevertheless, it was fascinating to see what was going on behind the scenes during the time when all I could think about was the next Mario o ...more
Asher Riley
Mar 03, 2014 Asher Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a few moments here and there that are a bit dry, but, ironically, even those areas of this book are still enjoyable. Overall, "Game Over" is a highly informative, enjoyable, often humorous and inspiring read. Anyone who wants to know all they can about the origins, rise, hardships and early days of Nintendo should absolutely read this book.
Corey Pieper
A few high spots here and there, but mostly because of nostalgic notes and a few curiosities as to how Nintendo did business. Probably the most enjoyable parts were about the creator of Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov.
Interesting book, though that it was easy to pick up and put down was its greatest weakness and strength. Some parts were fascinating, others less so. More later when I'm not on my iPad, maybe.
Bruce Wong
Mar 13, 2010 Bruce Wong rated it it was amazing
Ever want to know far too much about Nintendo and the early days of the video game industry AND the Japanese way of business? Well this book is for you!
Jan 27, 2014 Logan rated it it was amazing
For anyone interested in the history of video games, of Nintendo in particular, this is an absolutely fantastic book, and fun to read too.
Mar 05, 2014 Todd rated it it was amazing
Read the first edition of this book, not the one pictured.
Samantha Styles
It varied from interesting to boring.
Jul 06, 2014 Brett rated it liked it
Pretty interesting book for early Nintendo addicts like myself who are now "grown up". has a lot of good insight into the early players of NOA and how certain products came about. The book ends in 1992 so much of the discussion is outdated. I would prefer to get an updated version with the addition of Sony and Microsoft entering the market so I will keep searching for other books on the subject.
Joao Alqueres
Aug 14, 2015 Joao Alqueres rated it it was amazing
This is a seminal and definitive work, thoroughly researched and carefully put together in a chronological way. It is the go-to source to get a deep understanding from Nintendo origins to its transition to Nintendo64 (circa 95). The text is full of interesting and funny stories that are not available anywhere else. It is clear to me that the author put a great effort in collecting this information. The only downside is the lack of visual aids so you better open Youtube and google Images to have ...more
Clyde Kim
Feb 19, 2016 Clyde Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The History of Nintendo

This title is a nice overview on the business side of how Nintendo went from a simple toy company to one of the video game giants in the world. Although I was looking for something that explored the background of the designers of these iconic games (which is briefly explored), the story of how NOA was built, the law suits and the marketing strategies were interesting dramas that would probably make a great TV show some day. If you've ever wondered how one of your favorite
Oct 29, 2014 Zacharia rated it it was amazing
Incredibly exhaustive. Very, very informative. I would've liked to hear more about certain key people but that is just personal preference. If you're interested in video games history (and no, not just nintendo. This book touches on Atari, Apple, EA and a ton of other people and companies), culture and development you owe it to yourself to read this.
Maybe 4 stars.... it was a good read, and interesting peek back 20 years ago when this was written. Learning about the origins of Nintendo, and the formation of NOA (Nintendo of America), was particularly fascinating, as were the bits about some of the start developers and companies. It also covered a bit more about the Atari era than I expected, which was a nice surprise. All in all, I do recommend this book if you have any interest or tie to the video game industry, just keep in mind when it w ...more
Neil Luczai
Nov 29, 2015 Neil Luczai rated it really liked it
Best non-fiction/historical book about the video game industry, a must read. Not only informal but also a entertaining read as it presents the story of nintendos rise to power in a very narrative way without compromising the informative nature of the book.
Jan 02, 2013 Sicofonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is about the process that took Nintendo from being a humble deck cards maker to a multi-million dollar corporation that is nowadays. The book itself covers the history of Nintendo from the very beginning until 1993. In certain chapters I had the feeling there was too much 'gossip-telling', and it is a recurrent issue in the book, I suppose it's just for the sake of filling pages.
It is also a pity it was written way back in the day, because it misses a lot about the N64 period.
Other than tha
Sarah Daigen
May 28, 2013 Sarah Daigen rated it really liked it
"Game Over" is a fun and accessible read. Part video game history, part marketing and business/economics book, but always put in Layman's terms with an eye towards establishing the characters involved in Nintendo's rise (and there ARE some characters), it's an interesting read. I gobbled it up in about two weeks, with a pause in between to finish another book. For fans of Mario, or fans of business 101 - or even just a lay reader fascinated by cultural phenomena - I recommend this book highly. I ...more
John Dagen
Jun 16, 2014 John Dagen rated it liked it
Early history of Nintendo's move into video games (after being a playing card company) and their period of dominance from the 80s to early 90s. Some great history and stories but I really wish it had focused more on the Sega rivalry instead of just briefly summarizing it towards the end.

Some parts haven't aged well with today's hindsight. Particularly bad is how much attention it pays to the "CD-ROM and multimedia will usher in a golden age of edutainment and knowledge" hype. It's maybe not fair
Aaron Giddings
Sep 02, 2014 Aaron Giddings rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Good, but dated. This is a great history, primarily of the 1980s and early 90s rise of Nintendo, in the video game industry. However, it suffers from being somewhat dated at this point. Many of the rosy mid-90s predictions seem laughably wrong now, and in addition, the book suffers from some editing problems, with the author repeating information in various chapters and skipping around the timeline for seemingly no good reason.

Still, if you're interested in Nintendo history, or want to get a rea
May 28, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing
I willing to bet you don’t love Nintendo as much as I do. My formative years, like many people my age, were spent in front of a TV hooked up to the NES. Tracing Nintendo from their humble beginnings as a playing card company through their rise and total dominance of the home console market in the early 90’s until the launch of the Nintendo 64. Not so much a book strictly about video games but more a book about what it takes for a corporation to succeed, Hint: you’d better have a really good lawy ...more
Justin Wicker
Apr 23, 2015 Justin Wicker rated it liked it
Been honestly meaning to re-read it. Remember enjoying it but not being overly impressed.
Jan 13, 2015 Richard rated it it was amazing
An excellent read on the history of Nintendo of America. I've re-read this book twice!
Aug 02, 2012 Harper rated it liked it

Even forgiving the issues with the book that hindsight causes I didn't like it like I thought I would. It's very awkwardly written at times, so the story fails to engage. Still it is chock full of interesting information and quotes about early Nintendo and the writer does understand that the multimedia Internet home device is the future of entertainment which makes the last quarter of the book prescient (even if he buys the industry's line that this was just around the corner... in 1992.)
Dec 04, 2011 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting history of Nintendo with a particular focus on the company's battle with Tengen and the development of Tetris as the flagship Game Boy title. The book does suffer a bit from being released at the height of the early 1990s panic that the Japanese were conspiring to economically take over the United States (the book refers to Michael Crichton's "Rising Sun" on a couple of occasions) this explains the book's title and (for the first edition) sensationalist packaging.
Nov 23, 2015 Ein rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-fiction
Интереснейшая история, посредственная книга, плохой перевод.
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David Sheff is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Beautiful Boy. Sheff's other 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 ongoing research and reporting on the science of addiction earned him a place on Time Magazine's list of the Wor ...more
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“When Sigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, Luigi, and Zelda, heard the complaints about video games, he simply shrugged his shoulders. “Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock ’n’ roll.” 1 likes
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