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Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World
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Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  1,010 Ratings  ·  62 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
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 2nd 2011 by Vintage (first published January 1st 1993)
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Daniel Guzman
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buscaba la historia de Nintendo y este fue el mejor libro que encontré. Por un lado, me hizo falta explorar el lado creativo, que en parte era lo que buscaba. Nintendo está lleno de historias locas como la creación de Mario Bros 2, o la concesión de los derechos y producción de la película de Mario Bros, pero poco de esto aparece en Game Over.

En cambio, me llevé una gran sorpresa leyendo sobre la perspectiva de negocios de esta empresa. Desde que nace hace cien años siendo una productora de car
Matt Hartzell
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Trevor Hubbard
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Patrick Lum
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris Salzman
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Asher Riley
Mar 03, 2014 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.
Bruce Wong
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
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.
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the first edition of this book, not the one pictured.
Samantha Styles
It varied from interesting to boring.
A.N. Mignan
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A comprehensive history of Nintendo, the company, its masterminds, visionaries, and other businessmen. We do learn a lot, of course, about Nintendo but also about the rest of the video game industry of the 1980s (and early 1990s), including famous companies like Atari and Sega. Especially interesting, at least to me: Nintendo coming up with Game & Watch (the precursor to the Game Boy) following the electronic calculator boom, the infamous video game crash of 1983 seeing the end of Atari and ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty detailed overview of the story of Nintendo. A little bit dated as I think it was published in '92, but that's to be expected. It's also not a pro-Nintendo book; it does address what people would call underhanded tactics and monopolistic behavior. The latter section of the book about wrangling for the rights to Tetris could be turned into a legal thriller of sorts; it was surprisingly exciting.

The arc is basically a "little train that could" story where the train ultimately then becomes G
Jeroen Nijs
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is mainly a book about the early history of Nintendo of America, until about 1992. There is some mention of Nintendo in Japan, and the last chapter has a few paragraphs about Europe, but the meat is about the US. Also, in the edition I read, there is an afterword that was written in 1994.

If you can live with that limited scope, it is a highly interesting book. If you are interested in the history of video games, you should definitely read it.

One minor annoyance is the fact that the timeline
Jul 20, 2015 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
Matthew Ciarvella
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Clyde Kim
Jul 20, 2015 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
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aaron Giddings
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Dagen
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
Sarah Daigen
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
May 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Joao Alqueres
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

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.)
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: video-games
For anyone who is a fan of early video games and is interested in the history of how the industry began, this is a must read. Not only is this book highly informative, it is written in a way that captures and keeps your attention. It was a refreshing blast from the past. So much so that I had to hop online and order some of the games I used to play as a kid. I would love to see a follow up version as this book ends around the N64 era.
Jørn Inge Frostad
An interesting read, at times, though in my opinion, it is marred somewhat by its strange style of prose and unnecessarily detailed characterisation. The sheer knowledge and journalistic labour seemingly invested in the text is not to be underestimated, however, and if one is looking for a detailed account of the «second wave» of video game mania, no further look is needed (although I'm sure the bibliography on the subject is getting meatier by the minute).
Carlos Duarte do Nascimento
This is the #1 source of information about Nintendo history. From the early days as a Hanafuda card manufacturer until the early SNES era, the author dives into the people (Yamauchi, Arakawa, Main, Miyamoto), the consoles, the games and every interesting tale (the Tetris negotiations, the battle with Tengen and many more). You can't go wrong if you like classic Nintendo games and want to know everything about how they came to existence.
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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
More about David Sheff...
“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
“most people could not pronounce Nintendo and were not interested in learning how.” 0 likes
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