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War Stories: How Nintendo sold the NES to a skeptical country

Produced and directed by by Justin Wolfson, edited by Chris Jones. Click here for transcript.

Today Nintendo is a household name, the family-friendly gaming equivalent of a major brand like Disney. But it wasn’t always that way.

Ars Technica’s latest War Stories video looks at the early days of Nintendo’s 80s invasion of American shores and the marketing muscle it took to convince the American public that this Japanese company could revive a floundering video game market.

Building a brand

Perhaps more than anyone else, the person who helped massage Nintendo’s early branding and image in the United States was Gail Tilden, the company’s US marketing manager. When she started in 1983, Nintendo of America was still a small 70-person company focused on arcade games like Donkey Kong and one-off portables in the Game & Watch line.

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