New history shows Nintendo used unethical practices to get credit for Mario64!

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TigerSuperman

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#1 TigerSuperman
Member since 2013 • 4331 Posts
Argonaut being used and abused Starting at the beginning:

The end came when we pitched to do a 3D platform game, the likes of which had never been done before. We mocked up a prototype using Yoshi. It was essentially the world's first 3D platform game and was obviously a big risk - Nintendo had never let an outside company use their characters before, and weren't about to, either. This is the moment the deal fell apart. We later made that game into Croc: Legend of the Gobbos for the PlayStation, Saturn and PC, which became our biggest ever game in terms of sales and also in royalties, since we owned the IP.

Shame, left with cut up resources and forced to change to systems with different developing programs. Causing an inevitably delay. I feel bad for them, getting no credit for their hard work, while Nintendo when on grabbing all of it for stuff they did not know how to do at first, and using their codes, and washing them off to the side with whatever incomplete package they had.

"Miyamoto-san went on to make Mario 64, which had the look and feel of our Yoshi game - but with the Mario character, of course - and beat Croc to market by around a year," San says. "Miyamoto-san came up to me at a show afterwards and apologised for not doing the Yoshi game with us and thanked us for the idea to do a 3D platform game. He also said that we would make enough royalties from our existing deal to make up for it. That felt hollow to me, as I'm of the opinion that Nintendo ended our agreement without fully realising it. They canned Star Fox 2 even though it was finished and used much of our code in Star Fox 64 without paying us a penny.

Cancelling Starfox 64 and using the code that was already done for 64. Making mario 64 based off another design that was stolen after pretty much spitting on poor Argonaut. This is like a reverse Valve, because Valve didn't go taking stuff and spitting on people for games like L4D and Counter Strike.

They also poached some of our best programmers - Dylan, Giles and Krister - which was inevitable since they had lived in Japan for so long that they weren't going to come home anytime soon. We had taught them 3D games and left them a permanent legacy of being able to make such games. I'm not bitter, but I do feel that Argonaut was used and then spat out by Nintendo. I also feel they undervalued us; we could have done so much more. We had built a Virtual Reality gaming system for them called Super Visor that would've been awesome, but instead they canned our project - which was full colour, had head tracking and 3D texture mapping - and released the ill-fated Virtual Boy in its place.

I am slightly happy that their later attempt of spitting and stealing unethically failed with the Virtual Boy. They already get credit for stuff they never did already. And Nintendo made sure to engrave it on people heads. I hope more stuff like this pops up. Nes history is already questionable at best, SNES 3d history has been revealed, and now N64. . . . . . . . http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-04-born-slippy-the-making-of-star-fox
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BranKetra

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#2 BranKetra
Member since 2006 • 51726 Posts

What a shame if true. Nintendo is infamous for not treating developers besides its first-party well and basically stealing ideas would tarnish its reputation even more. 

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1PMrFister

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#3 1PMrFister
Member since 2010 • 3134 Posts
Yeah, stuff like that isn't ethical in the least, but to be fair, this was back in the days when Hiroshi Yamauchi was the CEO of Nintendo, who was notorious for running with an iron fist. I'd like to think Iwata isn't like him, but you can't prove a negative.
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nintendoboy16

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#4 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 37497 Posts

Yeah, stuff like that isn't ethical in the least, but to be fair, this was back in the days when Hiroshi Yamauchi was the CEO of Nintendo, who was notorious for running with an iron fist. I'd like to think Iwata isn't like him, but you can't prove a negative.1PMrFister
What I find hilarious is that Yamauchi gets more respect than Iwata does, even after all the things he did.

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conkertheking1

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#5 conkertheking1
Member since 2009 • 872 Posts

Well Starfox 64 is nothhing like Starfox 2, so how much of the original coding can there be?

That really is a shame, though. And Nintendo made bank on all that stufff (except virtual boy).

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Jag85

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#6 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14764 Posts

According to Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, he conceived the idea of a 3D Mario game way back in 1991, while working on Star Fox. He initially called it Super Mario FX before later renaming it Super Mario 64.

According to Argonaut's Jez San, they pitched the idea of a 3D platform game starring Yoshi shortly after Star Fox was released. Since Star Fox was released in 1993, that would mean that they pitched their 3D platformer design to Nintendo nearly two years after Miyamoto claimed to have conceived his concept for a 3D platform game.

The one connection we do have here, however, is Star Fox. It could just be a case of Argonaut and Nintendo members having lunch together at work one day and then coming up with the idea for a 3D platform game together. They then went off their own ways, developing their own takes on this 3D platform game concept (and maybe borrowing a few ideas from one another along the way).

Either way, neither were the first 3D platform games, but they were were predated by Alpha Waves in 1990, Geograph Seal in 1994, and Jumping Flash in 1995. These games had already laid the groundwork for both Mario 64 and Croc, regardless of which one was conceived before the other.

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Jag85

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#7 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14764 Posts

[QUOTE="1PMrFister"]Yeah, stuff like that isn't ethical in the least, but to be fair, this was back in the days when Hiroshi Yamauchi was the CEO of Nintendo, who was notorious for running with an iron fist. I'd like to think Iwata isn't like him, but you can't prove a negative.nintendoboy16

What I find hilarious is that Yamauchi gets more respect than Iwata does, even after all the things he did.

In addition to ruling with an iron fist and making shady business deals, Yamauchi also had links to the Japanese Yakuza, ran Love Hotel chains, and cheated on his wife (or so the rumours say). His image was like that of a "badass" Yakuza boss, that's why he gets more respect...

On the other hand, all Iwata does is keep apologizing and asking people to "please understand" all the time. Gamers only respect "badass" dons like Yamauchi, not softie "weaklings" like Iwata.

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nameless12345

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#8 nameless12345
Member since 2010 • 15125 Posts

While it's unfortunate that Argonaut were given the boot, Mario 64 was in developement since the SNES times, called "Super Mario FX" back then.

Either way, SM64 still managed to re-define platformers (and 3D games in general) when it came out.

I've heard they had a "32-bit, SNES-quality" handheld prototype in 1996 but it took all the way untill 2001's GBA for that to materialize.

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TigerSuperman

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#9 TigerSuperman
Member since 2013 • 4331 Posts

While it's unfortunate that Argonaut were given the boot, Mario 64 was in developement since the SNES times, called "Super Mario FX" back then.

Either way, SM64 still managed to re-define platformers (and 3D games in general) when it came out.

I've heard they had a "32-bit, SNES-quality" handheld prototype in 1996 but it took all the way untill 2001's GBA for that to materialize.

nameless12345
Except this clearly contradicts that, and since ARG made the FX chip pretty much, I think it's most likely another lie Nintendo let people believe.
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Jag85

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#10 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14764 Posts

Here's an interview of Miyamoto describing the game's development in the January 1996 issue (published December 1995) of Nintendo Power:

http://www.snescentral.com/1/0/3/1032/miyamoto_interview.jpg

Power: " When did you begin work on Super Mario 64?"

Miyamoto: "I first had the idea to do a 3-D Mario game when I was working on Star Fox. That was five years ago. I had always wanted to do a game that recreated an entire world in miniature, like minature trains. When I saw what could be done with 3-D modeling on the Star Fox game, I knew we could do much more. Super Mario 64 as you see it here (at Shoshinkai is about 50% mapped out. We have worked on this game for a year and a half, but design work on the game concept began a year before that. During that time, we shared ideas with the hardware design people." (Mr. Miyamoto later pointed out that the early development of any game takes a great deal more time than the final portion. When asked if the game would be completed by April, he said they would be finished in plenty of time.)

In other words, Miyamoto states that his concept for a 3D Mario game came around 1990-1991, while working on Star Fox. On the other hand, Argonaut's Jez San says they presented their design for a 3D Yoshi game some time after Star Fox's release in 1993. This would mean that Miyamoto had already started developing his concept for a 3D Mario game before Argonaut presented their own concept to Nintendo in 1993.

I don't think either of them are lying. It's not at all uncommon for several people to come up with the same idea. Argonaut and Nintendo were part of the same team, working on the same game, after all. It's entirely possible that at some point while working on Star Fox, Argonaut and Nintendo members must have discussed how exciting it might be to have a 3D platformer created using the Star Fox engine. And then they probably went their own ways, with Miyamoto coming up with the Super Mario FX project and Argonaut coming up with their own 3D Yoshi project, with both borrowing ideas from one another along the way.


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SaintJimmmy

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#11 SaintJimmmy
Member since 2007 • 2815 Posts
This was a really good read thank you for sharing that's so crazy.
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Jag85

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#12 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14764 Posts

It's pretty well known that Nintendo had some pretty poor relations with third-party developers during the 8-bit & 16-bit eras. Not only did they have a fall-out with Western developers like Argonaut, but they also had big well-known fall-outs with Japanese companies like Sony and Squaresoft, creating some of their own worst enemies in the PS1 & PS2 eras. In other words, they paid the price for it, with the way they mistreated third-party developers in the 8-bit & 16-bit days coming back to haunt them later on. Despite the change in management from the harsher Yamauchi to the softer Iwata, many third-party developers still don't trust Nintendo to this day.

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#13 nintendoboy16
Member since 2007 • 37497 Posts

[QUOTE="nintendoboy16"]

[QUOTE="1PMrFister"]Yeah, stuff like that isn't ethical in the least, but to be fair, this was back in the days when Hiroshi Yamauchi was the CEO of Nintendo, who was notorious for running with an iron fist. I'd like to think Iwata isn't like him, but you can't prove a negative.Jag85

What I find hilarious is that Yamauchi gets more respect than Iwata does, even after all the things he did.

In addition to ruling with an iron fist and making shady business deals, Yamauchi also had links to the Japanese Yakuza, ran Love Hotel chains, and cheated on his wife (or so the rumours say). His image was like that of a "badass" Yakuza boss, that's why he gets more respect...

On the other hand, all Iwata does is keep apologizing and asking people to "please understand" all the time. Gamers only respect "badass" dons like Yamauchi, not softie "weaklings" like Iwata.

First time I heard that. Either way, I'm not ignoring that Iwata has flaws, but I just think that Yamauchi is worth hating the most (especially after reading that link to Yakuza statement, how did Nintendo not end up like the Gizmondo is beyond me). People say he's worth forgiving because he hired the likes of Miyamoto and Yokoi, but to me, it's like forgiving Mel Gibson for making Mad Max and Lethal Weapon even though he made horrible comments to his girlfriend.

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famicommander

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#14 famicommander
Member since 2008 • 8524 Posts
Croc is a very different game from Super Mario 64 in either case. What Argo is essentially claiming is that they invented the 3D platformer, but Alpha Wave was a polygonal 3D platformer in 1990 and there were many isometric 3D platformers as far back as the 1980s. Just sounds like sour grapes. The Star Fox code situation, if true, is a much bigger issue.
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thebest31406

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#15 thebest31406
Member since 2004 • 3775 Posts
Damn. That's sucks.
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conkertheking1

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#16 conkertheking1
Member since 2009 • 872 Posts

That really is strange, too, that Yamauchi had links with Yakuza?!?

And I heard that trucks loaded with SNES systems were held up by the Yakuza

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#17 veolyn
Member since 2013 • 71 Posts

A lot of the things I liked about Super Mario 64 weren't in Croc, though. It obviously sucks that these guys got screwed, and I do like Croc a lot, but it's hard to pin SM64's success on the work of these devs when the games turned out so different. Croc doesn't have open worlds or SM64's diverse movement system. In the end I think we wound up getting a better game thanks to the split.

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#18 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14764 Posts

[QUOTE="Jag85"]

[QUOTE="nintendoboy16"]What I find hilarious is that Yamauchi gets more respect than Iwata does, even after all the things he did.

nintendoboy16

In addition to ruling with an iron fist and making shady business deals, Yamauchi also had links to the Japanese Yakuza, ran Love Hotel chains, and cheated on his wife (or so the rumours say). His image was like that of a "badass" Yakuza boss, that's why he gets more respect...

On the other hand, all Iwata does is keep apologizing and asking people to "please understand" all the time. Gamers only respect "badass" dons like Yamauchi, not softie "weaklings" like Iwata.

First time I heard that. Either way, I'm not ignoring that Iwata has flaws, but I just think that Yamauchi is worth hating the most (especially after reading that link to Yakuza statement, how did Nintendo not end up like the Gizmondo is beyond me). People say he's worth forgiving because he hired the likes of Miyamoto and Yokoi, but to me, it's like forgiving Mel Gibson for making Mad Max and Lethal Weapon even though he made horrible comments to his girlfriend.

Here's some more details on Nintendo's Yakuza links:

http://kotaku.com/5784314/the-nintendo-theyve-tried-to-forget-gambling-gangsters-and-love-hotels

I'm not too sure if Hiroshi Yamauchi himself had Yakuza links, but it's well known that his Yamauchi ancestors who founded the company had links to the Yakuza, who were often the main target audience for Nintendo's hanafuda gambling cards, long before they entered the video game industry. It might be possible Hiroshi Yamauchi may have had Yakuza links earlier on in his life, but if he did, he most likely left it behind as he slowly established Nintendo as the family-friendly video game company we know today.

EDIT:

It's also worth noting that, much like Nintendo, Disney also apparently had links to the Italian-American mafia in its early days... In other words, Nintendo really is the Disney of gaming!

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conkertheking1

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#19 conkertheking1
Member since 2009 • 872 Posts

[QUOTE="nintendoboy16"]

[QUOTE="Jag85"] In addition to ruling with an iron fist and making shady business deals, Yamauchi also had links to the Japanese Yakuza, ran Love Hotel chains, and cheated on his wife (or so the rumours say). His image was like that of a "badass" Yakuza boss, that's why he gets more respect...

On the other hand, all Iwata does is keep apologizing and asking people to "please understand" all the time. Gamers only respect "badass" dons like Yamauchi, not softie "weaklings" like Iwata.

Jag85

First time I heard that. Either way, I'm not ignoring that Iwata has flaws, but I just think that Yamauchi is worth hating the most (especially after reading that link to Yakuza statement, how did Nintendo not end up like the Gizmondo is beyond me). People say he's worth forgiving because he hired the likes of Miyamoto and Yokoi, but to me, it's like forgiving Mel Gibson for making Mad Max and Lethal Weapon even though he made horrible comments to his girlfriend.

Here's some more details on Nintendo's Yakuza links:

http://kotaku.com/5784314/the-nintendo-theyve-tried-to-forget-gambling-gangsters-and-love-hotels

I'm not too sure if Hiroshi Yamauchi himself had Yakuza links, but it's well known that his Yamauchi ancestors who founded the company had links to the Yakuza, who were often the main target audience for Nintendo's hanafuda gambling cards, long before they entered the video game industry. It might be possible Hiroshi Yamauchi may have had Yakuza links earlier on in his life, but if he did, he most likely left it behind as he slowly established Nintendo as the family-friendly video game company we know today.

EDIT:

It's also worth noting that, much like Nintendo, Disney also apparently had links to the Italian-American mafia in its early days... In other words, Nintendo really is the Disney of gaming!

Thats funny because they still promote gambling

180px-M64DS_Memory_Match.PNG

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Jag85

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#20 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14764 Posts

[QUOTE="Jag85"]

[QUOTE="nintendoboy16"]First time I heard that. Either way, I'm not ignoring that Iwata has flaws, but I just think that Yamauchi is worth hating the most (especially after reading that link to Yakuza statement, how did Nintendo not end up like the Gizmondo is beyond me). People say he's worth forgiving because he hired the likes of Miyamoto and Yokoi, but to me, it's like forgiving Mel Gibson for making Mad Max and Lethal Weapon even though he made horrible comments to his girlfriend.

conkertheking1

Here's some more details on Nintendo's Yakuza links:

http://kotaku.com/5784314/the-nintendo-theyve-tried-to-forget-gambling-gangsters-and-love-hotels

I'm not too sure if Hiroshi Yamauchi himself had Yakuza links, but it's well known that his Yamauchi ancestors who founded the company had links to the Yakuza, who were often the main target audience for Nintendo's hanafuda gambling cards, long before they entered the video game industry. It might be possible Hiroshi Yamauchi may have had Yakuza links earlier on in his life, but if he did, he most likely left it behind as he slowly established Nintendo as the family-friendly video game company we know today.

EDIT:

It's also worth noting that, much like Nintendo, Disney also apparently had links to the Italian-American mafia in its early days... In other words, Nintendo really is the Disney of gaming!

Thats funny because they still promote gambling

180px-M64DS_Memory_Match.PNG

Nintendo might as well just go all out and create a crime game about the Italian-American Mafia, starring none other than Mario...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk9oa_PiXAk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw7CKnfk4JY

...That might be a good way to pay homage to Nintendo's Japanese Yakuza roots!

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#21 BranKetra
Member since 2006 • 51726 Posts

[QUOTE="nintendoboy16"]

[QUOTE="Jag85"] In addition to ruling with an iron fist and making shady business deals, Yamauchi also had links to the Japanese Yakuza, ran Love Hotel chains, and cheated on his wife (or so the rumours say). His image was like that of a "badass" Yakuza boss, that's why he gets more respect...

On the other hand, all Iwata does is keep apologizing and asking people to "please understand" all the time. Gamers only respect "badass" dons like Yamauchi, not softie "weaklings" like Iwata.

Jag85

First time I heard that. Either way, I'm not ignoring that Iwata has flaws, but I just think that Yamauchi is worth hating the most (especially after reading that link to Yakuza statement, how did Nintendo not end up like the Gizmondo is beyond me). People say he's worth forgiving because he hired the likes of Miyamoto and Yokoi, but to me, it's like forgiving Mel Gibson for making Mad Max and Lethal Weapon even though he made horrible comments to his girlfriend.

Here's some more details on Nintendo's Yakuza links:

http://kotaku.com/5784314/the-nintendo-theyve-tried-to-forget-gambling-gangsters-and-love-hotels

I'm not too sure if Hiroshi Yamauchi himself had Yakuza links, but it's well known that his Yamauchi ancestors who founded the company had links to the Yakuza, who were often the main target audience for Nintendo's hanafuda gambling cards, long before they entered the video game industry. It might be possible Hiroshi Yamauchi may have had Yakuza links earlier on in his life, but if he did, he most likely left it behind as he slowly established Nintendo as the family-friendly video game company we know today.

EDIT:

It's also worth noting that, much like Nintendo, Disney also apparently had links to the Italian-American mafia in its early days... In other words, Nintendo really is the Disney of gaming!

Indeed Walt Disney was supposedly indebted to the Italian-American mafia and that affected his work for children's movies. The difference between he and Yamauchi might be the kind of influence criminal organizations had on them, but the possibility of both getting influenced by them and the fact both sell products for children would mean they are similar in unsettling ways.
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#22 deactivated-5eea5a5a83edd
Member since 2011 • 348 Posts

[QUOTE="1PMrFister"]Yeah, stuff like that isn't ethical in the least, but to be fair, this was back in the days when Hiroshi Yamauchi was the CEO of Nintendo, who was notorious for running with an iron fist. I'd like to think Iwata isn't like him, but you can't prove a negative.nintendoboy16

What I find hilarious is that Yamauchi gets more respect than Iwata does, even after all the things he did.

Yamauchi drove 3rd party devs away from the N64 because he thought CDs were the works of Satan.
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#23 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14764 Posts

[QUOTE="Jag85"]

[QUOTE="nintendoboy16"]First time I heard that. Either way, I'm not ignoring that Iwata has flaws, but I just think that Yamauchi is worth hating the most (especially after reading that link to Yakuza statement, how did Nintendo not end up like the Gizmondo is beyond me). People say he's worth forgiving because he hired the likes of Miyamoto and Yokoi, but to me, it's like forgiving Mel Gibson for making Mad Max and Lethal Weapon even though he made horrible comments to his girlfriend.

BranKetra

Here's some more details on Nintendo's Yakuza links:

http://kotaku.com/5784314/the-nintendo-theyve-tried-to-forget-gambling-gangsters-and-love-hotels

I'm not too sure if Hiroshi Yamauchi himself had Yakuza links, but it's well known that his Yamauchi ancestors who founded the company had links to the Yakuza, who were often the main target audience for Nintendo's hanafuda gambling cards, long before they entered the video game industry. It might be possible Hiroshi Yamauchi may have had Yakuza links earlier on in his life, but if he did, he most likely left it behind as he slowly established Nintendo as the family-friendly video game company we know today.

EDIT:

It's also worth noting that, much like Nintendo, Disney also apparently had links to the Italian-American mafia in its early days... In other words, Nintendo really is the Disney of gaming!

Indeed

Walt Disney was supposedly indebted to the Italian-American mafia and that affected his work for children's movies. The difference between he and Yamauchi might be the kind of influence criminal organizations had on them, but the possibility of both getting influenced by them and the fact both sell products for children would mean they are similar in unsettling ways.

It's interesting how Disney and Nintendo are seen as clean kiddy companies, yet in reality they're anything but clean, with dark shady histories and Mafia/Yakuza connections and all.