Game Market 1983 - Chapter 24
I’m getting goosebumps from just thinking about developing relationships with men. My body immediately shivered with this thought, and I looked through each and every person that I’ve made contact with on the people list from ‘Sponsor Game’.
Mr. Gunpei and Mr. Shigeru were maintaining the highest ranks among my relationships, as expected.
‘Damn, they are all men…’
How many female game developers could there be? Still… I cleared my throat, and I browsed around the list, stopping at President Yamauchi’s face. Unlike the others, there was a text bubble next to his face.
‘I feel like I’m reading a Kakaotalk message from 2015.’
I smirked, and I clicked on the text bubble next to President Yamauchi.
-Kang Junhyuk is a genius, but he’s an unpredictable bastard that I can’t see through. I can’t let him grow too much-
So that’s how it is… Was the text bubble commenting on a person’s thoughts towards me? Interesting. Regardless, he sent me off with a smiling face this morning, but he was hiding this thought in his mind. In the end, he’s a manipulative Japanese businessman…
I put the Game & Watch inside my backpack, and I heavily leaned my body onto the chair.
No matter how well I crawled and flew, I was just one of the many foreign workers to them… I was also harboring this line of thought in my mind, so I wasn’t that surprised, after reading President Yamauchi’s comment. However, I can’t reveal my toenails yet. Let’s be patient for a little longer…
When did the Compact Disk that we know today get released? CDs had actually existed in the current year that I’m living in, 1986. It was just that it wasn’t well known yet…
A gizmo and gadget street that was located in a place called Den Den Town, Osaka.
Mr. Gunpei and I visited a CD listening session in a record store, and we stared at the shining round disk under the spotlight.
“Ho~ So this is the item called the compact disk. The colour is very beautiful~”
The middle-aged Mr. Gunpei looked around the CDs with a child-like and youthful gaze. A compact disk… It was definitely compact compared to the LP (gramophone records), but, compared to me, who was used to SD cards and the USB, I could only sigh in response.
I had no real interest, but Mr. Gunpei dragged me into the store saying we had to interact with new technological developments, so eventually, I got led to be standing here.
“Ah, yes… It’s very interesting.”
“You don’t have any reaction after seeing this miraculous product? Now, now, a young person like you shouldn’t be devoid of emotions already. Humph Humph~ It looks like I have to give you an additional explanation.”
Waaargh!!! The chatterbox Mr. Gunpei started a product explanation!!! I felt a calamity was coming, and I quickly tried to escape; however, it was too late.
“The thing about this item called a CD is, it’s also know as an Optical Disk. The CD is a way to digitally record sounds in contrast to analog methods like a cassette tape or an LP. Thanks to this, a new standard has been developed for the radio, so that you can listen to music without any background noise. Its lifespan is said to be 100 years… Isn’t it truly incredible?”
‘20 years from now, data will become saved electronically, let alone 100 years… However, it’s a pretty long lifespan for a music CD…’
Unfortunately, Mr. Gunpei hadn’t finished explaining yet.
“This CD is a product developed in collaboration between our Japan’s SenSony and Phillips, a company from the Netherlands. Currently, it’s in the process of pushing the standard analog products out of the market, and they are popularizing this new music listening method. It can store up to 74 minutes with one recording.”
“Mmm… That’s a bit awkward. Why is it 74 minutes and not 60 minutes?”
In response, Mr. Gunpei shifted his glasses up, and he mischievously smiled. What…? I just commented on a whim, but I have the feeling that I asked him a legitimate question.
“That’s a very~ good question, Kang-kun. The current diameter of the CD is 12 cm, but the very first size Phillips proposed was 11.5 cm. The first version of the CD was able to become even more compact, and it was able to hold a little more than 60 minutes of music. Due to the increase in diameter, the maximum capacity of the CD was increased.”
“But why was the time lengthened?”
“It was because of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.”
“The CD’s storage time was changed because of classical music?”
“Of course, with the standard 60 minutes of storage, we could have recorded all the songs from LPs, but SenSony proposed that they wanted to fit the entire Beethoven’s 9th Symphony into one disk… At that time, the longest performance of the 9th Symphony was conducted by the famous Maestro Karian.”
“So the length of the storage time of the CD was decided by the length of Karian’s performance?”
Hmm… This was a fact that even I didn’t know. The unfortunate truth was that it didn’t matter if I knew it or not… Anyways, the music that was pouring out of the speakers was the entire Beethoven’s 9th Symphony… Mr. Gunpei plugged earphones into his ears, and he listened for a moment, making a very satisfied face.
“The world is getting better and better. Should I say that the analog era is transforming into the digital era? It’s directed towards audio for now, but I heard that, if the storage method was altered a bit, it would be possible to store other forms of data on it. The storage is an astonishing 650 MB, isn’t it incredible?”
“Haha… Yes. A storage capacity of 650 MB, it’s truly out of this world…”
“I thought you would be very surprised, but your reaction is a bit lackluster. That’s disappointing…”
Something like this is only an innovation to a caveman like you… We use the terabyte in 2015. You guys… I shook my head from side to side, and I proposed to have a dinner with Mr. Gunpei. At that moment, Mr. Gunpei, who was intently examining the CD, muttered:
“Could I replace the game cartridge with this?”
That must’ve been a comment made without much thought, but, in response to Mr. Gunpei’s words, my heart crashed with a heavy *thud*. The use of the CD would only be widely spread at a minimum of two generations from now, but to think that he could think of this the first time seeing the disk. Mr. Gunpei shook his head and continued:
“However, to do that, the storage inefficiency would be too great, and the console’s base price would rise as well…”
“Th-That’s right… Haha…”
A Family’s game was only 4 MB at most… The current time period was still where the making of huge games were limited by the limited capabilities of consoles. However, if Mr. Gunpei’s idea had continued to the start of the 90s, Mintendo would’ve transformed into an immortal corporation…
A period of time had passed, and it was the release day of Dragon Warrior 2. Mr. Shige and I visited Mintendo’s announcement conference where there were swathes of people camping outside already; this scene was pretty similar to the release day of The Legend of Karin.
“I’m feeling a fresh emotion after returning to Tokyo like this.”
Mr. Shige, who was currently taking a break from work, was bathing in a glorious feeling after he cast his view over the huge line. He definitely must be comparing it with the release day of The Legend of Karin. After a while, as I entered the event along with Mr. Shige, Mr. Ouji, who was currently at an interview, ran over to us with a welcoming face.
“Mr. Kang and Mr. Shigeru, thank you for coming together.”
“Seeing these huge lines, I can realistically feel that Dragon Warrior is the nation’s RPG game.”
“Haha, it’s still a distance from your The Legend of Karin, Mr. Shigeru…”
It came again! This endless exchange of pleasantries!! I started my attack in fear that 10 more minutes would pass like this.
“What did you set as the number of the initial volume?”
“Yeah… The prequel sold about 1.5 million copies, so we stocked around 500,000 units initially. We will increase the production after we watch the reaction to it for one week. We set the price of the game to 5,500 Yen.”
The games that came out of 3rd party companies, that paid royalties to Mintendo, tended to have higher prices. Recently, due to President Yamauchi increasing the royalties, all of the other companies’ prices had gone up as a result; however, Phoenix kept their prices the same…
“I thought Dragon Warrior would sell for at least 5,900 Yen, but I was surprised that Dragon Warrior’s price hadn’t gone up by much. Isn’t the increase in royalties, demanded by our president, being a burden?”
“In all honesty, we had discussions within our company to raise the price by a little, but we made this difficult decision to thank our players for supporting us. Dragon Warrior is targeted to children, so increasing the price would place a burden on the parents as well.”
“Mmm… So that’s how it was. I’ll believe that was a good decision.”
A moment later.
As the event opened with Dragon Warrior’s magnificent theme song, the people in the lines started to rush to the counter.
Immediately after the shutters were lifted, the swath of people made me recall a scene in a zombie flick from 2000.
“Everyone, keep your order~!! Please stand in line at the four counters~!!”
After waiting, the people who finally got to purchase the game ran out of the event as if they wanted to play it as soon as possible.
‘I can understand that thought perfectly…’
I, who was behind a counter, picked up a Dragon Warrior cartridge, and I brightly smiled. Inside the cover illustration, that Mr. Toriyama drew, there was a simple manual, and inside the plastic package was the firmly placed black cartridge.
Kah~ There is definitely a nostalgic scent emanating from a package in this period. I joyously felt the weight as I spoke to Mr. Ouji:
“I’ll purchase one too.”
“Ah, you want to buy a copy from us, Mr. Kang?”
“I’m also a fan of the game too. I have no time to actively play it, but I still want to keep it with me.”
“This is~ Thank you very much~!!”
As I finished my purchase, and was looking around at the event, I felt a strange gaze, turning my head around to meet the gaze; there was one man who was staring at me from inside at the event.
With a bone-skinny body and a unique mustache, the features of this man stood out from the crowd. The man stared intensely at the Dragon Warrior event, and our gazes happened to meet just prior to him leaving the venue.
That man seems familiar… could he be!? The director of Final Frontier, Kawaguchi Hironobu!? I quickly hastened my footsteps to catch the man who was increasing his distance from the event.