Game Market 1983 - Chapter 44





“Kang-kun, take a seat here.”

“What? Oh.”

As I stared at President Yamauchi who spoke with a heavier voice than usual, he gestured me to sit with a slight upwards tilt on his lips. What’s this? Is there an impending crisis…?

Did he somehow find out about my involvement with Raitex? Or is my identity as the developer of Dragon Emblem somehow exposed?

No, there’s no way… What’s happening here?

“Kang Junhyuk-kun.”

“Yes, President.”

“How long have we worked together?”

“It’s been about four years.”

“Since the end of this year is approaching, it’ll be almost five years.”

“That’s how it is then, time is flying by fast. Haha…”

“Yeah. During these five years, we’ve undergone an 180 degree turn from a toy company to a game industry powerhouse; we’re also having significant success on the American market. Under my command, Mintendo had surpassed its original limits from when my great-grandfather founded the company.”

Why is he bragging about himself out of the blue? President Yamauchi continued talking after taking a sip from the cup of coffee on top of the table.

“And the contributions from Gunpei and Shige, and of course you, Kang-kun, have been the greatest out of all. That’s why…”

“Yes, President.”

“I have a concern that’s been hovering in my mind recently.”

“A concern?”

A concern from the CEO of the biggest conglomerate in the game industry? What could it be? But for a problem he’s having, it would be better to discuss with either Mr. Gunpei or Mr. Shige, why did he select me?

After contemplating for a long time, President Yamauchi took out a photo from his jacket.

On top of the table laid a picture of a girl that could never be described as beautiful- even with empty words- smiling back at me.

“She’s my niece. What do you think?”

“Ah, that… she’s beau…tiful.”

This is the first time I’ve felt morally disturbed by something I said.

“Is she to your liking?”

Like, my asshole.

“Yes? Haha, that’s… But why are you showing your niece to me…?”

“This girl has been ready for marriage, but she hasn’t been able to find a mate yet.”

She won’t be.

With her level of attractiveness, her soulmate would be waiting for her in her next life. But I can’t say that aloud, could I!? I was in the most precarious situation since the time slip from 1983. President Yamauchi was standing here as a coercer no matter how people saw it! What should I do!?

President Yamauchi stared at the photo with a baffled expression before opening his mouth.

“Why have men left her alone for so long when she’s this beautiful? There’s obviously a problem with the eyesight of today’s youths.”

Why don’t you get your eyes checked at the hospital instead? Are you joking right now?

“So I wanted to introduce her to someone suitable from our company. Gunpei is already married, and Shige is too old for me to introduce to Sumire. What I’m going with this is…”

Before Yamauchi could finish his sentence, I cut him off.

“Excuse me, but the age of your niece is…?”

“She’s 24 this year. A blooming flower indeed.”

Flower my ass… A weed growing from the remote corners of Siberia’s barren mountains would be prettier than this flower. An age of 24 in Japan would translate to 26 in Korea. The cultural consensus in the 80s tended to favor earlier marriage, so she was in the suitable age range. But why am I being introduced as her potential partner!!

“You’ll be turning 25 this year, Kang-kun? This truly is~ You would be able to connect easily with Sumire being in the same age range.”

“Her name is Sumire(The Camelia flower)?”

Immediately apologize to the Camelia flower, Yamauchi…

“Yeah, her name is beautiful too, right? She’s the daughter of my younger sibling. We can set up a blind date if you’d like, what do you think?”

“I…”

“Yeah, go ahead…”

“I’m… “

President Yamauchi was smiling from ear to ear with a highly expectant expression on his face. Work your brain, Kang Junhyuk!! I have to escape this calamity!! How, How!? I’d rather hole inside a basement making games and die than meet this person.

Think, Kang Junhyuk!! Come up with one of your ideas that you’ve shocked everyone with to escape… her!!

“I’m a celibatarian.”

“What…?”

This is crazy… what the hell is coming out of my mouth?

At that instant, President Yamauchi rapidly scooted his chair as far away from me as possible.

“Celibacy? You’re saying you have no interest in women?”

“That’s right.”

“Huh~ After working yourself day and night, you can’t see a beautiful woman when she’s directly in front of your eyes. You can only be called a real man by marrying women and leading the household.”

I’ve also heard those words when I was in the military.  When will I become this so-called true man~?

“Your celibacy aside, I guarantee that you will change your views after meeting her in person.”

No, sir. Meeting her would only confirm it. But President Yamauchi didn’t seem to take my perspective into consideration at all.

“No matter, I’m planning on inviting her to the house party early next year. I will properly introduce you to her then.”

“Please, there’s no need. Mr. President, I don’t have any thoughts on dating…”

“Kang-kun, you think I’m only introducing you to her for you to try dating?”

“…?”

“If you want to expand your career further in Japan, don’t you know it would be difficult with your status as a Korean citizen? I want to take you in as a family. A member of the Yamauchi clan that is.”

“But I’m…”

“Anyways, I’ve laid down my thoughts to you, so you’re free to head back now. Think well about my intentions in your dormitory.”

I smiled bitterly and left the office after greeting President Yamauchi.

The sun was already setting in the mountains as I looked out the window. Should I have said I was dating Yuki instead? But we weren’t formally together yet, so I couldn’t bear to put that lie in my mouth.

I was also like this in 2015, and I was rather inexperienced with women then as well.

Anyways, I must schedule a business trip during the house party next year.

&

The next day, Mintendo underwent a state of emergency along with the release of our mobile Gamboy.

Resulting from our 2000 Yen discount on the device, everywhere from small shops to large department stores were incessantly ordering from Mintendo. Thanks to that, we achieved a massive success by filling up the pre-orders for the first 300,000 units.

As Mintendo, the king of home entertainment consoles announced their brand new handheld device, NEGA’s Drive was erased from everyone’s memory within a day.

It was a given that there would be more interest in a device being released in a month, rather than one year later.

At that moment, my office door opened, and Mr. Gunpei entered the room to see me.

“Kang-kun, I’ve ordered the additional connectors for two players like you requested, but would this port really  be useful? I think it’s enough for handheld devices to be for only one player?”

There was an additional port that was able to connect to other devices added on to the completed Gamboy. Everyone had opposed the idea to preserve our independent ecosystem, but the finished product had the additional port added in as a result of my relentless proposals.

I smiled in response to Mr. Gunpei’s question as I replied.

“We need it. Absolutely.”

“Phew~ We’ve sided with you because you were insistent on adding the port, but would it really be alright?”

“You just wait and see. That port will transform your Gamboy into a monster of a machine, Mr. Gunpei.”

Kyun Hyunjin had analyzed that most parents wouldn’t buy their children more than one expensive devices and predicted the handheld Gamboy to sell for only around 100,000 units at best. But with the addition of a particular RPG title, the Gamboy sold an astronomic 118.67 million across the world.

What was that RPG? Do you remember that story about the sticker on the bread and that people would throw away the bread just for the sticker?

If you still can’t remember, just you wait. I will definitely make you remember…

&

December 20th, 1987, five days before Christmas. Akihabara District, Tokyo.

On top of the piles of record-high snow piles were a row of endless trash bags. Why were these trash bags lined up in a row like this? Sorry, let me explain.

“Excuse me.”

“Yes…?”

“I’m an employee from Mintendo. Here, have some hot coffee.”

I handed the coffee with strands of steam emanating from the mug to him. The young man with his face buried in his puffy, duck -feathered jacket nodded his head in thanks and stuck his hand out.

“Th…Thank.. Thanka you…”

Thanka you? It looked like he could barely speak in this freezing cold. I can’t understand why they’re out here suffering like this. I let out a long sigh and watched the intense snowfall piling the streets. Around me were my co-workers who were handing out hot coffee to customers,

Oh, how online shopping trumps everything~ With a few clicks inside your cozy home, the package would be delivered right at your doorsteps.

Of course, popular items sold out within mere seconds and left you with a sense of disappointment, but at least one didn’t have to freeze half to death in this cold, right?

“I..I would like a cup of coffee.”

As a plethora of outstretched arms stretched out at me like the zombie apocalypse, the coffee inside my mug was rapidly depleted. I ran over to the supply van that was stocked with coffee to refill, but the coffee prepared beforehand had already run out.

“Eugh~ Director Kang, It’s too cold here…”

How warm could a van heater in the 80s be… I threw a hand warmer to the female employee covered in a parker who was shivering with frost.

“You can use that for now, don’t get frostbite…”

“Thank you, Director.”

“This snowstorm was not forecasted, so our preparations were too lacking…”

“But look at that, the line is stretching out all the way to the front of the subway station. Like you said, the limited discount marketing was a huge success.”

“Hell, they’re about to spend more money on cold medicine by trying to save 2000 yen. I’m making everyone suffer for nothing. I apologize, Miss Mina.”

“N, No~!! I’m fine. I volunteered to come after all…”

At that moment, I heard the voice of Mr. Gunpei calling me.

“Kang-kun~!! Is there any coffee left?”

I crossed my arms in an X and shouted.

“It’s all gone!! That was the last bit!!!”

The coordinator for this event, Mr. Gunpei, trotted over with the empty coffee mugs. Not to mention his clothes, his eyebrows were also stacked with snow, but his face was brilliant.





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