Game Market 1983 - Chapter 45
“Judging from the atmosphere of the last conference, the idea of an expensive device didn’t bode well. However, everything seems to be going well for now. Once the initial batch sells out from the 10 day promotional discount, we should be able to see the network effect through kids.”
“Some students will bring the device to school, if one kid from every class bought one, it would be advertised to 50 others.”
“Exactly, that’s one marketing benefit of a mobile device. Just like the Game & Watch, people would see our device on the subways as well, free advertisement here lads,”
I can relate. In elementary school, my classmate brought one in and showed it off. When asked to play on the device, he’d be haughty to an intolerable level. In the end, his device was stolen within 3 days causing a huge ruckus…
“Excuse me, is there any more coffee left? Our customers waiting in line are asking for it…”
A worker distributing the coffee came back with an empty mug and asked.
“Oh, there’s still ten more hours to go until the event starts. What are we going to do in this freezing cold?”
“We can’t just ask them to go back either. Our only option is to try and prepare for any disaster that might pop up.”
Ensuingly, one marketing employee spoke while blowing steam unto his frozen hands.
“Should we buy hot packs from the convenience store and pass those around?”
“Hot packs?” That’s not a bad idea, but to supply a crowd this large we would need to make trips to several stores.”
“We don’t have any other choice. News reporters should be swarming in soon; should our customers just catch frostbite?”
“You’re right, we should do everything in our power to help these freezing souls.”
In the end, we scoured the nearby stores for products that could warm the body and loaded the items to our van and distributed them to the people in line. Even after that, the freezing chill showed no signs of withdrawing.
“Keugh… You all are incredible. I would’ve given up and gone home by now.”
Mr. Gunpei rubbed his reddened nose and stepped into the van. Subsequently, Miss Mina who was trembling in the corner spoke to Mr. Gunpei with a wavering voice.
“Director Gunpei, couldn’t we request the event to open sooner?”
“I’m sorry, but the event grounds are too narrow to bring anymore people in rightnow. We can’t leave someone outside…”
“So that’s why we’re standing here being frozen to death.”
In response to my last comment, Gunpei heartily laughed and patted my shoulders.
“But I feel reassured with you here, Kang-kun. This will be one hell of an experience to remember. Brace up guys, we can do this.”
Aside from Gunpei and I, there were five others who were assigned to the Tokyo opening event today. We were barely able to stave off the cold inside the van, but how cold were the people outside?
I was not able to get a proper night’s sleep with the scream of the howling winds that seeped in through the slight openings of the ban.
“Uhh… it’s cold as dog shit.”
“What?? Did you say anything Director Kang?”
“It’s nothing. It was a Korean phrase to express the freezing temperature.”
I wanted to move my body a little as my entire body was shivering from doing nothing. As the van door opened, a sword-like gale that was wreaking havoc outside assaulted the interior.
“D..Director, the door!!”
“Alright, I’ll quickly close it.”
Slam~!! I felt as if I’d shrunk by at least 5 cm after crouching into a ball all night. I spun my arm in a circle and stretched my muscles as I yawned.
“The snow stopped, thankfully.”
Crrushh. My ankles sunk into the snow piled road that showed no sign of human footsteps. The snowstorm last night was fierce, what happened to everyone standing in line? As I turned my head around…
Stretching from the event grounds to the subway station were a neat line of snow piles. I saw a few people massaging one another to relax the muscles just like me. It’s a relief everyone survived in the sub zero temperature…
“Wow, this really…”
Realistically, ordinary people would’ve paid the extra 2000 Yen and bought the device at a later date, but the motley bunch gathered here weren’t concerned about saving the measly 2000 Yen.
They were human; they wouldn’t risk harming their bodies for that reason to buy the Gamboy. But their yearning to be the first to experience this new device enabled them to withstand the extreme chill.
Perhaps to them, the agony of waiting for the second batch after the initial had run out was greater than the pain of the bone-freezing cold.
These people would later be coined the title “Otakus” following the release of a particular animation about a boy who was apprehended by his father for vehemently resisting riding on a purple robot.
The mobile gamboy was a product that would’ve originally been released on the April of 1989.
At that time, Mintendo was planning on releasing it on the summer of 1988, but the date was delayed due to internal conflicts.
But today’s date was December 21st, 1987.
The first mobile gaming devices using the cartridge were placed onto the shelves.
Following the release of Karin’s Legend, and Dragon Warrior 2, opening days for new titles weren’t a rare occurrence anymore. But with the unique point of being a mobile device, gathering a large crowd was successful. Even with the expensive price tag, the device had begun selling like hot cakes along with its release.
The co-launching title, Super Marigee Rand, also became an item that people would buy nine times out of ten when buying the device, a successful business move.
The quality of the Super Marigee alone was enough to make a person who came to the event for curiosity, stand in line…
From the four co-launching titles, a baseball game was the second popular title next to Super Marigee. We thought we had prepared enough but almost one fifth of the initial stock was sold out by midday, which caused Mr. Gunpei to skip his meal and tirelessly run around the store.
“Take it easy, you’re not at the height of your youth anymore…”
“I’m still filled with energy after running around?”
Mr. Gunpei took the canned drink I handed him and placed his hands on the lid. But he was unable to open the can due to his trembling fingers.
Tick… Tick… He wouldn’t be able to exert strength into his fingertips by running around all day without having eaten anything…
I opened the drink for Mr. Gunpei and handed it to him. In response, Mr. Gunpei looked at me with a worried expression and spoke.
“President Yamauchi told me that you were a celibate, is that true?”
“Puhp~!! Ah~ This…”
After spraying roughly half the juice in my mouth, I wiped my mouth with a tissue before opening my mouth.
“It’s not like that at all. President Yamauchi was trying to set me up on a blind date with his niece; In haste, I misspoke while barely being able to hold myself back fainting.”
“The president’s niece? Is she perhaps Miss Sumire??”
“Oh? You know her too?”
“Of course I do, I’ve met her a few times in person as well…”
“So that was the case… I only saw her picture… But… She’s…”
“She’s miles away from beauty, isn’t she?”
I wasn’t even hoping for a beauty; I wouldn’t have come out like this if she was ordinary looking…
“Based on President Yamauchi’s tone, it seemed like he would’ve tried to arrange a marriage at any cost, so I had no choice but to…”
“Haha. Knowing our president, he would’ve tried to set up a meeting even if you were dating someone already. That’s how much affection he has for his niece… But the thing is…”
“There’s something else…?”
“As President Yamauchi had been catering to her wants and needs ever since she was a child, Miss Sumire does not have the words “giving up” in her vocabulary.”
After hearing Mr. Gunpei’s explanation, I felt a stream of chill run down my back.
“If you were going to lie, why didn’t you say something more believable? In my opinion, being a celibate is a weak argument… What are you going to do at the company new year’s party for bachelors?”
“Heh, I’ve already scheduled a business trip to America around that time.”
“Haha, nice! As expected of Kang-kun! There’s an old saying that goes like this: One will get easily tired of a beauty after living together for 5 years…”
“Are you criticizing me for only caring about a person’s outer appearance?”
“If you’re together with an ugly girl, you won’t even last 5 years. Just don’t start the relationship.”
… A wise saying indeed …
After Mr. Gunpei returned to the opening event from our brief break, we saw that the line was still endless.
Even for the model device that was put out for experimental use was swarmed with a group of people who were all too eager to touch it.
“Director, Please save me~”
Miss Mina, who was shivering inside the van at dawn, was sucked of her life force by the customers now.
“I’ll take your place; come back after some rest.”
“Thank you very much.”
Of course, her legs would be tired after walking around in high heels all day. After taking over for Mina, I looked around the event plaza.
One student who was holding the model Gamboy muttered with a surprised expression.
“It’s really light…”
Mmm… It shouldn’t be that light? Pragmatically speaking, the design was no different from a brick, and the official weight of the device was recorded as 220 grams barring the weight of the batteries. If the 4 batteries were added, it’s weight would approach almost 300 grams.
But compared SenSony’s latest device the Walkman, the mobile Gamboy could be considered compact. It looked silly in my eyes but to them, it was the newest innovation.
I steadily moved my footsteps towards to the ‘Psychic Battle’ plaza. As soon as Mr. Kashiwaba, who handed out coffee with me until dawn, spotted me, he came running over.
“The Gamboy is a huge hit, but the number of customers that came here to experience ‘Psychic Battle’ can’t be ignored either!”
“Of course it should do well. I’ve been told off by President Yamauchi for wasting needless amounts of money on advertising the game…”
The launching of the mobile Gamboy was imoportant, but the main reason I personally came to the event plaza was precisely for this reason.
And on this day, the demo cartridges for ‘Psychic Battle’ were exploding in popularity. Why? It was because of this text:
-Challenge the newest title, Psychic Battle!!-
The first player to clear the first stage will win a life-size poster of a character.
The first player to clear the second stage will be presented with the demo Psychic Battle cartridge.
The prizes were simple, but its effect was tremendous.
From producing an article with each of the four major game magazines last month, the anticipation for the game was at an all time high; Early beta testers had left great reviews on the articles.
Thanks to that, my game had surpassed Super Marigee 3 in the most anticipated title rankings…
However, I was not satisfied with that and took one step forward.
(TL Note: Not physically)