Game Market 1983 - Chapter 53
There were no schools near here, but a hoard of male students in uniforms stepped off the train. A corporate employee stared at the door with a hesitant look, before making the sudden decision to step off the train just as the door was about to close, and was followed by several other employees.
“Are all these people really here for Dragon Warrior 3…?”
“We should be getting off here as well.”
With a doubtful mind, Mr. Shige and I stepped out of the Akiba station only to be greeted by a huge crowd in front of the station.
“Hoh… Isn’t today a weekday? Why are there so many people here!?”
Lines were formed in front of every game shop; the Dragon Warrior theme song was blaring from the speakers to create a lively atmosphere.
In the middle of the event was a female reporter who was covering the current situation of Akiba into the camera.
“The release date for the highly anticipated Dragon Warrior 3 game has finally arrived. There’s a huge crowd gathered here in Akihabara, Tokyo, and despite today being a weekday, many students in school uniforms are standing in line to buy the game. It seems that there are many corporate employees here as well. Let’s have a talk with someone standing in line.”
However, everyone was covering their face like a criminal because they were too shy to appear on TV. Why were they embarrassed when they came out here to buy a game today? Oh, they must have been worried about being caught skipping school or work!
As no one wanted to talk with the female reporter, she started looking around helplessly. At that moment, she spotted me and Mr. Shige. Mr. Shige, who was beside me, muttered under his breath.
“Woah… That reporter is hot. She’s just my type~.”
“Excuse me, you guys are company employees, right!?”
Oh? Is she trying to interview us? My prediction was correct; the reporter gestured the cameraman who was taking pictures to follow her and ran
over to us. As a result, Mr. Shige turned red and shouted at me.
“Hey!! Let’s run!!”
“Oh? Uhm… We’re going to be recorded.”
“What’s wrong with being recorded?”
As a matter of fact, this was an incredible opportunity for me.
“Hello, I’m Katsura Misato from Fuji TV. Would you like to talk with me about today’s event?”
I almost bursted out in laughter when I heard her name. With her appearance and name… She would turn into a huge star in 1995…
“Excuse me? Would you…”
“Ah, my friend over here would love to be inter…”
As I turned my head to my right, Mr. Shige had vanished into the crowd and was staring at me, hidden from view…
“You seem to be a corporate employee; why are you here today on a weekday morning? Are you here to buy the Dragon Warrior 3?”
Ms. Masato seemed anxious to start the interview and dived straight into the questions.
Ms. Misato’s face turned into shock as my answer went outside her prediction.
The gamers in the plaza started to gather around me as the interview seemed to intrigue them. Or maybe it might’ve been because of Ms. Misato’s face~
They didn’t want to be interviewed themselves, but they were fine with watching someone else being interviewed. Ms. Misato hesitated for a moment before brightly smiling and started asking her questions again.
“Then what business do you have in Akihabara today?”
“I came here to analyze the market; I am an employee at Mintendo.”
“Ah~ That’s great. So you wanted to see the reception of Dragon Warrior 3 today~”
She really wanted to turn the topic around to Dragon Warrior 3, didn’t she...
So I responded.
Her left eyebrow twitched ever so slightly. She seemed to be getting annoyed as the interview wasn’t going her way. After all, the people that she hoped to interview were students or employees who skipped school or their job to buy the Dragon Warrior title.
“Th, then what market are you trying to analyze?”
“Dragon Warrior 3 isn’t the only game being released today.”
“Ah. that’s right. What’s the title of the other game?”
At that moment, one person from the crowd spoke.
“What? Psychic Battle is being released today too?”
“I’ve never head that before… I thought the FamiTong magazine said Psychic Battle was going to be released around spring time.”
“Right? Now we have more titles to purchase!”
“Then which one should I buy?”
“What’s there to think about? Just buy both!! I’m going to buy both and survive this month with ramen, and ramen only.”
“Oh!! Right!! A true man would not hesitate in buying both!!”
In response to the last man’s words, the crowd roared in agreement. Right. There was nothing to think about. Of course, that was only if they had enough money to spare. I asked Ms. Misato, who was shocked speechless by the crowd’s reaction.
“Is this a live broadcast?”
“No, the footage will be edited before airing in the evening news.”
“Then can I have a word?”
“Ah, sure. Go ahead.”
With Ms. Misato’s permission, I took out a golden ticket from my jacket and showed it to the camera. Due to that slightly gloomy weather, it wasn’t overly ostentatious, but it was enough to draw the attention of the crowd.
“Inside a select few Psychic Battle cartridges will be this golden ticket. Whoever finds the golden ticket will gain automatic admission to Mintendo’s sponsored Psychic Battle event.”
In response, one man who had been standing behind me yelled out.
“What kind of an event1? We can’t enter without that ticket?”
“No, you can gain entrance without the ticket. All you have to do is bring a cartridge of psychic battle with the entire game cleared. In the Psychic Battle event, you can purchase various products; we’re also planning to host a competition with prize money for the participants. Please read this month’s edition of the FamiTong magazine for specific details.”
“So the all-cleared cartridge itself can be the entrance ticket as well… Very unique!”
“I tried Psyhic Battle out at the last Mintendo event, and the difficulty level is no joke. The prize for clearing 2 stages was a free demo cartridge, so I tried three times, yet I couldn’t even clear the first stage…”
“Really? Sh*t... Should I buy Psychic Battle instead of Dragon Warrior? I don’t have much money left…”
The news regarding Psychic Battle began to spread at a breakneck pace. Misato looked around with vacant eyes before coming to her senses and backed away from me.
“You, what did you do just now!?”
“I’m in the middle of promoting a game that I made?”
She immediately realized that she’d been used by me and instantly turned red. Looking at her face, it seemed like she was ready to explode.
“If you didn’t like that, you can edit it out later.”
“Of course!! You’re using our news channel to promote your own product; I’m at a loss for words!!”
“Haha, I’m sorry. Then, I’ll be off~”
I turned my back to the fuming Misato and called out to Mr.Shige who was still hiding in the crowd.
“Mr. Shige!! Come on!!”
“Uh? Oh, right~”
Mr. Shige took a few glances at Ms. Misato while he ran towards me.
“Hey, weren’t you nervous?”
“What’s there to be nervous about? It wasn’t even a live broadcast.”
“That huge camera was placed right in front of your nose, and the beautiful reporter was asking questions right next to you; you’re telling me you weren’t nervous at all!?”
“That aside, I’m getting hungry, and we have time to spare; shall we go out for breakfast?”
“You want to have a meal in this situation? When Super Marigee was first released, I couldn’t touch a glass of water for the whole day.”
“My Psychic Battle will be completely sold out in 10 minutes. Let’s have a meal first; we can walk around and watch the Dragon Warrior sales after.”
“In 10 minutes? What’re you talking about? And what’s the deal with that golden ticket!?”
“I’ll tell you in the restaurant.”
Mr. Shige and I walked to a Yoshinoya around the train station. A Yoshinoya was a chain restaurant specializing in beef bowls; there was bound to be one near a train station. In exchange for a cheap price, the food was also ordinary…
The restaurant could be called the combination of Mcdonald's, a rapidly growing fast food chain, and a traditional Japanese restaurant.
I stirred the steaming beef bowl as I talked to Mr. Shige.
“The total number of Psychic Battle cartridges in stock today.”
Mr. Shige spurted the water out from his mouth.
“Eyy… We’re eating right now…”
“Hey! Does that make any sense? Why did you only have 200 in stock?”
“That’s why today was a surprise release day.”
“Even then… Anyways, 200 cartridges will definitely be sold out in 10 minutes. So you’re going to release 200 cartridges every day?”
“No, I’ll release 100 cartridges after three days.
Mr. Shige started continuously coughing while holding the cup of water as if he had a cold. I patted his back a few times and went back to eating my meal.
“What was the golden ticket for?”
“It’s a golden ticket, just like it’s name. Mr. Shige, are you familiar with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?”
“Yes, it’s a children’s book.”
“A children’s book? It’s a piece of marketing genius.”
“Marketing genius, huh?”
“There are only 5 golden tickets hidden amongst the hundreds of millions of chocolates that are distributed throughout the entire world. Compared to Willy Wonka, I’m being incredibly generous by distributing 500 tickets within Japan only.”
In response, Mr. Shige looked at me with a stunned look on his face. Every game developer wanted his game to be enjoyed by many people. But seeing me deny selling to people who wanted to buy my game, it was no wonder he was shocked.
After a while, Mr. Shige spoke while chewing on a piece of beef.
“Actually, I was a bit jealous of you because of the overwhelming reception of Psychic Battle. That’s why even though it may have seemed petty, I proposed the popularity competition with Super Marigee 3. But,”
Mr. Shige stared at me for a while before opening his mouth again.
“Would you have done the same if Super Marigee 3 was being released today?”