Game Market 1983 - Chapter 25





[1] Note that the companies who develop games for Mintendo are a separate entity



“Mr. Kawaguchi!!”

As expected, after I shouted his name, the man turned his head toward my direction with a confused expression.

“You are Triangle’s Kawaguchi Hironobu, correct?”

“You know of me?”

“Aren’t you the director of King’s Quest?”

“Th-That’s right… But how did you…?”

“I’m Mintendo’s Kang Junhyuk. I saw you on the game developer’s introduction page of the FamiTong magazine.”

“Ah, is that so…”

Mr. Kawaguchi finally nodded his head, and, while on guard, he opened his mouth to speak.

“Of course, a successful company like Mintendo is able to send their employees to the release event for a game.”[1]

“Ah, that’s because the impact of Dragon Warrior is quite large. Haha~”

“Compared to that, the game that I developed, King’s Quest, just recently barely broke 6,000 sales. However, due to Mintendo suddenly raising the royalty, we incurred complete losses.”

“Ah, is that right?”

“‘Ah, is that right?’ What are you trying to say. Are you trying to make fun of me with that rude remark?”

“No, not at all. However, I was not the person to raise the royalties, right? I don’t think you should be getting mad at me?”

“Kurghhh…”

As if Mr. Kawaguchi felt wronged at not being able to find words to respond, he made an irritated sound, biting down on his teeth. President Yamauchi’s behavior has been tyrannical as of recently.

It wasn’t enough to raise the base price for the production, as he tyrannically controlled the supply of production, but the current game companies also had to produce at least 10,000 copies at the bare minimum.

In other words, the King’s Quest that Mr. Kawaguchi made had sold 6,000 units in the three months that it was out, so it was hard to sell now.

Because a plethora of new games was flooding into the market, games that were unable to make a splash were quickly to be forgotten. Triangle must’ve taken a deficit bomb to the face by holding the remaining 4,000 unsold cartridges.

It was great that companies were producing good quality games to wash away the aftermath of the Atari Shock, but, in Mintendo’s monopoly system, it was hard for game developers to gain any sort of benefits.

“It seems to me that Triangle’s situation isn’t good?”

“Initially, we set the starting volume to 2,000, and we tried to increase the stock, after assessing the number of sales; however, Mintendo wouldn’t accept it. Thanks to that, our company is this much away from bankruptcy.”

“Was it that harsh? Oh dear… Do you perhaps have any games in development right now?”

“We have one idea in mind… but our parent company is seemingly trying to close our game development department…”

What!? No!! My plan will only proceed if you make your Final Frontier!! Mr. Kawaguchi continued with a hollow expression.

“Just once… I wanted to have one last shot with this game…”

“Your last shot… What genre are you thinking of?”

“First of all, it’s an RPG. Actually, I wanted to buy a Dragon Warrior copy today and use it as a reference, but, after seeing this humongous crowd on its release today… In all honesty, I lost my will. Would our new game be able to beat Dragon Warrior? That question came up.”

“That’ll be near impossible. No matter what game you make currently, Mr. Kawaguchi, you will never be able to overtake Mr. Ouji’s Dragon Warrior series. They’ve already started developing the 3rd game.”

“Kurghhh… I’m hearing that as us having no chances of beating Dragon Warrior, even with a new game.”

”Yes, that’s right. That’s the foundation that the biggest RPG game in Japan, with the most popularity, has. However, the 2nd place is still empty, how about aiming for that spot first?”

I gave the shopping bag that I was holding in my hands to Mr. Kawaguchi.

“What is this…?”

“This is the Dragon Warrior 2 that I purchased a moment ago from the event.”

“Then why are you giving it to…”

“Mr. Kawaguchi, you must be mistaking something. I specifically said you currently cannot beat the Dragon Warrior series. I never said that you would never be able to beat it. To do that, you must analyze the scale of success of the enemy. You should learn what you need to learn.”

“I’m okay. My idea won’t get approval for production anyways…”

“I’ll talk to our President about that. You should give Dragon Warrior a try while you’re free to do so. Ah~ and after you clear it, you should return it to me. I bought it today, so I haven’t played it either.”

He made a bewildered expression as I forcefully handed the shopping bag to Mr. Kawaguchi. I then headed back to the event.


A few days later, I visited the company, Triangle, in Tokyo. After I barely found the place, with just a glance, I realized that Triangle was occupying the 2nd floor of a shaby four story building. There was a recruitment post on the worn-out notification board on the 1st floor; they were offering 1500 Yen an hour.

The average part-time job in Tokyo paid around 480~500 Yen, so I was shocked at the hourly wage that was 3x greater than normal. Then, I looked at the building again as I muttered:

“No matter how I look at it, I don’t think this company can afford to pay 1500 Yen…”

I shifted my head, and I walked up the stairs. A brief moment later, I was immediately greeted by a pile of corrugated boxes that filled the hallway the moment I stepped onto the 2nd floor.

‘Can these… possibly be?’

I slightly opened a box due to curiosity, it was filled with game titles.

‘So these are the titles that were never sold and recalled… Why in the world are there so many?’

I sighed as I stared at the tiny office door in between the slits of the boxes. After moving a number of boxes aside, and standing in front of the office, I adjusted my clothes, before knocking.

“Come in.”

-Creak…

An unpleasant sound flew out of the unoiled hinges, and, I, who stepped into the interior of the office, experienced a second moment of shock at the sheer number of boxes inside.

“Who might you be?”

If you were gonna ask like that, you should’ve at least cleared the boxes by the doorway!? Again, I pushed the boxes aside as I turned my gaze towards the direction of the voice.

“Ah, I just wanted to meet with the president.”

Subsequently, a man in the back, who looked to be in his 40s, answered with a gray colored face:

“Ah~ You’re the new interviewee who was supposed to come in today. Please come here.”

Interviewee? What kind of dog s*** is he saying!? However, I, who was wedged in between boxes, lost the chance to reply.

“Ah, no, that is…”

“The office is a bit messy, right? It’ll be cleaned soon, so you shouldn’t worry about that. Come here.”

That’s not it, man~!!

A moment later.

I was in an interview with the president, Kudo, inside the narrow Triangle’s office. Yes, should I just pretend to be an interviewee and find out the inner workings of this company?

“Pleased to meet you. I’m taking the role as Triangle Soft’s president, Kudo.”

“Ah, hello. I’m Kang Junhyuk, a Korean transfer student.”

“Korean?”

“Yes, and? Is there a problem?”

“Not at all. I was just surprised at interviewing an overseas student for the first time. Were you here for a long time?”

“Yes, about three years or so?”

“Great… But Mr. Kang, do you know how to program? The employees that we’re hiring are programmers to develop games for the Family console…”

“Of course I can code. However, is the 1500 Yen an hour on the notice board really true?”

Mr. Kudo’s eyebrows twitched slightly. Hmm~ So they were probably hiding something.

“Ah… Yes, haha. The 1500 Yen per hour.”

“It’s much higher compared to other places…?”

“Of course it’s possible if you meet one condition.”

“A condition?”

“Mr. Kang, when a game that you make sells over 5,000 units, you can receive the hourly wage of 1500 Yen; no, I can confidently say that it’ll be more than that.”

Wh-What? So you’re telling me that you would pay the salary after the game was on the market? I was shocked speechless as I responded with hollow laughter:

“What if 5000 units can’t be sold?”

“Then paying the salary would be a bit difficult… Mr. Kang, do you not have confidence in the games that you’ll make?”

Look at this? So you’re trying to bait me into working for you by scratching my ego like this?

“Then what is the base pay without the incentive?”

“It’s 280 Yen.”

They’re f*cking mother f*ckers here. I massaged my face with both my hands, and I let out a long sigh.

This was actually a very rude behavior in an interview, but I didn’t come here for an actual interview. Instead, I was suppose to just visit to inspect the company’s current situation, but first and foremost, the thought process of the president is rotten.

“Excuse me, Mr. Kudo… I am not the person who came for an interview.”

“What? Then…?”

I took out my business card from my pocket, and I handed it to Mr. Kudo, introducing myself again.

“I am the director of Mintendo’s next generation inventions department, Kang Junhyuk.”

“A M-Mintendo employee!?”

“The reason I came here was to talk to you, President Kudo, but the topic went off to a completely different discussion.”

“How, why is a Mintendo employee like you here…?”

Instead of a reply, I looked around the box-filled office, and I opened my mouth.

“Are these boxes games that Triangle Soft developed for our Family console?”

“Yes… That’s right. We haven’t developed any popular projects, but we’ve already produced four titles for the Family, with the recent one being King’s Quest.”

They had no hits even after four titles… That was why their office was littered with trash… However, why was the President alone in the game development office by himself?

“Are there other employees? Why is the president alone in the office on a weekday?”

“There was Mr. Kawaguchi, a programmer who developed King’s Quest, but he hasn’t showed up to work recently.”

“And why is that?”

“That is, King’s Quest didn’t sell as anticipated; thus, his salary was pushed back, so…”

He’s going around in circles. I’m not hearing an answer.

“That’s the current situation, yet you’re hiring part-time workers?”

“We will get revenue after we make a successful game. However, first of all, why did you visit our company?”

“The reason I came here today was to meet the president.”

“Me?”

“The current situation of Triangle Soft didn’t seem too good. You’ve made four titles for our Family, but there were no hit projects; thus, I came here to give you some technical help


 





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