OverviewThis subsidiary of Nintendo Co., Ltd. is based in Redmond, Washington. It began its operations in 1980 and was initially headed by Hiroshi Yamuachi's son-in-law, Minoru Arakawa. Since then they have exclusively published and localized games.
After the video game crash in 1983, Arakawa decided to take advantage of this by bringing the Famicom to America. He feared that cheap games from Taiwan might flood the market and he got Nintendo's engineers to create a lockout chip, therefore Nintendo would only manufacture the cartridges for the console (unlike in Japan, where Nintendo, Konami, Namco, Bandai, Capcom and Jaleco made their own cartridges, custom chips, etc;). This also pushed for Nintendo to license all games in North America. Arakawa also feared that companies would also produce a bunch of low quality games, thus created the rule where a publisher can only publish five games per year. This rule was dropped after 1991, as companies such as Konami would own a second publishing label (i.e. Konami's Ultra Games/Palcom software).
Nintendo of America has always had a strong censoring policy on games.
The company has also been a strong supporter of Rare, Ltd during the time that Nintendo owned the company. It also has had a key role in publishing and localizing some games that were popular in other areas of the world and would bring them to North America for North American audiences.
Contributed by Freeman (24965) on Apr 21, 2005. [revised by : Indra is stressed (19947), Scott G (728) and zerothis (93)].