Legendary Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto is the creator of most of Nintendo’s iconic IP, and arguably the biggest factor in the company’s rise to success and worldwide recognition. Today, Nintendo is a household name in the West, but it wasn’t always like that. Up until 1981, Nintendo had been unsuccessful in establishing themselves as a competitor in North America, but all of that changed when a young Miyamoto was tasked with turning unsold Radar Scope arcades into a new game.
Donkey Kong was vastly different from most games at the time (very few platformers existed yet), and there were some who thought it wouldn’t succeed, but Miyamoto pressed on, and Donkey Kong arcade machines officially went on sale on July 9th, 1981. The classic game turned 35 years old today, and it’s still one of the most iconic and recognizable video games in existence. The immense success of Donkey Kong led to Miyamoto taking on a bigger role in the company, creating more incredible franchises like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.