Nintendo’s beginnings started off very differently from the company we know today. Back in 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi opened a playing card company he called Nintendo Playing Card Company. The handmade cards were so popular that they were soon being sold around the globe. The company does still produce playing cards, but they are sold only in Japan. The word Nintendo is roughly translated to “leave luck to heaven.”
In 1963, the company renamed themselves to just “Nintendo.” The company tried many other business ventures in the US in the 1960’s, everything from taxis to motels, instant rice to television networks, but none of them were successful.
After partnering with a toy and game company in the early 1970’s, business began to turn around. They created a light-activated shooting style arcade game that became very popular and the company’s direction took an entirely new turn.
The company’s first video game was made in 1977. In 1985, the company created what would become one of the most famous video game consoles, the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, and video game in the world, Mario Brothers.
Nintendo is Japan’s 3rd most valuable company, with a market value of more than $85 billion. Headquarters are located in Kyoto, Japan, with the American corporate office located in Redmond, Washington.