High Score (2020) s01e04 Episode Script

This is War

[man in Japanese]
Nintendo was our rival at the time,
and they had a powerhouse in Mario.
Honestly, Sega didn't have
any characters on that level.
We were told to create a character
that could compete with Mario.
Nintendo was like an impossibly huge wall.
You would think that they were invincible.
We were too outmatched
to even feel pressure.
With nothing to lose,
we might as well go down swinging.
[narrator in English] In the late '80s,
all kids wanted for Christmas was…
a Nintendo Entertainment System.
Thank you! [crying]
And parents--
uh, Santa,
made it one of the best-selling
holiday toys of 1988.
But if Mario was the undisputed king,
an underdog was about to declare war.
For Japanese game maker Sega,
mainly known for its arcade cabinets,
the battle was about
winning the home console market.
[reporter] This year,
kids and their parents
will spend more than three billion dollars
on video games and game cartridges.
[narrator] Sega had released
its new Genesis console in Japan
[speaking Japanese]
where its 16-bit technology
was a giant leap
from the existing eight-bit consoles.
[announcer] A scientist
creates the ultimate machine.
At last!
[announcer] A machine
that will give him the power.
[narrator] With 16 bits,
Sega's Genesis had the power to defeat
the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The only thing missing were hit games.
For that, they turned to this man.
I was very aware
that we were starting a war with Nintendo.
And I knew that if we did it correctly,
we could win the battle.
This is Tom Kalinske,
the general
in Sega's war against Nintendo.
Before joining Sega,
Kalinske had already
made a name for himself at Mattel toys.
But a few years after leaving Mattel,
Tom got a surprise visitor.
[Tom] I was actually on vacation
in Hawaii with my wife and my kids.
And Hayao Nakayama,
the chairman and CEO of Sega Japan,
tracked me down in Maui,
and he just appeared.
He came and he said,
"I want you to run Sega of America,
and I'm going to show you
16-bit technology,
I'm also going to show you
a color handheld game unit,
and the reason why it's better than
what Nintendo has."
And I ended up going from Hawaii
to Japan with him,
and I was knocked out
by 16-bit technology.
It was so much better
than eight-bit technology
that I believed that,
yes, we could take on Nintendo,
who had a 98% share
of the video game market in those days.
[narrator] Tom accepted the offer
to become CEO of Sega of America.
But there was a catch.
The directive from Japan
was hyaku man tan'i
which meant sell a million units.
They had only sold maybe
70,000 units of Genesis up to that point,
so there was a long way to go
to get to a million units!
[narrator] So Kalinske had to come up
with a battle plan
to sell one million
of Sega's newest console, the Genesis.
[Tom] So I developed a plan
and went back to Japan.
We went into
what's called the decision room.
And, of course, most of the people
that I'm talking to did not speak English.
And I had to sell the battle plan
to the board of directors of Sega.
[narrator] Kalinske's five-point
battle plan would prove pretty unfamiliar
to the Japanese business mindset.
So I present my strategy
to the board of directors,
but it wasn't going well.
And Nakayama gets up,
and he kicks over a chair.
"They don't agree with anything you said."
And he starts to leave the room.
I thought, "Well, this is
the shortest career anybody ever had.
I'm done for. He's leaving the room,
leaving me with all these people
who don’t agree with me."
And he turned at the door, and he said,
"When I hired you, I said you were
going to be able to make all the decisions
for the American market,
and so go ahead and do your things
that you've planned."
Now, it had to work, obviously,
or I was finished.
[narrator] The first part
was relatively easy.
But the next step of his war plan
would rely on Sega's secret weapon.
[man in Japanese] I think speed
was probably crucial to Sega because
the Sega Genesis
was being marketed
as a 16-bit machine.
It had much faster processing
than a conventional system.
We could make the game
faster than ever before.
[narrator in English] Having
a fast console wasn't enough for Sega.
They needed a new hit game.
So game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara
looked for a little
[Yasuhara in Japanese]
We targeted an American audience.
We wondered what was popular in America.
And we thought roller coasters
might be a very viable attraction.
Our program could already
render loops and turns.
We decided to leverage the program
and make a game
with a lot of acrobatic loops.
We made like a big roller coaster
and then snipped it.
And then we added little surprises
along the way.
[narrator in English] And with
thrilling gameplay sketches in hand,
the final element Sega required
was a mascot to outrun Mario.
[man in Japanese] The game
was developed before the character,
then we created
the character designs
that best fit the game.
[narrator in English] Mario was
a cute little plumber in overalls.
So Naoto Ohshima wanted
to design something different,
something edgy,
sleek, aerodynamic.
[Ohshima in Japanese]
We finally settled on a character
that could run faster than anyone
and could curl up and attack.
I think the first one was a rabbit.
Then we said something like a panda
would be good.
But we thought it might be
too cute and confusing
for a panda to roll and attack.
So we decided a hedgehog.
[narrator in English] This tiny, spiny
furball was a rather obscure choice,
so Oshima conducted
an informal field test,
which took him to New York City.
[Ohshima in Japanese] The goal was
for him to become popular in the US.
Coincidentally, I had a personal trip
to New York coming up.
I brought a board.
I drew out a hedgehog,
a human character, and another animal.
And I took a survey in Central Park
of the characters that people liked.
Then Sonic came out as number one.
That's how I became confident
that the hedgehog was the best.
[narrator in English]
Meet Sonic, the speedy hedgehog
who would become Sega's new mascot.
And he wasn't just all smiles.
He was fierce and ready to attack.
[Ohshima in Japanese] Once it curls up
into a ball, it looks unbeatable.
The needles made him look
like he can cause pain.
To express some form of speed,
it was useful to have spikes on the back.
At the time, Sega's color was blue,
so we made him Sega blue.
I think a good character is
something with a trait
that can be described in a single phrase.
If I were to describe Sonic in one word,
it would be "speed of light."
[narrator in English]
On paper, Sonic was fully crafted,
from his sneaky eyes to his fancy sneaks.
All that was left
was to see if he would fit
Yasuhara's roller coaster design
like a glove.
[Yasuhara in Japanese] People tend
to think games are a solitary activity.
But the game designer is always there
behind the screen.
Whenever the game player
makes an action
the designer leads them
on to the next thing,
encourages them with a reward,
and leads them onward.
When he rolls,
he doesn't simply bounce back,
he bounces really fast on the spring,
and suddenly gets transported
to a new place.
Also, we supply ups and downs
in the game experience.
Once you overcome the challenge,
you get a slight breather.
By adding these waves
you heighten the feeling
of accomplishment.
That's how we build games.
[narrator in English]
And all of that work paid off big-time
when Sonic launched in 1991.
The game was jam-packed with springs,
and a nearly endless supply of gold rings.
It's quite possibly the most iconic game
Sega ever made,
and gave rise to a new legion
of competitive players.
[man] My life is like a video game
in so many ways.
If you're competing
in video game competitions,
in order to succeed
your life must be a video game.
You make decisions like a video game.
You must play precisely and perfectly
Do not make any mistakes
and be focused.
So I got one shot.
And I have to make the most of it.
[narrator] This is Chris Tang.
I've been in the industry for a while.
He knows a lot about video games
because his resume is long.
I'm a game designer,
game tester,
the voice
of the “Boom! Tetris for Jeff” meme.
Boom, Tetris for Jeff!
[narrator] He's even
a Nintendo World Champion finalist!
I was meeting girls, and saying, "Hey,
I'm a Nintendo Champion now. What's up?”
The Nintendo championships was the start
of my competitive gaming career.
But my favorite video game
was actually a Sega game.
[narrator] So he's most known for playing
in the 1994 Sega World Championships.
And it all started with an ad campaign.
[Chris] Sega had its own magazine
called Sega Visions,
and they had this article that said,
"We're going to reveal the next Sonic game
and there's going to be this competition
and 100,000 people are
going to compete against each other
for $25,000 and find out who the best
video game player in the world is."
-[narrator] And they called it
-[announcer] Rock the Rock.
[Chris] For the Sega Rock the Rock
there were three elements
that had rock in it.
It was going to be televised on MTV,
which, you know, rock music.
They had their preliminaries
at Hard Rock Cafes across the world,
and they're going to have
the grand final at Alcatraz
which is also known as the Rock.
So, they should've called it
Rock the Rock the Rock, but
I think two rocks was probably enough.
It totally rocked!
But I knew
that competitions like this were rare,
and I was feeling really good
about playing Sonic the Hedgehog.
So I'm like,
"I'm going to go for this thing."
Turns out that, you know,
this Rock the Rock
Sega world championships
was a real world championship.
So they had preliminaries
in Japan and France and Brazil.
[narrator] And Chris entered
the preliminaries in San Francisco,
his and the Rock's hometown.
[Chris] It was very busy.
It was very crowded.
They had everything roped off,
and they had this line of stations
that people would play on.
The day progressed and they'd
have these elimination rounds
and you can't make any mistakes.
I was kind of laid back,
on the outside. On the inside
I really wanted to win this thing.
Keep your cool and keep moving.
Make sure nothing hits you.
And just be careful.
So, it went from
everybody in the whole building
to down to two and I did end up
making it into the top two
where I made a perfect run
and won for San Francisco.
They handcuffed me to this briefcase
and they hauled me off to a limousine
and drove me to the finals.
Chris Tang was advancing to the finals,
and Sonic was threatening
his rival, Mario.
But for Kalinske, this wasn't enough.
Sports games, to me,
were a very important part of our strategy
because I knew that the teenage player
was really into sports.
So we needed a sports game.
And one visionary entrepreneur
had already started tackling the challenge
of taking sports
from the stadium onto the screen.
[man] I played football,
I read a lot of books about football.
I even had fantasies
about being a football coach.
I really felt like
I understood enough about
the mechanics of the real sport
and the probabilities of things
and I loved using statistics
and leveraging them.
But, anything
that was calling itself a sports game
was really just a kid's toy.
[narrator] In the early '80s,
sports video games existed,
but they didn't really look real.
It was basically saying
Pong was like tennis.
There are tennis-like elements to it,
but it doesn't have any
of the actual physical properties
or strategies of tennis.
And I felt like,
"I think I can make a better game.
Something more real."
And then I thought, "Oh, if you think
you can do a better game, then
go do that."
So in 1982, Trip Hawkins created
his own video game company
and called it Electronic Arts.
[Trip] When I started Electronic Arts,
I couldn't wait to do a football game.
I was really itching to do it.
I was just going to do it anyway,
no matter what investors thought about it,
or anybody else.
And everybody just knew
it was Trip's thing.
[narrator] Trip's thing was football.
But no, not that one.
[announcer] Here's the play.
Quarterback has the ball.
And there's the throw.
The one and only American football.
The most popular sport
in the United States.
But football's really complicated.
[narrator] Which is an understatement
for a sport where one single play
can unfold in countless different ways.
So, if I had something
really tricky and challenging to do,
maybe I could work with a coach
that could provide
additional knowledge and insight.
Trip needed an endorsement from a pro,
someone with experience
and enthusiasm.
The left goes to the right,
right goes to the left,
this guy crosses here, he crosses here,
they have no idea
where we are, who we are,
where we're coming from,
who we're throwing to.
Very interesting.
[narrator] John Madden.
-Can you hear me?
-[narrator] You may have heard of him.
With me, of course, is coach John Madden,
our CBS football analyst superb.
[narrator] Or you may have just heard him.
He makes a little basketball twist there
and pivot and boom! The ball's there.
[narrator] But Madden wasn't just
an iconic sportscaster.
[Madden] Unbelievable!
[narrator] He won the Super Bowl
coaching the Oakland Raiders
[announcer] John Madden
goes on the shoulders of his players.
[narrator] and was inducted
into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
[Madden] Today feels
like the second time in my life
that I'm being carried
off the shoulders of others.
He had really kind of done it all
in football, and I thought,
"This guy would be
really great to work with."
As I was saying,
I don't care what anybody else
Hey, wait a minute!
[narrator] While his top pick was
busy breaking through paper walls
Like I was saying,
light beer tastes great.
Trip was going through paper reams
to draft a plan
in hopes of sealing the deal with Madden.
[Trip] I had spent a lot of time preparing
a 60-page design document
and a dossier of several pages
of questions I wanted to ask him
including the question
about seven-on-seven football,
because the machines
of that time were eight-bit
and the memory was limited
to have a real 11-on-11 football game.
So I know John knows about seven-on-seven,
where its really more about
executing the plays.
And I just thought I'd run it by him
to get his detailed input.
So I flew to Denver
and boarded the Amtrak train with John.
A train from Denver to Oakland
[man] Have your tickets ready, please.
a ride of more than 1200 miles,
crossing four states…
Get one by the window!
all because the tough guy
is afraid to fly.
It's the only way.
The wheels never leave the ground.
[Trip] And we just basically
spent the next two and a half days
all day and night talking about football.
[narrator] They talked about pigskin.
[pig oinks]
They talked about kicks.
And Trip asked about
his stripped-down version of the game.
[Trip] What do you think about doing
seven-on-seven football?
And he said, "That's not real football."
[train wheels screech]
He needed it to be real 11-on-11 football.
Not some imitation.
And then we all go,
"Yeah, that's not--  Yeah, of course,
that's not real football.
We're going to do the real thing
even though it's going to be really
painful, technically, to get it to work.
Now that Madden was on board
See you later.
Trip had to get it right.
This is it.
[Trip] That desire for authenticity
took what could have been
a one-year project
and turned it into a four-year project.
It became known to the company
as Trip's folly,
because we really bit off
more than we could chew.
[narartor] And now, entering the field
of play is star producer Joe Ybarra.
[Joe] I've always liked technology,
and I like to solve problems.
I'm very passionate about
building immersive worlds.
The big idea was to bring
professional football
onto the personal computer.
But we weren't sure if this could be done
in the first place.
So, as a producer,
I had the determination
and passion to make this game work.
[narrator] And to figure out
-this complicated process
-[whistle blows]
Ybarra took it layer by layer.
Or rather, sticky note by sticky note.
The layers of a football game
are complex and robust,
so developing the technology
to reflect an entire 60-minute,
twenty-two man football game
with player statistics
and add infinite amounts of plays
was really difficult to do.
You have to think about
the players on the screen.
How fast is this guy?
How agile is he? How smart is he?
Now we have 22 of them,
so there's 22 different roles.
So now you have them all working
in concert together,
that's another layer,
which is how do we do the team editing?
How are the plays executed?
What kind of cues do the user have?
What is the user interface gonna be?
So Madden is built upon the idea
that we embrace these layers
and make sure that each one of them
did the job that it needed to do
to make football seem real.
[narrator] And finally, in 1988
the project made it into the end zone
when John Madden Football was released
on the Apple II computer.
[Trip] Finally after a few years,
it started to really feel like
a football game.
And I thought for an Apple II,
this is amazing.
And so it got good reviews.
But the eight-bit machines
are very limited.
When is there going to be a 16-bit one?
[narrator] And, as fate would have it
while Trip was looking
for the perfect console
for his next Madden game to shine,
Kalinske was looking to bring sports
to the 16-bit Sega Genesis.
[Trip] The Madden game for the Genesis
was fabulous.
Finally after six years,
it looked like real football.
It was a really, really great game.
[narrator] And luckily
[Madden] Look at this defense.
The guys aren't there.
Get in there. Get my guys in there.
John Madden felt the same way.
I can't stop them. I can't stop this team!
[Joe] The personality of John Madden
the professionalism of the product.
[announcer] Touchdown!
It immediately gave us credibility.
[man] We'll take the flip, the kick,
the headbutt and the taunt. Brr!
Throw in that and that.
Looks good, give me the feel too.
[narrator] EA would go on to become
a powerhouse in sports games,
continuing to attract athletes
as partners.
And expanding their titles
to include basketball
and what the rest of the world
calls football.
[man] EA Sports. It's in the game.
[narrator] But for some players,
these games meant more.
[man] I was never the best athlete.
But I had the passion
for the narrative journey of sports,
and I feel you go on a narrative journey
with any game that you play.
Video games afford you
the opportunity just to start over.
You can be tall or short, or fast or slow.
In games, we all start
at the exact same place
and have the opportunity
to begin to play together.
I'm black and I'm gay,
and when you grow up
African American and gay,
you're taught
there's a different set of rules
that you're going to always
have to play by.
For me, games were a place
where the rules were the same.
You know? Where I could be my best me
because we're all playing
by the same rules.
[whistle blows]
Madden was the first game to achieve
the feeling that you were a part of it,
that you were one
of the 22 players in the game.
There's an art and there's a science
to making that feel right.
And it was magical.
For the first time, you could enjoy
football the way you loved it on Sundays,
Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
I was hooked.
There are lots of games
I had a great experience with.
Madden was the one I identified with,
that actually changed my life.
[narrator] Gordon Bellamy was so hooked
on Madden Football
that it inspired him to chase
after a career at Electronic Arts.
[Gordon] I had wanted, all my life,
to design Madden Football,
to go out there
and make the coolest games ever.
And so Gordon threw a Hail Mary.
[Gordon] I sent my resume in
and did not get the response I expected.
So I cold called every single person
in the credits at their desk.
"Hello, I'm Gordon." Click. [laughing]
Dialed next name, "Hello,
I'm an engineer from Harvard." Click.
-I called and called and called.
-[phones ringing]
A guy named Jim Simmons
picked up the phone
and gave me a shot
at an entry level interview
to try to get in the games business.
That's why I'm here.
[narrator] Gordon finally landed
his dream job working on Madden.
And he immediately set out
to make a major change
to EA's flagship game.
So, back then because
of what the machines were capable of,
the players all had to be one race.
And back then, the majority of players
in the NFL were African American.
[whistle blows]
I'd waited all my life
to see players of color,
to see a reflection of myself in games.
So in '95,
we put African-Americans in the game.
And it was provocative
because people had never seen
black people on the back
of a major sports game.
They just hadn't. It was a new thing.
For marginalized people,
a lot of energy is devoted
to justifying your existence in spaces.
So when you see yourself
placed as default,
it has real meaning.
It matters.
[narrator] For Gordon Bellamy,
Madden leveled the playing field.
And the game also scored big for Sega.
[Tom] The Madden game helped bring
lots of people into playing video games,
just because they wanted to play football
on a Genesis machine.
Next up, while Nintendo was fun for kids,
Sega wanted to prove
that they were too cool for school.
[announcer] Suddenly,
the sky is a little clearer.
The water is a little bluer.
The roads, a little bumpier.
[Tom] Nintendo was marketing
to children nine to 13 years old.
-It's a dragon!
-I know!
[announcer] Super Mario World,
it comes only as part of the system
it was created for,
the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
So I was convinced
we had to go after an older age group.
Yo, he goes slow ♪
[narrator] So Sega advertised their mascot
as the coolest kid on the block.
Sonic the hedgehog ♪
No fool ♪
[Ohshima in Japanese]
Sonic didn't try hard to be liked
[in English] Little brat!
[in Japanese] he didn't smile too much.
That was his personality.
[in English] Wrong answer, pal.
[in Japanese]
He makes a lot of mistakes along the way.
He's slightly rebellious.
And of course
he can run around super fast.
Sonic ♪
Sonic the hedgehog ♪
No fool ♪
[Yasuhara in Japanese]
He's not an all-mighty character.
He loses rings left and right.
He's just like all of us.
But he overcomes all perils.
-[announcer] Sonic the Hedgehog!
-No fool.
[narrator in English]
Sonic was definitely no fool,
and neither was Kalinske.
I knew fully well, though,
if we got older brother
to play with Sega Genesis,
younger brother
was going to want to do it too.
So that by going after
the older audience,
we were going to automatically steal
some of that younger audience
that Nintendo had.
[narrator] So Kalinske made some
out-of-the-box guerilla marketing moves
It's up to you to decide
taking Sega to malls
All we're asking is for everybody
to come down here,
look at both machines
and decide for themselves.
and college campuses.
[Tom] Most people aren't aware
that we had a student
on almost every college campus
who was a Sega guy.
We gave him a Genesis.
We sent him free software.
And all he had to do
was wander around the college campus
and fraternity houses,
plug in the system and play,
and get other people interested in Sega.
It's not Nintendo, it's Sega.
That's cool.
And it worked.
[narrator] In 1994,
only one thing was cooler than Sega.
[voices] I want my MTV.
Too much is never enough.
[narrator] So when Chris advanced
to the finals of Rock the Rock,
it was the epitome of cool.
And he wasn't alone.
I got $1000 on my boy Chris.
[man] Hear that Chris?
Can't let this big man down.
[narrator] Chris had an entourage to cheer
and to train with.
[Chris] The night before the finals
[man] This is our hotel room right here.
Mike's over there practicing right now.
[Chris] My brother and I
were practicing my strategies
and what patterns would be effective.
[narrator] Strategic patterns,
Chris' secret weapon,
which he has down to a science.
[Chris] When you break a game down
to its basics,
it's a set of variables and decisions
that you make in real time.
So in Sonic, the maps are very large,
there are multiple ways that you can go.
You can take a loop to go to the right
or you might find a springboard
that bounces you up
to a totally different area,
and traversing these things takes time.
So you have to choose.
Do you spend your time going up?
Do you spend your time going right?
Do you backtrack
and get the rings over there
or is it not worth it?
So plotting that out,
having that all in my mind
and being able to figure out
what I need to do in what situation
and risk manage all of that
at the same time
is part of the complexities
of the competition.
[man] This is Chris' day
to dominate the world. How do you feel?
-Great, ready to kick some ass.
-[man] All right.
[Chris] So we were up all night,
and I knew the optimal pattern.
My friend asked me, "Hey, are you ready?"
I'm like, "Yeah, I'm ready.
Let's do this."
[narrator] Let the games begin.
-[cheering and applause]
-[Chris] They bused us over to the pier
Here they come, Bill.
Twenty-five people compete for the title
and contents of this Brinks truck.
[Chris] They introduced
all the competitors.
[man] Right there!
And then they got us all onto a boat,
and we're going to Alcatraz.
[narrator] Alcatraz: a great place
to lock up thieves and murderers
like Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly,
and Whitey Bulger.
But a place for kids to play
in a video game competition?
Not so much.
Eventually, they put us all
into a big room with all the stations,
and they went over just
how the competition was gonna work.
[narrator] First, the 25 contestants
play for three minutes.
Then the two players
with the highest amount of rings
go on to the final face off.
[man] All the best players
in the country are here.
Twenty-four global opponents.
Giant TV crew. Mega-babe Daisy Fuentes.
-[man 1] All right.
-[man 2] Zoom in!
[man 1] Don't worry. I got it.
[narrator] Must be hard
to keep a clear head.
[man] Chris!
Don't let nothing get to your head.
Just keep focused on your pattern.
But when it came time
to play in my preliminaries, I was like
[mimics explosion]
I had to be completely focused.
[announcer] The contestants
are locked in position.
[man] Get ready, Chris.
[whistle blows]
[Chris] I was smart to play it safe enough
so that I wouldn't get hit,
but not reveal my actual pattern
because people were watching me,
and information is power.
Eventually they started eliminating people
until it got down to two people.
This kid is insane. I'm telling you,
this man built the machine.
[Chris] It was me
and the guy from Boston.
He got a higher score than me,
so I knew I was up against someone
who was really good.
These are the two heading for the finals
in the big house.
[man] This is it!
It's the playoffs now.
There are the two. Just the combat zone.
[Chris] So, eventually,
we went out to the finals.
All right, this is the final stage
of the greatest
international video game challenge
of the 21st century.
[Chris] We got three minutes
to get as many rings as we can.
I had to get more rings
than the other guy.
[man] The other guy's nervous, uh-oh.
Let the games begin!
[airhorn sounds]
[man] All right, here's Chris, right here.
[Chris] Before, I didn't want to reveal
the final form of my pattern.
But now, since there's just one run off,
I'll do my final pattern
right out the gate.
[man] Go, Chris, go! Go all out.
[Daisy] Chris is still ahead
by just a few-- Now they're tied!
[man] Damn!
[Chris] At one point, I was worried
that the other guy was scoring better
than I was scoring.
[Daisy] Mark is on a roll.
[Chris] But at about seven seconds,
I hit pause,
looked at his screen
to confirm what his ring count was.
[crowd] Three, two, one!
[man] Yes! Yes!
Yes! He got him!
[Chris] I did this awesome, like,
victory roar, "Yeah!"
and on MTV they put that into slow motion
and it's like this iconic thing.
[man] The Sega World Champion!
[Daisy] $25,000!
What are you gonna do now?
Buy games, play! Play! Play! Play!
It was a real emotional,
really thrilling moment,
and Sega said they were going to find out
who the best video game player
in the world was.
I guess I'm the best
video game player in the world?
At least according to Sega,
which is kind of cool.
[Chris] It's one of the greatest moments
of my life,
and I'm glad
I get to tell the story about it.
[narrator] Chris Tang's story is
a testimony to Sega's cool victory.
But to really bring it home,
Sega started a bold marketing campaign,
which wasn't without some sassiness.
We had great commercials.
But I had to be very certain
that we could make fun of them
in a way that was enjoyable.
-Genesis does ♪
-[announcer] Sixteen bits.
[Tom] We had a good line.
"Genesis does what Nintendon't."
-Genesis ♪
-[announcer] Does.
-Genesis ♪
-[announcer] Does.
-Genesis ♪
-[announcer] Does.
-Genesis ♪
-[announcer] Does.
-Genesis does ♪
-[announcer] What Nintendon't.
Eventually I didn’t feel
the advertising was aggressive enough
or clever enough,
and I wanted to take it further.
So one of the commercials
that I loved was
we put Genesis on the back of a race car.
And we had Nintendo on the back
of an old milk truck
that smoked and was very slow,
and off they went and, of course,
the Formula car
left Nintendo in the dust.
[tires screech]
And every commercial ended with "Sega!"
[man] Sega! Sega!
It was fun to say, it was fun to yell.
[man] Sega! Sega!
-People enjoyed it.
-[man] Sega! Sega!
They got the humor of it.
[man] Sega! Sega!
-You'd see kids screaming, "Sega!"
-[man] Sega! Sega!
-It woke up Nintendo.
They realized that we were a real
competitor, and it did explode. I mean,
every kid on the block became either
"I'm a Nintendo kid,"
or "I'm a Sega kid."
I think I'd rather play Genesis.
Sega's got more better games.
I think it's pretty cool.
[narrator] Kalinske's battle plan worked.
And in the early '90s,
Sega was outselling
the once-unbeatable Nintendo.
I heard Matt got a Sega Genesis.
[doorbell rings]
I heard Matt got a Sega Genesis.
But beyond the commercial take-downs
Well, I guess one more is okay.
and all the corporate posturing
[announcer] Now there's a wack!
the console war expanded gaming
into entirely new genres
and caught the eye of new audiences.
Video games weren't just for kids anymore.
I'm a video game addict.
I'm always playing it
and sitting by the TV.
[narrator] But with anything
that gains a more mature audience,
things inevitably get
violent, gory
-and outright disturbing.
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