When I was a kid, I had a Nintendo Entertainment System. I played so many games and wasted so many breaths on corroded cartridges it’s since become a nostalgic memory that makes this cartoon hilarious:
Art by Jake Likes Onions
My friend had a Sega Genesis (he also had an NES because he was an only child and his parents got him whatever he wanted. No, I’m not bitter about it. Why do you ask?) and I’d go to his house and we’d play Sonic, one of my favorite games that I couldn’t play on my own. When you’re a kid, you don’t think about marketing or sales or trying to best a competitor. But while I was vaulting to collect gold rings, the battle for console supremacy waged on.
The 2014 book Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris chronicles the corporate combat between Sega and Nintendo throughout the 90s, even diving into the internal struggles Sega had with its then-new CEO and one simple bundle change that altered the company’s course. For a moment in that era, Nintendo was not the dominant console.
Hollywood tends to act quickly, and the same year the book was released, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg announced they would be working on a movie adaption. Fast forward four years and that movie has turned into a limited series to be produced by the two friends. This marks another venture into television for the duo, following the footsteps of Preacher and Future Man. The drama is set to be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (who directed Kong: Skull Island and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie) with the pilot coming from Mike Rosolio, following his work on American Vandal and recently had his Reagan script snatched up by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
While Nintendo has remained steady since the early days of a console, the same can’t be said for Sega. With newcomers like Sony and Microsoft tossing their hats into the ring, the market was inundated with new options for consumers and some gambles simply did not pan out according to plan. Still, Sega played an intricate role the progression of video games (their Mortal Kombat release was the catalyst for what would eventually become the ESRB we all know and ignore) and this upcoming narration has an opportunity to peel back the layers and dive with both feet into the competitive madness of a growing industry.