Nintendo of America HQ's sign
|Type||Division of Nintendo|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York (Former) |
Redmond, Washington (Current)
Nintendo of America, Incorporated, NOA, is the American division of Nintendo. They were originally headquartered in New York City, but later moved to Redmond, Washington. Their HQ is so close to Microsoft's headquarters that only a interstate separates them. Ever since 1980, Nintendo of America has grown at an alarming rate. It has distribution centers in Atlanta, Georgia (Nintendo Atlanta) and North Bend, Washington (Nintendo North Bend). The company's first president was Minoru Arakawa and the current president is Reggie Fils-Aime.
In 2008 Nintendo started construction on six new buildings. Of the two preexisting buildings, one was demolished. Construction on the buildings finalized in the first half of 2010. The interior of the buildings is highly stylized in comparison to the previous headquarters, featuring various references to Nintendo throughout such as d-pad shaped tables, windows with familiar Mario items on them, and more.
Nintendo, specifically NOA, is known for its no tolerance policy for emulation of its products, stating that it is the single largest threat to the intellectual rights of video game developers. Nintendo claims that copyright-like rights in mask works protect its games from the exceptions that United States copyright law otherwise provides for personal backup copies. Nintendo uses the claim that emulators running on personal computers have no use other than to play pirated video games, though a use that doesn't involve intellectual property in this way is seen in the development and testing of independently produced "homebrew" software on Nintendo's platforms. It is also claimed that Nintendo's claims contradict copyright laws, mainly that ROM image copiers are illegal (they are legal if used to dump unprotected ROM images on to a user's computer for personal use, per 17 U.S.C. § 117(a)(1) and foreign counterparts) and that emulators are illegal (if they do not use copyrighted BIOS, or use other methods to run the game, they are legal; see Console emulator for further information about the legality of emulators). This stance is largely apocryphal, however; Nintendo remains the only modern console manufacturer that has not sued an emulator manufacturer.
Emulators have been used by Nintendo and licensed third party companies as a means to re-release older games (e.g. Virtual Console).
Nintendo is known for its strict policies against nudity and sexuality, though it allows graphic violence. Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe went further into this by not allowing nudity, sexuality, profanity (including racism, sexism or slurs), blood, graphic or domestic violence, drugs, political messages or religious symbols (with the exception of widely unpracticed religions, such as the Greek Pantheon) in their games. The Japanese parent company was concerned that it may be viewed as a "Japanese Invasion" if it introduced adult content to North American and European children. U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman praised this zero tolerance policy, but others criticized the policy, claiming that gamers should be allowed to choose the content they want to see. Despite the strict guidelines, some exceptions have occurred: Bionic Commando (though swastikas were eliminated in the US version), Smash TV and Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode contained human violence, the latter also containing implied sexuality and tobacco use; River City Ransom and Taboo: The Sixth Sense contained nudity, and the latter also contained religious images, as did Castlevania II and Castlevania III.
Nintendo chose to abolish most of these policies in favor of consumers making their own choices about the content of the games they played. Today, changes to the content of games are done primarily by the game's developer or, occasionally, at the request of Nintendo. The only clear-set rule is that ESRB AO-rated games will not be licensed on Nintendo consoles in North America, a practice which is also enforced by Sony and Microsoft, its two greatest competitors in the present market. Nintendo has since allowed several mature-content games to be published on its consoles,.
Nintendo of America also had guidelines before 1993 that had to be followed by its licensees to make games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, in addition to the above content guidelines:. Guidelines were enforced through the 10NES lockout chip.
- Licensees were not permitted to release the same game for a competing console until two years had passed.
- Nintendo would decide how many cartridges would be supplied to the licensee.
- Nintendo would decide how much space would be dedicated for articles, advertising, etc. in the Nintendo Power magazine.
- There was a minimum number of cartridges that had to be ordered by the licensee from Nintendo.
- There was a yearly limit of five games that a licensee may produce for a Nintendo console. This rule was created to prevent market over-saturation, which caused the North American video game crash of 1983.
Seal of QualityEdit
The gold starburst seal was first used by Nintendo of America, and later Nintendo of Europe. It is displayed on any game, system, or accessory licensed for use on one of its video game consoles, denoting the game has been properly licensed by Nintendo.
This seal is an elliptical starburst titled "Official Nintendo Seal". Originally, for NTSC countries, the seal was a large, black and gold circular starburst. The seal read as follows: "This seal is your assurance that NINTENDO has approved and guaranteed the quality of this product." This seal was later altered in 1988: "approved and guaranteed" was changed to "evaluated and approved". In 1989, the seal became gold and white, as it currently appears, with a shortened phrase, "Official Nintendo Seal of Quality". It was changed in 2003 to read "Official Nintendo Seal".