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HE'S HERE, HE'S THERE, HE'S EVERYWHERE; 100 MILLION MARIO GAME PAKS SOLD WORLDWIDE

 Nintendo's Renowned Mascot Leads List
 of Major Nintendo Software Sales Milestones
 REDMOND, Wash., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- If there was a video game hall of fame, Mario would be the first inductee. The famous little plumber in bright blue overalls and a red cap is loved by millions -- 100 million that is. Nintendo today announced a huge milestone -- "Mario"-titled software have topped 100 million units in worldwide retail sales, making Mario video games the most popular in industry history. (If in the record industry, Mario games would have gone platinum 100 times).
 "Who would have ever thought that a little Italian plumber from Brooklyn would capture the imagination of children worldwide?" asked Peter Main, Nintendo's vice president, marketing. "But Mario's popularity transcends all cultural and language barriers. Internationally, children identify and love Mario because of his inquisitive character. They know he is goofy and awkward but he works hard, and thus, can do super-human things like flying and leaping over buildings. He's the little guy with big dreams and obviously kids everywhere love him -- they've made him the most popular video game character in history."
 In addition, Nintendo today announced that several other recent video game introductions have hit sales milestones. Nintendo's "Star Fox," the first Super FX title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), was the fastest-selling video game in history -- more than 1.7 million games sold in Japan and the United States through March 1993, even though the product was not even introduced in the United States until March 22. "Super Mario Land 2" for the hand-held Game Boy system has sold more than 5 million cartridges worldwide since its introduction last November. Last, but not least, Nintendo has announced that worldwide software sold for Nintendo systems has topped 750 million -- more games than any other video game company in history.
 But Mario continues to lead the pack of software sales achievements. The brainchild of Japanese computer genius, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario has captured worldwide fame by starring in seven different Nintendo video games including "Super Mario Bros." (1985), "Super Mario Bros. 2" (1988: U.S. and Japan versions), "Super Mario Land" (1989), "Super Mario Bros. 3" (1990), "Super Mario World" (1991) and "Super Mario Land 2" (1992). Before becoming a star in his own right, Mario hit the video game screen in 1981 with a walk-on appearance in Miyamoto's arcade version of Donkey Kong. At that time, Mario was known as "Jumpman." It was in Donkey Kong Jr. (1982) that Mario was officially given his name. And aside from his seven starring roles, Brooklyn-born Mario has made cameo appearances in more than a dozen games over the last eight years.
 "No other video game in history has sold 100 million cartridges." Main said. "Each Mario-titled game becomes a best-seller and his popularity continues to grow. To put Mario's stardom in perspective, in Q-score research ratings (an annual independent popularity poll) he's more recognizable among American children than Mickey Mouse."
 Mario's claim-to-fame has expanded from the video game world to the big screen. At the end of May, the "Super Mario Bros." movie premiered in theaters nationwide starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa. The popular character also can be spotted on cereal boxes, wallpaper, shirts, caps, cups, Band-Aids and more.
 Nintendo of America Inc. is based in Redmond, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo Co. Ltd., Japan, the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of video games.
 -0- 6/2/93
 /CONTACT: Kris Kennett or Eileen Tanner of Berkhemer Kline, 213-623-4200, for Nintendo/


CO: Nintendo of America Inc. ST: Washington IN: CPR SU:

EH-JL -- LAFNS1 -- 4255 06/02/93 07:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 2, 1993
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