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Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg To Direct Sega Vs. Nintendo Saga 'Console Wars'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
February 24, 2014 9:09 AM
21 Comments
  • |
Console Wars Seth Rogen Evan Goldberg

In the 1990s, an arms race kicked off in the living room between videogame makers Sega and Nintendo. From the Sega Master System to the DreamCast, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to Nintendo 64, the fight for which company could boast the best graphics and games — and move the most units — raged between them as they angled for market share. (And shed a tear for anyone who tried to elbow their way in — sorry TurboGrafx 16). And now that story is booting up to the big screen.

Scott Rudin will produce an adaptation of the book "Console Wars" by Blake J. Harris with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to write and direct. The pair are a pretty spot on choice for this gig; not only do they have the right geek credentials, they were coming of age right at the time of the Sega/Nintendo showdown which should give them a solid insight on everything that went down. Here's the synopsis from Amazon

Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.

The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.

Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

Following the success of "The Social Network," Rudin has been turning to the tech world to find more material for the screen both big and small. He's producing the upcoming HBO series "Silicon Valley," and is also developing the Steve Jobs biopic based on Walter Isaacson's bestselling biography. No word yet on where "Console Wars" will fit into Rogen and Goldberg's busy slate, but hopefully it won't get lost in the shuffle. [Booktrade via Collider]

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21 Comments

  • Andre | February 25, 2014 3:57 PMReply

    This concept is hilarious. Its a MOVIE, so product placement is inevitable. But these guys know how to make product placement into an advantage not a crutch. (See Milky Way)

    So all you haters and indie elitists just sit back, shut up and watch them make another fun and clever summer blockbuster.

  • nick | February 25, 2014 11:29 AMReply

    The spin of the story is incredibly stupid, "look how he turned a company into a huge success". Sure, if you only read until 1995 where he is predominately credited with the failure of the company, which led to Nintendo buying Sega who rarely ever released a good game after.

  • Robert | March 31, 2014 11:20 AM

    Sammy didn't buy Sega either, they bought a number of controlling shares and invested in the company, effectively making it a 'partnership' based on equal terms, this is why the correct holding company central to both Sega and Sammy just now is officially SEGA Sammy Holdings (SEGA first) no company bought Sega, buying a controlling share is not the same thing as buying a company.

    SEGA almost went into a similar partnership with Sony in 1993, after they and Nintendo fell out, which almost potentially would have made the Playstation (which started life as a mere CD attachment) as a Sega system, Tom Kalinske has mentioned this also but that Sega of Japan HQ allegedly turned it down.

    Sega also almost was going to have a full partnership with Microsoft just before the Dreamcast, with their full investment (but this was Microsoft's self serving move to enter the Video Game industry to take Sony head on directly) so it never went ahead, aside from a more diminished partnership whereby Microsoft merely licenced SEGA a variation of Windows software (Windows CE) - which was included within the Dreamcast.

    SEGA changed it's structure in 2001 and re-organised what was planned by Isao Okawa since 1999 at a Dreamcast conference. SEGA is currently enjoying strong profits and doing well as of 2014

  • STEVE | February 26, 2014 11:10 AM

    Um, Nintendo did NOT buy Sega. Sammy (Pachinko maker) did. In 1997 Sega partnered with Universal Studios and Steve Spielberg and created the GameWorks chain. Sega of America is still headquartered in San Francisco, and its parent Sega Sammy Holdings, is run by Satomi-san in Tokyo.

  • bernie stolar | February 25, 2014 10:34 AMReply

    Tom did a great job, but you did not mention Mike Katz the first US President or David Rosen the lead US Board member

  • Robert | March 31, 2014 11:18 AM

    Sammy didn't buy Sega either, they bought a number of controlling shares and invested in the company, effectively making it a 'partnership' based on equal terms, this is why the correct holding company central to both Sega and Sammy just now is officially SEGA Sammy Holdings (SEGA first) no company bought Sega, buying a controlling share is not the same thing as buying a company.

    SEGA almost went into a similar partnership with Sony in 1993, after they and Nintendo fell out, which almost potentially would have made the Playstation (which started life as a mere CD attachment) as a Sega system, Tom Kalinske has mentioned this also but that Sega of Japan HQ allegedly turned it down.

    Sega also almost was going to have a full partnership with Microsoft just before the Dreamcast, with their full investment (but this was Microsoft's self serving move to enter the Video Game industry to take Sony head on directly) so it never went ahead, aside from a more diminished partnership whereby Microsoft merely licenced SEGA a variation of Windows software (Windows CE) - which was included within the Dreamcast.

    SEGA changed it's structure in 2001 and re-organised what was planned by Isao Okawa since 1999 at a Dreamcast conference. SEGA is currently enjoying strong profits and doing well as of 2014.

  • Mike from North Korea | February 24, 2014 4:48 PMReply

    "$60 Billion Dollar"

    Amazing.

  • superk | February 24, 2014 3:12 PMReply

    I just hope that this movie doesn't try to portray Nintendo in a bad light ... as virtually all press tries to do nowadays. Nintendo revolutionized video games and continues to do so by making FUN their primary business goal and by having the highest standards for game design in the entire industry. The Sega VS Nintendo debate was fun when we were kids in school. It ended, however, when Nintendo kept making quality products and Sega started making mediocre ones. Too many misses with both software and hardware and Sega got lost in the shuffle (though the Dreamcast was pretty cool). Nowadays Nintendo and Sega work together, are currently in the middle of an exclusive three game Sonic deal on Nintendo systems and appear to have an excellent working relationship. Hollywood loves their drama, I just hope it is not at Nintendo's expense.

  • Melf | February 24, 2014 7:02 PM

    Love the revisionist history! If the press nowadays (I wish I knew what press that was. I've never seen it) portrays Nintendo in a negative light, it's because it's now public knowledge that Nintendo's monopolistic licensing agreements kept anyone from competing. It took a lawsuit to open the market. And when it did, guess what happened? Nintendo was no longer the dominant player.

    The debate didn't end with Sega "making mediocre games," as anyone with a Sega console at the time who actually played those games will tell you, and Sega didn't leave the market because it couldn't compete with Nintendo's lineup. It ended when Sony entered the market and kicked BOTH companies' behinds. Did you guys suddenly forget the original Playstation?

  • Conquistador | February 24, 2014 4:24 PM

    I suppose it's fair to portray Nintendo as a juggernaut, since they did more or less have a monopoly with the NES (Although it could be said that was due to no one else trying after the market crash). If the film is about the Genesis/MegaDrive miraculously carving out a place for itself in the market, then i'd say it's fine. There's our Hollywood success story. Although it is kind of depressing to know that in real life Sega had to exit the console game because they just couldn't compete with the quality of Nintendo's lineup.

  • anonymous | February 24, 2014 3:35 PM

    If you remember most of the Original NES game cartridges were wayyyyy better than Atari but many of the titles were still glitchy and total shit.

  • anonymous | February 24, 2014 3:21 PM

    It'd be missing some important parts if it didn't paint Nintendo in a bad light, or perhaps you were too young to remember the numerous antitrust lawsuits against Nintendo?

  • Joshua Titty Master | February 24, 2014 3:01 PMReply

    This looks awesome really!

  • Kamilleisman | February 24, 2014 2:04 PMReply

    Disgusting. Seth Rogen is a garbage actor

  • Tiller Joe | July 2, 2014 1:44 AM

    Not shitty Seth Rogen movies certainly.

  • Chirs | February 24, 2014 3:40 PM

    Just stop it with the hyperbole. Retards.

  • Troy | February 24, 2014 2:55 PM

    Oh, what works have you been in?

  • Ciro | February 24, 2014 1:32 PMReply

    Cast:Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen as the sons of Tom Kalinske (Will Ferrell), Danny McBride,Craig Robinson,Nick Kroll,Joe Lotruglio, Kristen Bell, Jay Baruchel, John C.Reilly, Jack Black as the friends and James Franco as James Franco

  • NEW RULE | February 24, 2014 9:36 AMReply

    No more movies about products.

  • NEW RULE | February 24, 2014 12:01 PM

    Meh.

  • Marko | February 24, 2014 10:44 AM

    Not a fan of The Social Network?

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