Do you know that Nintendo used to be a playing card company before becoming an-favorite gaming giant? Do you know that the company turns 130-year this year?

In this post, we will talk about the improvement of Nintendo.

Nintendo turns 130 years old this year. Through time, a lot has changed, pivots have been made just like any other company that’s been able to survive or over a century. It has seen economic downturns then came back, product launch failures, and succeed.

Nintendo gave us the little plumber we’ve marveled, as well as numerous other video game character many ’90s kids consider as parts of their identity. All has its founder Fusajiro Yamauchi to thank for as he started manufacturing Hanafuda cards, and established Nintendo Koppai, on September 23, 1889 in Kyoto, Japan.

The Hanafuda cards had dots and pops of yellow and red with bold, black lines, featuring song birds, flowers, and cherry blossoms used for multiple games as well as gambling. The playing cards were even played by some notorious gangs, including the crime syndicate the Yakuza. 

In the early 1900s, Nintendo became the largest card-selling business in Japan. Fusajiro Yamauchi passed away in 1940, and his 22-year-old great-grandson Hiroshi took over the company in 1949.

He utilized the success momentum of the card playing’s revenue to venture into other fields such as taxi services, ramen noodles, short-term “love” hotels, and, video games. But only one of those paid off. 

Today, Nintendo gains billions of dollars in revenue from selling its consoles, from the Switch to Wii, and games series like cult-favorite “The Legend of Zelda” and newbies like “Animal Crossing.”

Hiroshi continued to manage Nintendo for the next 50 years and led the “transition from traditional playing-card maker to video game giant” after a trip to America despite all the trials, errors, and business pivots in that half century