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Nintendo is a Japanese multimedia company which develops and manufactures its own line of video games and consoles. They have created many popular series such as the long-running and highly successful Mario franchise, as well as having a long-running professional relationship with Square, later Square Enix, the creators of the Final Fantasy franchise. Many games either appeared or debuted exclusively on a Nintendo system.
Nintendo was founded in 1889 primarily to develop and distribute playing cards. Their biggest success was in Hanafuda cards, which Nintendo still produces to this day. Around the mid 1950's, Nintendo changed course and distanced themselves from the playing card industry, with the reason why often theorized to the rise in illegal gambling. Nintendo would spend the next several decades trying (and mostly failing) at many other industry. From 1963 to 1968 alone, Nintendo founded and discontinued a taxi company, a love hotel chain, a TV network, a food company, and the Chiritory vacuum cleaner. Nintendo would eventuall settle into and find a footing in the toy industry. While in debt and struggling to stay afloat with many forgettable products, there were some success stories like the Ultra Hand and the start of a long relationship with the Walt Disney Company. Nintendo would officially enter the video game industry in 1973 with arcade game Laser Clay Shooting System. While having modest success in the arcades, Nintendo would make more of a splash in the home market with the Color TV Game and Game & Watch lines of consoles. There true break came in 1981 where Nintendo tasked Shigeru Miyamoto with creating a game to use the unsold copies of Radar Scope in their warehouses. That game would become Donkey Kong, which would change the course of gaming history and put Nintendo on the map.
Nintendo would shake the industry again a few years later with the launch of the Famicom, named Nintendo Entertainment System in other regions. this is also the time where their relationship with Square would begin. The relatively new company, having achieved modest success on home computers, were massively in debt nonetheless and were always on the verge of closing down. After a few financial failures on Nintendo's new console, the company made Final Fantasy as a last ditch effort to save the company. The game ended up performing exceptionally well, especially in the overseas market, which few Japanese game developers had managed to do prior. From then on, all Final Fantasy would appear exclusively on a Nintendo system due to a contract clause that developers must develop exclusively for Nintendo if they want to release on their systems, a practice that was eventually relaxed at some point during the lifespan of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The last game in this original run was Bahamut Lagoon in 1996. While Final Fantasy VII and other projects were planned to be released on the Nintendo 64, Square backed out after learning that the system would use the cartridge format, and instead pursued development for its competitor, the Sony PlayStation. Final Fantasy games would eventually return to Nintendo platforms with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in 2002, with many being spin-off series made specifically for the system. Nintendo would also have Final Fantasy characters make cameos in Square Enix games and vice versa, including Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Fortune Street, and the Super Smash Bros. series.
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