Game companies doing game company things | Updates currently irregular

Comic 112: Ultra Games

During the NES generation, Nintendo had a bunch of rather strict third-party restrictions in North America and Europe (probably as a result of wanting more quality control after the Crash)... including that each company could only publish 5 games a year. To get around this, Konami made subsidiaries Ultra Games (NA) and Palcom (EU) for the sole purpose of releasing 5 more games a year.

Also, these other new characters are Ameritendo and Eurotendo, Nintendo's younger siblings distributing games to other places of the world.


by NeilKapit at 26th Aug 2016, 4:56 AM

Gotta credit them with Snake's Revenge, a ridiculous game that only gets more ridiculous when connected to the later Metal Gear Solid series' ornate political satire.

by Zanreo at 26th Aug 2016, 5:57 PM

Haha, I see! That's the one Kojima wasn't involved with, right?

by MST3KFan at 4th Sep 2016, 9:28 AM

Kojima was indeed not involved in Snake's Revenge, but because of the game and some of the people that worked on it talking to Kojima and saying how they wished he would make a sequel, it lead to Kojima making Metal Gear 2 for the MSX and eventually Metal Gear Solid for the PSX.

So Snake's Revenge can be thanked for giving us more Metal Gear even if the game was just 'okay'.

by Zanreo at 4th Sep 2016, 7:48 PM

I see, interesting!

by melaredblu at 26th Aug 2016, 8:01 AM

Gee, that Clark Kent fella sure is swell. We should introduce him to Superman.

by Zanreo at 26th Aug 2016, 5:57 PM

Hehehe, indeed...

by azureXtwilight at 26th Aug 2016, 12:59 PM


by Zanreo at 26th Aug 2016, 5:57 PM

We just don't know... though there's something familiar about her...

by MadJak91 at 26th Aug 2016, 1:10 PM

Is panel four a reference to something? Not sure. Looks like it :D

Ah yeah. You can have a whole debate about all the restrictions and policies and whether they really helped or not. Even with the seal of quality sticker, a lot of bad games or unlicensed games found their way. Until SNES when I think the quality was actually pretty high all around with... one unlicensed game (Noah's Ark)? I think.

Companies also made subsidiaries to get around various chips so the main company is clean but maybe I am confusing it with something else.

by Zanreo at 26th Aug 2016, 6:05 PM

Not really/specifically, just a cool effect

And yeah... lots of devs were annoyed with that, but Nintendo found it necessary for quality control, especially considering what happened to Atari earlier.

As for getting around the chips, you might be thinking of Tengen, Atari's subsidiary that didn't approve of Nintendo's restrictions and among other things tried to make their own chips to get around lockout, and fought over the rights to NES Tetris (which Nintendo won)... an interesting story behind it all :3

by MadJak91 at 26th Aug 2016, 6:33 PM

Tengen. Yes. Thanks!

by junoro at 27th Sep 2016, 9:46 PM

Hahah oh Konami, always sneaking around! That's pretty resourceful, though!

by Zanreo at 27th Sep 2016, 11:27 PM

Indeed... there's always a way around the rules

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