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.