Sega released a Wii game on November 6 that received much more exposure. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games marked the first pairing of the iconic characters from Nintendo and Sega in a game together. The two companies had worked together previously in 2001, when they had jointly produced F-Zero GX, and plans had been negotiated then to eventually put Mario and Sonic in a game together. After Sega was awarded the license to produce a videogame for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, an event that promoted sportsmanship and trust, it was determined that this was the perfect background against in which to bring the two characters together.
The game was developed by Sega, which also published it in all regions of the world except Japan, where it was released by Nintendo of Japan. The game consisted of 24 Olympic events that pitted a host of Nintendo and Sega characters against one another.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games was a success and was named the game of the year at the Leipzig Games Convention. It was Great Britain’s top-selling game in December and ranked #10 in the United States. But while there obviously couldn’t be any content in the game that decisively asserted say which character was better, other sales seemed to point towards Mario. Within days of the release of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Nintendo released Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii. In the same time period that Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games sold 612,000 units in the United States, Super Mario Galaxy sold 1.4 million, making it the #2 game in December,26 and the #5 game of the year. Another Mario title, Mario Party 8, which had been released in North America on May 29, was the #10 game of the year.
Check out more of the rich history of the industry in Leonard Herman’s book Phoenix IV available at Rolenta Press www.RolentaPress.com and make sure to sign up to get Old School Gamer Magazine for free by clicking here!