Universal Sued Nintendo over Donkey Kong: Here’s Why!


Who put who in a bad situation? The game “Donkey Kong” from Nintendo has already been sued for copying. Donkey Kong was already at risk of being copied when it was being made. Shigeru Miyamoto, a famous game creator who worked for Nintendo, wanted to make a Popeye game in which the spinach-powered sailor would save Olive Oyl from a barrel-throwing Bluto.

Copyright lawyers for Popeye stopped the game from being made, which was either a good thing or a bad thing, based on how you look at it. Miyamoto could not use the Popeye figures because he did not have permission to do so.

He kept the idea for the game but changed the main characters to Jump Man, Pauline, and Donkey Kong. Only the fact that “Kong” sounds like an ape connects the word to the movie. “Donkey” was added because it’s an English word that means “stubborn” or “dumb.” Many people think it was added by mistake, but that’s not true.

The game came out in 1976, not long after Dino De Laurentiis’ version of King Kong, which also had a lot of rights issues.

Universal Sued Nintendo over Donkey Kong: Situation Escalated

In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which comes out in 2023, Mario (Chris Pratt) and Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) are friendly foes. But Mario’s name wasn’t always Mario. He used to be called “Jumpman,” and Donkey Kong took Jumpman’s girlfriend to the top of a building site.

Universal Sued Nintendo Over Donkey Kong & Things Got Messy

Even worse, the angry ape kept throwing rolling barrels at Jumpman as he tried to save her while he was trying to save her. But for only a quarter, anyone could try to save them. Donkey Kong was a big hit when it came out in arcades on June 2, 1981.

It was the first video game to have both a funny story and a platform. It helped Nintendo become one of the most well-known game companies in the US.

Nintendo was noticed by Universal Studios, but not enough for them to make a movie about it. They already owned the rights to a movie called King Kong, which is about a big ape who holds a girl hostage. They were so mad that Nintendo was using their property without permission that they immediately filed a lawsuit against Nintendo.

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