Donkey Kong



Origin Date



Donkey Kong is a 1981 arcade video game developed and published by Nintendo. As Mario,the player runs and jumps on platforms and climbs ladders to ascend a construction site and rescue Pauline from a giant gorilla, Donkey Kong. It is the first game in the Donkey Kong series as well as Mario’s first appearance in a video game.

Although Nintendo’s American staff was initially apprehensive, Donkey Kong succeeded commercially and critically in Japan and North America, where it became the highest-grossing game of 1981 and 1982. It was ported to the Game & Watch, selling eight million units, while Nintendo licensed the game to Coleco, a developer of arcade conversions for home consoles, selling six million cartridges; the game’s various ports sold more than 15 million units worldwide. Other companies cloned the game and avoided royalties altogether. Miyamoto’s characters were mass marketed in multitudes of products, including breakfast cereal, toys, and television cartoons. Universal City Studios filed a lawsuit alleging Donkey Kong violated its trademark of King Kong, ultimately failing.

The success of Donkey Kong positioned the company for market dominance from 1981 through the late 1990s. The game debuts Mario, who became Nintendo’s mascot and one of the world’s most recognizable characters. Donkey Kong pioneered the platform game genre before the term existed; it is one of the most important games from the golden age of arcade video games and one of the most popular arcade games of all time.