Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 任天堂株式会社) is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and software company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. Nintendo is one of the world’s largest video game companies by net worth. Founded on September 23, 1889, by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it originally produced handmade hanafuda playing cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as cab services and love hotels. The word Nintendo can be roughly translated from Japanese to English as “leave luck to heaven”.
Abandoning previous ventures in favor of toys in the 1960s, Nintendo then developed into a video game company in the 1970s, ultimately becoming one of the most influential in the industry and Japan’s third most-valuable company with a market value of over $85 billion. Between 1992 and 2016, Hiroshi Yamauchi / Nintendo of America was the majority shareholder of Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners.
As of March 31, 2014, Nintendo has cumulative sales of over 670.43 million hardware units and 4.23 billion software units. The company has created some of the most well known and best-selling video game franchises in the industry, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid, while also owning The Pokémon Company.