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Old 04-08-2010, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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This Day in History



On this day in 1991, longtime Nintendo spokesman and bowtie aficionado Howard Phillips left the company and started a new life at LucasArts.

Phillips served an important role in Nintendo of America's early years, acting as the voice of the player in evaluating new software.

He was also the public face of the company for an entire generation, who fondly Phillips -- with his red hair, freckles and bowtie -- as the Gallant to Nester's Goofus in the "Howard & Nester" comic strip that ran in Nintendo Power magazine.

Phillips was often presented by the major media by Nintendo PR as "the man who plays videogames for a living." His official title for much of his Nintendo career was "gamemaster."

"I can't believe they pay me sometimes," Howard told the Washington Post in 1991.


Phillips brought his knowledge of cartridge-based games to LucasArts, which until that point had been primarily a computer developer. After Lucas, he served as the VP of product development at THQ and served in various roles at Microsoft. Phillips is currently serving an entertainment consultant, and has a web presence at HPC123.com.



What follows is the original press release issued on April 8, 1991, announcing Phillips' departure.

Quote:
Nintendo's director of Game Creative joins Lucasfilm Games

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.


Nintendo of America's (NOA) ultimate game guru, Howard Phillips, goes to work Monday for LucasArts Entertainment Company division, Lucasfilm Games.

After 10 years as Nintendo's 'Game Master,' Phillips joins Lucasfilm Games as executive producer for video games and learning products. Phillips will spearhead Lucasfilm Games' launch into the Nintendo and educational markets and help establish creative standards for products in both categories.

Entertainment is Phillips' specialty. Having worked at NOA since the company was formed in 1981, he's been Nintendo's director, Game Creative for the last two years.

Much of Phillips' time at Nintendo was spent evaluating every single Nintendo and Nintendo licensee game produced -- that's 450 Nintendo Entertainment System games and 100 Game Boy titles.

As executive producer for Lucasfilm Games, Phillips will be responsible for both game design and development. He'll also be a liaison between development and marketing and serve on Lucasfilm Games' executive committee, offering counsel to Lucasfilm Games' senior managers.

Phillips will have his hands full right away. Lucasfilm Games, in partnership with JVC Musical Industries, is in the final stages of development for its premier Nintendo game, 'Star Wars.' Two soon-to-be-announced Nintendo games are on the heels of 'Star Wars'.

Lucasfilm Games also is in the early stages of development for its first educational game, to be announced later in 1991.

After 10 successful and rewarding years with NOA, Phillips opted for a change. 'The opportunity at Lucasfilm Games is very exciting,' said Phillips. 'Lucasfilm Games has both high caliber creative talent and a unique vision for the future of entertainment and learning products.

'Lucasfilm Games believes -- and I agree -- that there is significant opportunity in the marrying of entertainment and learning. This combination will lead to stimulating, exciting entertainment coupled with a motivating, thought-provoking learning experience.'

Phillips sums up his goals for Lucasfilm's video game group simply: 'To make the very best cartridge-based games; the most entertaining games ever.' He added, 'The creative talent and success Lucasfilm Games has demonstrated in the PC market combined with my video game know-how will yield terrific products for the game player.'

The fifth employee hired at NOA, Phillips started in the warehouse. Shortly thereafter, he became warehouse shipping manager and was responsible for shipping and related activities during what he calls the 'Donkey Kong years.'

During those years, Phillips was an avid game player, and he worked closely with upper management at Nintendo giving them feedback on how the games he mastered could be even better.

In 1985, Phillips helped NOA President, Mr. Arakawa, select the original 16 titles for introduction with the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Early 1986 ushered Phillips out of the warehouse and into product development as product analysis manager. In this capacity, Phillips reviewed and approved every game produced for both technical form and game content, making sure each one met Nintendo's tough quality standards.

A highlight during this period for Phillips was his involvement in bringing the smash Japanese hit, 'Super Mario Brothers,' to the American market.

In fall of 1989, Phillips was promoted to the director level at Nintendo, becoming director, Game Creative -- or as Mr. Arakawa appropriately dubbed him, 'Game Master.' During that period, Phillips felt the need to learn more about the science of marketing and earned his MBA in 1990 from the University of Washington.

Lucasfilm Games is very pleased to welcome Phillips. 'We can't wait to tap into Howard's creative genius,' said Doug Glen, general manager for Lucasfilm Games. 'He has a finely-tuned instinct for figuring out what's fun, then making a fresh and challenging game out of it.'

Lucasfilm Games currently is one of the top publishers of entertainment software for personal computers, with games including Maniac Mansion, Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure and The Secret of Monkey Island.
This Day in History: Howard Phillips Leaves Nintendo
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: This Day in History

It's funny how they go out of their way to mention his affection for bowties but the picture has a normal tie. Pic unrelated I assume?
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: This Day in History

this thread could be an absolutely awesome feature, granted, days would be hard, but how about "this week in video game history" or this month?
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: This Day in History

Come up June 6 is the birthday of Tetris (NES) version does anybody know how old Tetris is now?
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: This Day in History

it will be 26 years old
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: This Day in History

Quote:
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it will be 26 years old
Wow 26 I don,t usually keep track of how old certain games are but Tetris is a special game it's not like the other NES games. this game is very unique still a favorite to play in my book I might do that when Tetris birthday comes around see if I can beat it.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: This Day in History

Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaAngelRose View Post
see if I can beat it.
Have fun with that.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: This Day in History

Maybe the members of RU can have a Tetris party because of it turning 26 years of age it deserves a birthday party don't you think steven?
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: This Day in History

first one to beat it gets first crack at the pinata
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