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There are certain things diehard Nintendo fans know about the Big N. Miyamoto would rather delay a game then rush one out the door, Nintendo hides Totaka’s Song in multiple games, and Nintendo ran love hotels back in the day. Well, it seems like one of those three points might actually be nothing more than urban legend.

First thing’s first, let’s take on the uncomfortable job of explaining what a love hotel is. According to Wikipedia, a love hotel is a type of short-stay hotel found around the world operated primarily for the purpose of allowing guests privacy for sexual activities. Okay, now that we have that taken care of, we can get to the important part of the story!

For decades now, there has been talk of Nintendo running love hotels back in the day. As you know, Nintendo tried their hand at a bunch of businesses over the years, and love hotels was one of their endeavors. It’s something that really wasn’t ever questioned, but thankfully one person has, and it seems this love hotel situation might be nothing more than myth.

Someone out there took on the task of doing an incredible amount of research to see just what Nintendo’s history with love hotels is. Surprisingly, it seems just about impossible to dig up anything that connects Nintendo to that area of business. The person doing the research put together an article detailing their efforts, and they went through 20 different Nintendo history books to find any tidbit about love hotels. The only mention popped up in David Sheff’s ‘Game Over’, which was deemed an unreliable source.

Furthermore, none of Nintendo’s financial documents mention love hotels, and that’s going all the way back to the start of the documents in 1962. Nintendo’s many other business efforts are detailed in full, but not a peep about love hotels.

Is this a case of internet lore becoming accepted as fact, or has Nintendo just gone through extreme lengths to scrub this seedy part of their history from…history? As it stands right now, it seems evidence rests on the side of this whole story being a rumor gone out of control.

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jumpmanfr

Of course it’s just a urban legend! This is nothing new.
Are the comments still appearing in the articles from the old version of GoNintendo?
Because I already talked about that.

This person in the story is not the first one to do the research. Florent Gorges, the author of the History of Nintendo (Pix’n Love Editions) did the same research several years ago and came to the same conclusion. He wrote it in his book. An important book that even found its place in the library at the Marufukuro hotel in Kyoto, the hotel that took the place of the former Nintendo HQ.

But because Florent Gorges is "just" a French guy and because he’s not as famous in America as he would deserve, nobody has paid attention here guys!

jumpmanfr

28d ago

Of course it’s just a urban legend! This is nothing new.
Are the comments still appearing in the articles from the old version of GoNintendo?
Because I already talked about that.

This person in the story is not the first one to do the research. Florent Gorges, the author of the History of Nintendo (Pix’n Love Editions) did the same research several years ago and came to the same conclusion. He wrote it in his book. An important book that even found its place in the library at the Marufukuro hotel in Kyoto, the hotel that took the place of the former Nintendo HQ.

But because Florent Gorges is "just" a French guy and because he’s not as famous in America as he would deserve, nobody has paid attention here guys!

Edited 2 times

mike_intellivision

28d ago

@jumpmanfr

A 2011 Kotaku article appears to cite The History of Nintendo to confirm the “love hotel” story.

https://kotaku.com/the-nintendo-theyve-tried-to-forget-gambling-gangster-5784314

Since the book is almost impossible to find (and usually available only in French), it may be a while before this is decided.

Edited 1 time

mike_intellivision

28d ago

An update or two.

1. Reading between the lines, I wonder if the “love hotel” was Nintendo’s or just Yamauchi’s. The context of Game Overr is vague.

2. I could not get translate to work on the original article. So it would be interesting to know why Sheff is deemed an unreliable source.

3. I could tell from pictures that many of sources appeared to be Japanese. And it is my understanding that truth is not a defense for libel is Japan - thus it is very possible that such a salacious subject may not have been added to the history in that market. (And Nintendo can make mistakes disappear from its history -like the Virtual Boy).

4. As a result, I cannot confirm the original idea of love hotels or the refutation of that idea. In other words, either could be true - or something in between.


the_crimson_lure

28d ago

First the Miyamoto quote, now love hotels!

What oft-repeated tidbit about Nintendo on the internet is going to turn out to be false next!?


kuribo

28d ago

Next you’ll tell me my Uncle doesn’t even work at Nintendo!!


This was the old version of the book. It got republished in 2017 with new research and discoveries. But I mean, 2017 is still 5 years ago. The word should have spread.


I found something that may partially answer your 1st and 3rd points.
This is a video where Florent Gorges talks about the new edition of his book with a famous French youtuber, and he especially comes to the subject of love hotels.

⇒ https://youtu.be/wiWvYYlUQ9A?t=2036 from 33:56 to 44:20, auto-generated English subtitles should be available (assuming they work decently enough)

First, he gives some context by explaining what a “love hotel” is, and why this kind of hotels appeared in Japan in the 1960s.
Then he talks about David Sheff’s book. He says Sheff did a lot of great work on Nintendo’s history. He comes to the point of Sheff evoking Nintendo/Yamauchi love hotels in his book. He says he (Gorges) then tried to get to the root of this story and that he didn’t find anything.
Gorges then says he went through all financial documents from Nintendo since 1962 (the year Nintendo began publicly listed in the stock market). Through every line of declared revenue, he found nothing about real estate, hotel trade or anything similar. I don’t think Nintendo as a company could afford "hiding" such an activity and all their revenues from it, as a publicly listed company.
He then looked after more info concerning Yamauchi specifically, and his personal investments. According to his research, Yamauchi invested in two companies: a printer-publisher, and another company he founded himself which was about building personal houses. He doesn’t exclude the possibility of what you’re saying: maybe that company wasn’t what it pretended to be and was actually hiding a more "salacious subject". But that definitely seems a bit of a stretch, and we’re still talking about Yamauchi’s personal investments anyway, not Nintendo.
As he says, he tried to reach David Sheff, without success. He found no other source coming up with this love hotel thing, except from Sheff’s book. Even though Sheff once interviewed Yamauchi, he highly doubts Yamauchi openly talked about this assuming it is true.

Edited 4 times

nekotaku

26d ago

Noooooooooooooooooo!