Oh, the Nintendo 64 days. Those were fun, especially for Mario Party players who were injuring themselves while playing. Wait, what? Yeah. You read that right, and as part of a lawsuit, Nintendo was forced to give players gloves to prevent blistering on the palm of the hand. It was a strange time, for sure, but it is a story that must be told!
This is that time Nintendo gave gloves to players as part of a lawsuit because Mario Party was causing hand blisters.
In 1998, Nintendo was looking pretty strong in the 64-bit era, and they just launched their next big Mario title called Mario Party. The first entry in the long-running series was a highly anticipated title, and fans were desperate to get their hands (hehe) on it.
In just over a year, Mario Party sold well over 1 million units, but something was a bit off. Parents were getting irritated by their children getting blisters on their hands, and before you knew it, about 100 parents contacted Nintendo directly to complain about the situation.
The 5 mini-games in question were Paddle Battle, Tug O’War, Pedal Power, Cast Aways, and Deep Sea Divers, and children needed to rapidly rotate the joystick to succeed at the activities. In many cases, children (And adults) developed horrible blisters on the palm of their hands.
Nintendo was taken to court over the situation, and as a settlement, they provided four gloves to each family that purchased a copy of Mario Party. In addition to the cost of the gloves, Nintendo also agreed to pay for the state’s legal fees, which totaled about $75,000 USD.
Beth Llewelyn, a spokeswomen for Nintendo at the time, stressed that the total cost to the company will more than likely be much less then $80 million USD. “We have had only 90 or so complaints in the year that the game has been on the market,” she said. “We don’t know how many people are going to take advantage of the offer.”
The gloves offered to players resembled that of a weight-lifting glove, similar to the Harbinger brand, with thick padding on the palms. The Attorney General’s office at the time estimated the cost per user was about $18 USD in damages (And gloves).
So although the Mario Party franchise has escaped such a disaster after the first game came out, the titles combined have gone on to be one of Nintendo’s best-selling series ever.
But we cannot forget that time when Nintendo was forced to go to court and pay a “hefty” fee of four gloves per family in order for them to continue playing the game without blistering their hands.
What a strange time for Nintendo, huh?
Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link and enjoying this “That Time” article. What do you think about this N64 situation? Did you blister your hand? Did you receive the “free” gloves? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Happy gaming, everyone.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.