The man for whom arguably probably the most iconic character in all of videogaming was named has died, aged 84. Mario Segale was an Italian American property developer who turned the inspiration behind Nintendo’s beloved plumber.
The story is one which, till now, I used to be completely unfamiliar with. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Segale worked in Washington state, during which time he rented out a warehouse to the newly-formed Nintendo of America. During development, Mario, who has since gone on to become the face of the world’s most profitable videogame franchise, glided by a wholly totally different moniker.
Our beloved plumber was initially identified not by his Italian forename, however by the way more innocuous identify of Jumpman. Nintendo ultimately determined that it needed to provide its character a correct title, choosing the identify of the person who had helped its new division to make its mark on the world. Segale said that he was advised of the change by Minoru Arawaka, the person who Nintendo tasked with organising the developer’s American department.
According to Segale’s obituary, “while he was the inspiration for the name of Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario’ from when they were tenants in his business park, he always ducked the notoriety and wanted to be known instead for what he accomplished in his life.” The entry additionally acknowledges Segale’s fondness for the color pink, however doesn’t point out whether or not that filtered right down to Mario’s well-known outfit.
Mario Segale is survived by his spouse, 4 kids, and 9 grandchildren. The character who shares his identify continues to be a serious drive throughout the games business – his newest outing, Super Mario Odyssey, has bought greater than 12 million copies since its launch in October final 12 months.