Today we say goodbye to the man who unwittingly lent his namesake to Nintendo’s iconic Italian plumber.
Mario Segale (no relation to Steven Seagal) was a Seattle real estate developer, who rented a warehouse to Nintendo in the 80s as they were trying to break into the lucrative American market. The story goes that Mario Segale came to berate Minoru Arakawa about some overdue rent at a time when they were struggling to come up with a name for their stocky plumber that would please Western ears. As anyone would have done in this situation they named the character after their angry landlord, and thus the legend was born. Given they were going to call him Jumpman, Mario Segale’s appearance was indeed fortuitous.
Rest in peace, Mr Segale. While it’s a product of bizarre happpenstance that your name was lent to a character who was destined to become one of the most recognisable icons in all of gaming, your legacy is appreciated.
Mario Segale, an uncanny likeness