Official Nintendo Seal

Official Nintendo Seal 2013
The Official Nintendo Seal used in NTSC regions as of 2013

The Official Nintendo Seal, known in PAL regions as the Original Nintendo Seal of Quality and formerly known in NTSC regions as the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality, is a gold sunburst seal on the back of all official Nintendo-licensed products and merchandise, used by Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe since 1985 and 1990, respectively, to denote that the product has been properly approved by Nintendo. After the video game crash of 1983, customers were wary of buying video games since most recent games were of poor quality. The seal was placed on Nintendo products to counter this and also to distinguish legitimate commercial games from pirated knockoffs.

Originally, the seal read as follows: "This seal is your assurance that NINTENDO has approved and guaranteed the quality of this product." In 1989, the seal became gold and white with a simplified sunburst pattern, as it currently appears, and the text was changed to the shortened phrase "Official Nintendo Seal of Quality," accompanied in manuals by the following text: "This official seal is your assurance that Nintendo has reviewed this product and that it has met our standards for excellence in workmanship, reliability, and entertainment value. Always look for this seal when buying games and accessories to ensure complete compatibility with your Nintendo product." The original variant of the seal would thereafter be used for hardware systems, games, and accessories; an alternate seal, reading "Official Nintendo Licensed Product," was introduced for use on all other licensed products, including apparel, game guides, and trading cards. The term "Seal of Quality" was somewhat misleading, in that it determined the quality of the hardware rather than the software; its presence indicated that a game would run as intended on the Nintendo system it was designed for without bricking the latter.

In August 2003, Nintendo of America changed the original seal to read simply "Official Nintendo Seal," as by then consumers had come to understand that the presence of the seal did not indicate how good or bad an approved game was. The seal then became a universal seal, covering all Nintendo-licensed products and merchandise, so the alternate "Licensed Product" seal was eliminated. The text beside the seal was also changed to read, "The official seal is your assurance that this product is licensed or manufactured by Nintendo. Always look for this seal when buying video game systems, accessories, games and related products." The "Licensed Product" wording was restored in 2013.

References in Super Mario gamesEdit

  • Cranky Kong often acts as a guide in game manuals of the Donkey Kong franchise, complaining about what he perceives to be a lack of quality in the games and stating they are not worthy of the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality.