Mario was created in 1981 by Shigeru Miyamoto. The famous video game character first appeared in Donkey Kong, but by 1983 was the star (along with his brother Luigi) of his own arcade game, Mario Bros. In 1985, the two starred in their first console game, Super Mario Bros., for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Hiroshi Yamauchi, who was the owner of Nintendo of America or NOA, tasked Miyamoto with the development of a coin-operated bestseller arcade game to prevent the company from losing a business battle in the American gaming market. Miyamoto took on the challenge and created one of the most iconic video game characters of all time. He originally settled on the name Jumpman, but the character was later renamed to Mario after the NOA's warehouse landlord, Mario Segali.