Approach Software is an El Kadsreian consumer electronics, video game and digital entertainment company that manufactured Magnavox Odyssey and Apple II computers, before moving on to Nintendo consoles, and also the first PlayStation console (Approach currently markets the PlayStation 4 in a joint venture with Sony called A.S. Systems).
Approach also licenses anime and other Asian media under the Approach Software Television and Approach Software Film banners. It also sells toys under Approach Toys, which is known for being the official El Kadsreian Islands distributor for Socker Boppers.
The company is also the official distributor for BritBox in the El Kadsreian Islands and operates the El Kadsreian Islands server of Elsword. The company's MMORPG unit Approach Software MMORPG Development also developed Toad Town Online for Nintendo.
Besides distributing Nintendo products in the El Kadsreian Islands, it also acts as a second-party developer for Nintendo.
Approach was founded in 1972 by Swede Rutger Grönroos and Canadian-American Carrey Newell as Approach Computer Systems. They started out by distributing the Magnavox Odyssey in the Vlokozu Union, and in 1978 began distributing the Apple II in the region. The company also released the Color TV-Game to the Vlokozuian market. In 1982, they changed their name to Approach Software and formed the hardware division Appro Systems so Approach could produce personal computers and they began to produce low-cost, budget computer games for the Vlokozuian market. The first titles were published for the Commodore 64.
In 1986, Approach got the rights to sell the Nintendo Entertainment System in the Vlokozu Union after Rutger noticed that Nintendo didn't have a local distributor for the NES in the Union. In 1987, Approach began labeling their NES units as the "Vlokozu Version" as Mattel and Nintendo themselves were selling their "Mattel Version" and "NES Version" units respectively as well in the Union.
In 1989, Approach began selling the Game Boy after their success with the NES.
In 1991, they debuted the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in El Kadsre.
In 1994, Approach debuted the PlayStation in El Kadsre after signing a distribution agreement with Sony as Sony's El Kadsreian branch wasn't interested in the PlayStation concept. For the release of the PlayStation 2, Approach and Sony El Kadsre formed the joint venture A.S. Systems so Approach could focus on Nintendo consoles.
In 1998, Approach became the distributor of the new Game Boy Light in El Kadsre, making the El Kadsreian Islands and Puerto Chango the only other regions outside of Japan to see a local release of it. The same year, they had massive success with the Game Boy Color.
Exclusive rights to certain games
In 1992, Approach acquired exclusive rights to Capcom's Street Fighter II: The World Warrior game. In an attempt to sell more Super Nintendo Entertainment System consoles, Approach made ports for their own Nintendo Entertainment System and rival Sega Mega Drive, Raison Devarim, Zerona Gaming Device, Hyper Zerona Gaming Device, Nitrome Enjoyment System, TechEruo Pal System, TechEruo Century 16, and Theorysonic Codear that were designed to be hard to play - with the Genesis, Devarim, NiES, HZGD, and Century 16 versions having bad AI and the Codear, Pal System, and ZGD versions programmed in a way to frustrate players, whilst the NES version was simply Yokosoft's bootleg Famicom port (in fact, the Approach NES cartridge's chipset is just the Yokosoft bootleg port's Famicom chip wired up to an adapter to make it work on a NES). The scheme worked out well for Approach, with the game having sold over 8 million copies in El Kadsre across the aforementioned formats.
Dispute with Consumers Magazine
In December 2000, Incredible Publications' magazine Consumers Magazine named Approach Software the Worst Company in El Kadsre, along with the ceremonial Golden Garbage Bag trophy, with a record-breaking poll which drew in 675,000 votes and saw Approach beating out regulars such as GM Supermalls, Theorysonic, and Texaco UEKN Ltd., thanks to Approach's accusations of mistreating employees at it's Abeta facility and delaying the UEKN release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask due to censorship issues. As a response to the win, Approach began adding derogatory Easter eggs into the El Kadsreian releases of various Nintendo games, which included entering the Konami code in the 2001 UEKN release of Doraemon 3: Nobita no Machi SOS! bringing up a critical statement regarding the magazine's view on the video game industry, and naming the Goombas in a 2001 set of Super Mario action figures after Consumers Magazine staff.
Approach won the Worst Company in El Kadsre award again in 2001, 2002, and 2003 - which led to various other easter eggs:
- 2001 - Approach released an updated version of Excitebike 64 which renamed all of the lower-tier computer opponents after Consumers Magazine staff.
- 2002 - All of the lower-tier computer opponents in NBA Courtside 2002 were renamed after Consumers Magazine staff in the UEKN release.
- 2003 - Approach renamed Spat in Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak after the magazine's editor and creator of the WCIEK poll Margaret Pang.
In 2004, Approach issued a lawsuit against the magazine - demanding the poll be never done again and for Incredible to: hand over the names and addresses of the people who participated in the poll, to actually understand the video game industry, and to pay $54,000 in damages. Approach won the lawsuit and Incredible and Consumers Magazine payed damages to Approach - but did not hand over the identities of the poll participants for legal reasons. Consumers Magazine stopped publication in 2006, being far too crippled from the lawsuit to continue, but was revived in 2011 as a website.