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Sharedata Chiller NES Advertisement


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Hey folks,

It's been a long time since I've dabbled in collecting, but this recent auction caught my eye. I've never seen this one before and more importantly it appears to unveil info on the mysterious Sharedata Chiller!

From what I gather this was a magazine advert (haven't researched the exact magazine yet). What's even more interesting aside from the promo art and Sharedata branding, there's ordering info!

sharedata_chiller_ad_nes_01.thumb.jpg.ff7129c3188866d637c300e2e9ffb02d.jpg

  • Sharedata branding, no AGCI here!
  • Shows that the game was apparently available via retailer or by phone

Sharedata Chiller box and manual here we come?? 

Happy Halloween!

 

Edited by nesmaster14
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WOW, great time of year to post this! Very cool, let's dissect it.

  1. Deathrace, and Crossbow are listed as "coming soon"
  2. Under "$19.95" it says "Suggested Retail for Chiller only."
  3. Bottom white text says "this product is designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. by ShareData, Inc. It is not designed, manufactured, sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo®. Nintendo Zapper® and Nintendo Entertainment System are trademarks of Nintendo of America, Inc."

Here's a better scan of the same thing.

http://videogamecomicads.blogspot.com/2013/10/chiller-nes-1990.html

 

Basically. Sharedata Chiller *is* retail, and manufactured by Sharedata.

Two new unlicensed variants in one season is crazy! We have a new Caltron variant, and now this...now we just need some more info on AGCI Wally Bear.

Edited by ThePhleo
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43 minutes ago, nesmaster14 said:

Shows that the game was apparently available via retailer or by phone

I'm guessing it was more likely available via phone/mail order as opposed to retailer. Unless some Mom & Pop store had a few for sale, that blurb may have been "we're hoping enough people go to a major toy store and ask so they order it from us." 

Maybe a few got out the door before AGCI took over.

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42 minutes ago, ThePhleo said:

Basically. Sharedata Chiller *is* retail, and manufactured by Sharedata.

Two new unlicensed variants in one season is crazy! We have a new Caltron variant, and now this...now we just need some more info on AGCI Wally Bear.

Ummm.... if finding an old advertisement for something suddenly makes it *real*, then you're going to have to add about 500 other unreleased NES games to your "official" list too....  WORLD'S BIGGEST EYEROLL!!!!

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9 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

Ummm.... if finding an old advertisement for something suddenly makes it *real*, then you're going to have to add about 500 other unreleased NES games to your "official" list too....  WORLD'S BIGGEST EYEROLL!!!!

No, but finding a couple units of a game that's already pretty rare with advertisements that have a way to order gives me a feeling that it *should* be considered.

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2 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

Ummm.... if finding an old advertisement for something suddenly makes it *real*, then you're going to have to add about 500 other unreleased NES games to your "official" list too....  WORLD'S BIGGEST EYEROLL!!!!

The game already exists and was known to exist for decades.

The advert is just confirmation of how it was sold.

 

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3 hours ago, ThePhleo said:

Another Detail: There's finally a name to attach to this game!

Bottom Left area, near the zombie hand coming out of the grave, just above the sharedata logo blurb.

"Francis Mao 89"

 

@Bronty are you still alive on this forum? We need your super powers.

Biggest question to me is - who is Francis Mao?  Was he the artist who did the piece, or was he involved with the program itself?  TO GOOGLE!

EDIT: Maybe it's this Francis Mao?
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1659915/

Edited by the_wizard_666
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Just now, fcgamer said:

The game already exists and was known to exist for decades.

The advert is just confirmation of how it was sold.

 

Yeah, it basically gives an idea that it was at the very least a mail order title, rather than a small run of demos.

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4 hours ago, ThePhleo said:

WOW, great time of year to post this! Very cool, let's dissect it.

  1. Deathrace, and Crossbow are listed as "coming soon"
  2. Under "$19.95" it says "Suggested Retail for Chiller only."
  3. Bottom white text says "this product is designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. by ShareData, Inc. It is not designed, manufactured, sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo®. Nintendo Zapper® and Nintendo Entertainment System are trademarks of Nintendo of America, Inc."

Here's a better scan of the same thing.

http://videogamecomicads.blogspot.com/2013/10/chiller-nes-1990.html

 

Basically. Sharedata Chiller *is* retail, and manufactured by Sharedata.

Two new unlicensed variants in one season is crazy! We have a new Caltron variant, and now this...now we just need some more info on AGCI Wally Bear.

Hello bud...I have pictures of the share data chiller but I did NOT know about the newly found Caltron...Do you happen to have any pictures of it...front and back maybe....with some luck perhaps the board haha?!!! Oh and I will find it again if you'd like, a very obscure interview with the main guy of share data...I can't remember exactly, but it was about aquiring the rights to AGCI games before they were released and selling them as share data games...long story short it talked about why there was a share data chiller made before the AGCI chiller and then I believe the exact opposite for wally bear... I'll try an find it again...see if I can post it on here...it was interesting

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3 hours ago, fcgamer said:

The advert is just confirmation of how it was sold.

 

No it isn't; the only thing it confirms is how they intended to sell it.  Don't put the cart before the horse here.  AVE ran an add for their Maxi-30 on TV (hosted by Hulk Hogan, no less) with a number you could call and operators standing by, and guess what?  Yeah, there's not so much as even a prototype out there...

I seriously love the enthusiasm you guys have, but finding obscure print ads for unreleased items from thirty-plus years ago isn't enough to alter the reality of anybody who actually subscribes to real facts.

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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Just now, Dr. Morbis said:

No it doesn't; it confirms how they intended to sell it.  Don't put the cart before the horse.  AVE ran an add for their Maxi-30 on TV (hosted by Hulk Hogan, no less) with a number you could call and operators standing by, and guess what?  Yeah, there's not so much as even a prototype out there...

I seriously love the enthusiasm you guys have, but finding obscure print ads for unreleased items from thirty-plus years ago isn't enough to alter the reality of anybody who subscribes to actual facts.

Aside from the fact that cartridges do actually exist. It's hard to call those unreleased, and with the print ad surfacing, I'd say that you'll have a harder time trying to prove that these weren't released. Please provide some evidence of that.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, fcgamer said:

Aside from the fact that cartridges do actually exist. It's hard to call those unreleased, and with the print ad surfacing, I'd say that you'll have a harder time trying to prove that these weren't released. Please provide some evidence of that.

 

 

You can't prove a negative, bud 😉  Do I have to prove to you that aliens aren't real too?  If you know anything at all about the scientific method, then you'll understand that the onus is on you to prove that these were released!

And btw, for the sake of comparison, Action 52 was similarily sold by mail order through magazine print ads and there are tons of them out there (literally thousands!); how is it that only like four little kids IN THE ENTIRE WORLD wanted to order such a cool NES game as Shardata Chiller for under twenty bucks?!?!?!?!?!?!

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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14 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

Do I have to prove to you that aliens aren't real too?  If you know anything at all about the scientific method, then you'll understand that the onus is on you to prove that these were released!

Aliens ARE real dude! Government found em, been keeping em underground in bunkers and selling their technology into the private sector... Where do you think velcro came from? 😅

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8 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

And btw, for the sake of comparison, Action 52 was similarily sold by mail order through magazine print ads and there are tons of them out there (literally thousands!); how is it that only like four little kids IN THE ENTIRE WORLD wanted to order such a cool NES game as Shardata Chiller for under twenty bucks?!?!?!?!?!?!

Them's not facts, bud, we don't know how many were (or weren't) sold. The comparison to Action 52 isn't really a good one, either.

I'd be interested in knowing how many of the Action 52 games were found in the wild. Do we even know for sure that the majority of the Action 52 carts out there weren't just found and sold as Nos, similar to Cheetahmen 2? Honest question, just asking.

But in terms of rarity, I've seen this sort of situation so many times over the years I've lost count 🤣 Never had anything to do with being released or unreleased though.

I'd venture a guess they ran a few adverts, a few kids bought them, then the rights went to AGCI and Sharedata stopped producing them, making the game very, very limited.

What sort of PCBs were used in those things? They already had the shells from Color Dreams, so a small run of games definitely seems likely.

We're at the same point with this as we got to with Sachen back in the day, lol.

 

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3 hours ago, the_wizard_666 said:

Please do!

American Video Game Cartridges Inc. was a subsidiary of a larger software-oriented holding company based in Chandler, Arizona, called ShareData Inc. In 1987 ShareData was having financial and liquidity problems, so a new president, Michael S. Williams, was hired by an outside investment group to correct this. By 1989 ShareData had been restructured and their adventures into the videogame business began.

Mid 1989 ShareData hired a guy called Richard C. Frick as vice president of product development in their consumer products division. Frick came from a job at Atari where he worked in a variety of capacities such as videogames, including the Tengen subsidary which had taken up development of unlicensed NES games by this time, business productivity software development and third-party relationships. At ShareData he would be responsible for the acquisition and development of new titles for the division's recreational software line.

ShareData released a good deal of Commodore64 quiz titles such as Classic Concentration, Family Feud, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and Wheel of Fortune second edition. They had also been releasing something they called "Load 'N Go" software for PC's years earlier. In 1989 they released their first non-quiz C64 game called Avoid the Noid, and yes this guy eventually also got his own NES game aswell, though not released by ShareData.

Anyway the idea to make low-budget NES games came into mind and ShareData contacted another company, Color Dreams, who already had their foot in the doorway to be making NES games using their own, unlicensed, cartridge. ShareData licensed the NES format from Color Dreams and bought a license to release Exidy games on the NES aswell. First game programmed was Chiller and a small production run was made using Color Dreams cartridge format with a label saying the game was released by ShareData. I don't think these were actually released though as American Game Cartrides Inc soon after was formed and the cartridge design to a much heavier one and the name ShareData removed from the game aswell as cartridge label.

Chiller was released with a suggested retail price of $29.95 and soon after 2 other games followed, Death Race, another Exidy title even though it didn't say so on the box unlike Chiller, and ShockWave. It seems like the two later games were released at the same time as both manuals has the exact same offer for a American Game Carts Inc t-shirt, valid through December 1991, but all 3 games were most likely made in 1990 as they all are copyrighted that year.

As a publicity stunt, which I bet didn't attract that many buyers, a small piece of cardboard was included with the game and had this written on it: "Be one of the first 100 to make it to New York and WIN an Official Death Race Car!". All you had to do was take a picture of yourself standing next to your TV with the Death Race' Gauntlet Level "Congratulations Screen" for New York City shown.

The contest ended on June 1st 1991 and I'm sure those 100 radio controlled race cars are still in a warehouse somewhere, mainly because Death Race is one pain in the A** to play and I'm sure no one bothered to play long enough to reach the New York part of the game. As if that wasn't enough, you had to have the original receipt of purchase as well as cut off the top flap of the box and send it in along with the photo. Should you be one of the winners from this contest, MAIL ME! 🙂

In 1991 American Game Carts Inc finished their last NES game, Wally Bear and the NO! Gang. Richard Frick had left AGCI in February 1990 to form American Video Entertainment, a subsidary of the rom chip manufacturer Macronix, and ended up buying the rights to publish Wally Bear from AGCI, who then, about a year later, was put to rest by their mother company, ShareData. That year the ShareData president left the company, aswell as their controller. ShareData Inc filed for formal protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in December 1993.

The former president and controller of ShareData formed a new company the same month ShareData went belly-up, called Bulldog Investment Company, who today are owned by Aztor� Holdings Inc., which was a company started in May 1995 as an Arizona corporation to own the assets of ShareData Inc. In December 1995 the court approved ShareData's reorganization plan, and it merged with Aztor�. Pretty dry stuff to understand, but I hope it gives atleast a little meaning, pretty much that ShareData still exist in the shape of Aztor�, but no longer deals with software, but instead now an investment company.

Anyway, American Game Carts' team of NES programmers and artists actually had more games planned, which unfortunately never saw the light of day, some never even went into development while others were cancelled while being developed, such as the much discussed Crossbow, which was advertised as the 3rd game to be released by AGCI, before ShockWave, but also mentioned on a subway train ad in the second level of Wally Bear and the NO! Gang.

The following were games planned by AGCI/ShareData and maybe even mentioned by the press:

Cheyenne, another Exidy arcade shooter released back in 1984, prequel to Chiller, western themed. Supposedly never even went into development.

Crossbow, an Exidy arcade game from 1983 which wrote the following on the original arcade flyer. "Each scene is begun by the player choosing the colored patch he wishes his party to follow. If the part survives, the player chooses where to go next by trial and error. The player must learn which colored path leads to which scene's unique element of danger. The adventure ends when all party members are killed." The game idea is similar to the Chiller but takes place in a Robin Hood themed world. The game was, besides the arcade game, released on PC, Atari 2600, Atari 7800 and Commodore64 (by Imagineering Inc.).

Married... With Children, supposedly one of the first NES game announcements made by ShareData. The price of the game was to be under $20 and would be a "adult only" game (Panesian anyone? :). Married... with Children would be based off the TV comedy and would be similar to Sierra's Liesure Suit Larry series. Something tells me they never even began working on this game, soon after Chiller was released and you've just read where things lead from there.

Warp Space, an action-simulation of outer-space combat. The solitary gamer, a recent graduate of the TerraFed Fleet Academy, rises through the fleet as he reaps the rewards that go to those who complete the dangerous missions. The wide variety of weapons and ship types, coupled with the large number of planets awaiting exploration, give Warp Space a high degree of playability." - VGCE March 1992 (pg 98).

Bad Boys B-Ball, could've been one of the later games planned, like Warp Space. No information is available about this tile, but judging from the title it could've been some sort of baseball game.

Knockout, another totally unknown release, but I'm sure it was meant to be a boxing game 🙂

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Just now, Hollywoodcaddy said:

American Video Game Cartridges Inc. was a subsidiary of a larger software-oriented holding company based in Chandler, Arizona, called ShareData Inc. In 1987 ShareData was having financial and liquidity problems, so a new president, Michael S. Williams, was hired by an outside investment group to correct this. By 1989 ShareData had been restructured and their adventures into the videogame business began.

Mid 1989 ShareData hired a guy called Richard C. Frick as vice president of product development in their consumer products division. Frick came from a job at Atari where he worked in a variety of capacities such as videogames, including the Tengen subsidary which had taken up development of unlicensed NES games by this time, business productivity software development and third-party relationships. At ShareData he would be responsible for the acquisition and development of new titles for the division's recreational software line.

ShareData released a good deal of Commodore64 quiz titles such as Classic Concentration, Family Feud, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and Wheel of Fortune second edition. They had also been releasing something they called "Load 'N Go" software for PC's years earlier. In 1989 they released their first non-quiz C64 game called Avoid the Noid, and yes this guy eventually also got his own NES game aswell, though not released by ShareData.

Anyway the idea to make low-budget NES games came into mind and ShareData contacted another company, Color Dreams, who already had their foot in the doorway to be making NES games using their own, unlicensed, cartridge. ShareData licensed the NES format from Color Dreams and bought a license to release Exidy games on the NES aswell. First game programmed was Chiller and a small production run was made using Color Dreams cartridge format with a label saying the game was released by ShareData. I don't think these were actually released though as American Game Cartrides Inc soon after was formed and the cartridge design to a much heavier one and the name ShareData removed from the game aswell as cartridge label.

Chiller was released with a suggested retail price of $29.95 and soon after 2 other games followed, Death Race, another Exidy title even though it didn't say so on the box unlike Chiller, and ShockWave. It seems like the two later games were released at the same time as both manuals has the exact same offer for a American Game Carts Inc t-shirt, valid through December 1991, but all 3 games were most likely made in 1990 as they all are copyrighted that year.

As a publicity stunt, which I bet didn't attract that many buyers, a small piece of cardboard was included with the game and had this written on it: "Be one of the first 100 to make it to New York and WIN an Official Death Race Car!". All you had to do was take a picture of yourself standing next to your TV with the Death Race' Gauntlet Level "Congratulations Screen" for New York City shown.

The contest ended on June 1st 1991 and I'm sure those 100 radio controlled race cars are still in a warehouse somewhere, mainly because Death Race is one pain in the A** to play and I'm sure no one bothered to play long enough to reach the New York part of the game. As if that wasn't enough, you had to have the original receipt of purchase as well as cut off the top flap of the box and send it in along with the photo. Should you be one of the winners from this contest, MAIL ME! 🙂

In 1991 American Game Carts Inc finished their last NES game, Wally Bear and the NO! Gang. Richard Frick had left AGCI in February 1990 to form American Video Entertainment, a subsidary of the rom chip manufacturer Macronix, and ended up buying the rights to publish Wally Bear from AGCI, who then, about a year later, was put to rest by their mother company, ShareData. That year the ShareData president left the company, aswell as their controller. ShareData Inc filed for formal protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in December 1993.

The former president and controller of ShareData formed a new company the same month ShareData went belly-up, called Bulldog Investment Company, who today are owned by Aztor� Holdings Inc., which was a company started in May 1995 as an Arizona corporation to own the assets of ShareData Inc. In December 1995 the court approved ShareData's reorganization plan, and it merged with Aztor�. Pretty dry stuff to understand, but I hope it gives atleast a little meaning, pretty much that ShareData still exist in the shape of Aztor�, but no longer deals with software, but instead now an investment company.

Anyway, American Game Carts' team of NES programmers and artists actually had more games planned, which unfortunately never saw the light of day, some never even went into development while others were cancelled while being developed, such as the much discussed Crossbow, which was advertised as the 3rd game to be released by AGCI, before ShockWave, but also mentioned on a subway train ad in the second level of Wally Bear and the NO! Gang.

The following were games planned by AGCI/ShareData and maybe even mentioned by the press:

Cheyenne, another Exidy arcade shooter released back in 1984, prequel to Chiller, western themed. Supposedly never even went into development.

Crossbow, an Exidy arcade game from 1983 which wrote the following on the original arcade flyer. "Each scene is begun by the player choosing the colored patch he wishes his party to follow. If the part survives, the player chooses where to go next by trial and error. The player must learn which colored path leads to which scene's unique element of danger. The adventure ends when all party members are killed." The game idea is similar to the Chiller but takes place in a Robin Hood themed world. The game was, besides the arcade game, released on PC, Atari 2600, Atari 7800 and Commodore64 (by Imagineering Inc.).

Married... With Children, supposedly one of the first NES game announcements made by ShareData. The price of the game was to be under $20 and would be a "adult only" game (Panesian anyone? :). Married... with Children would be based off the TV comedy and would be similar to Sierra's Liesure Suit Larry series. Something tells me they never even began working on this game, soon after Chiller was released and you've just read where things lead from there.

Warp Space, an action-simulation of outer-space combat. The solitary gamer, a recent graduate of the TerraFed Fleet Academy, rises through the fleet as he reaps the rewards that go to those who complete the dangerous missions. The wide variety of weapons and ship types, coupled with the large number of planets awaiting exploration, give Warp Space a high degree of playability." - VGCE March 1992 (pg 98).

Bad Boys B-Ball, could've been one of the later games planned, like Warp Space. No information is available about this tile, but judging from the title it could've been some sort of baseball game.

Knockout, another totally unknown release, but I'm sure it was meant to be a boxing game 🙂

This is a good one....but I will try and find the other one where the guy actually goes into alittle more detail about the chiller and wally bear games and the time lines...but you kind of get the idea just by reading this 😁

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I remember that people on NintendoAge said that they (or their parents) got Action 52 through either the Home Shopping Network or outlet stores. 

I imagine a lot of this oddball stuff made its way to consumers in a couple of ways. With memories fading and the ephemeral nature of ads, it's catch as catch can for a lot of this information.

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9 hours ago, Hollywoodcaddy said:

I don't think these were actually released though as American Game Cartrides Inc soon after was formed and the cartridge design to a much heavier one and the name ShareData removed from the game aswell as cartridge label.

Yeah, it looks like anyone who ordered from the OP's posted print ad (or any other Sharedata ad) would have received the released AGCI Chiller in the mail, since it turns out that they were essentially the same company.  I know this is much to the chagrin of @fcgamer et al who "want to believe" but hey, it's fun to dream.... 😛

Thanks for posting that info and I look forward to seeing whatever else you've got 🙂

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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