Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi is very well known for ruling Nintendo with an iron fist, and doing all he could to stop out the competition. His methods of operation and opinions on games were quite divisive, and don't really fit in with the Nintendo of today. That's what makes this comment from a classic interview so interesting.
All the way back in 1979, Mr. Yamauchi was interviewed by TV station NHK. He was asked about how the game industry should move forward, which is when he responded with a very un-Yamauchi answer.
There’s no such thing as patenting a way of playing. Look, if someone has the inclination and the time, they can copy anything. There’s no way around that. So we should abandon that way of thinking, and everyone should release their software openly, for the growth of the amusement industry as a whole. That way, even if, say, Space Invaders declines in popularity, then computer games will continue to flourish. We need to abandon this idea of secrecy, and consider pooling all of our resources in order to grow the industry. That’s the ideal.
Obviously Yamauchi reversed this feelings once Nintendo had big-name hits like Mario and Donkey Kong under their belt. The company got a taste of big gaming success, and Yamauchi was determined to hang onto it!