An Interview With Jean-Marc Demoly – CEO of Geeks-Line

What it takes to make a gaming book...

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We’ve looked at and reviewed a number of different gaming related books here at The Koalition. Some of those books come from Geeks-Line Publishing, a company based out in Europe that publishes the Anthology Series. The books have covered game consoles like the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and most recently the Nintendo GameCube. You can check out all of our thoughts about them here!

Recently, we had the chance to interview the CEO of Geeks-Line Jean-Marc Demoly. We covered everything about the what it takes to make book on retro game consoles, and what everyone can expect in the nearby future. Are we going to get a book about the SEGA Genesis or Dreamcast? And it took how long to make one book? Our exclusive interview covers everything you need to know. Check out the full interview down below!

(NOTE: This interview has been editted for accurate translation and readability)

JJ:  Hey Jean, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. How’s the release of the GameCube Anthology Book coming along?

JMD:  Hello there! The GameCube Anthology was written by Math Manent, who also wrote the Nintendo 64 Anthology. Luckily for us it was well-received by the readers. To date, we’re very happy with the launch of the (GameCube) book. It seems the sales are as encouraging as the sales of the Nintendo 64 Anthology, which is now sold out. The numbered edition of the book (the Ultimate edition) and the Collector’s Edition all sold in less than 2 weeks.

 

JJ:  When making the GameCube Anthology Book, did you need to contact Nintendo directly for any reason? If so, what was that process like?

JMD:  For us at Geeks-Line, we try to have a lot archives and anecdotes to share with readers. I’ve been involved with the video games market for almost 30 years now and love it. After all this, both Math and I really know the history of Nintendo and the GameCube (haha). For the GameCube Anthology, I’ve gone half a dozen times to Kyoto to visit Nintendo HQ, mostly to get interviews with several Nintendo personnel. One day, I travelled for 24 hours to Japan to have an audience with (Shigeru) Miyamoto-San.

 

JJ:  Thus far, Geeks-Line has published three anthology books on different game consoles. The original PlayStation, the Nintendo 64, and now the Nintendo GameCube respectively. Has each successive release of the anthology books gotten easier to put together over time?

JMD:  For each of those books, the process is mostly the same. It takes nearly 2 years for all of the work to be completed to publish a book. Back in 1990, I managed three magazines on the Nintendo, PlayStation and Sega platforms, so we try to use a lot of archives about the consoles and show everything to the public. Each book we try to make the same, really only the subject is different. But we do a lot to work with the publisher to get the most information we can for a book. For example with the PlayStation Anthology, Sony helped us out a lot.

 

 

JJ:  Were there any specific challenges making the GameCube Anthology book that you never experienced with the other two books? Or were there greater challenges with the previous releases?

JMD:  Like I mentioned before, each book is based on the same idea and the structure is quite the same. We wanted to cover an entire console’s life cycle, from its genesis to the end of its lifecycle (post-mortem). We wanted to also make sure we included info about every single game (and hardware) released in all regions around the world. That way the reader can have all the information about the console in one place. In my opinion, it should be difficult for any other books to be more complete than our Anthologies, since they cover every single part of the consoles from accessories, games, bundles, collector’s Edition, etc… Our challenge is to always be as comprehensive as possible. So for me, I’d say the most difficult thing about making our books is consistently reaching that goal for readers.

 

JJ:  With Kickstarter being a major component to having the Anthology books made, were there any worries about the projects when you first launched them?

JMD:  Of course. Running a Kickstarter campaign is always stressful. It’s like taking a journey into the unknown. The big question for us is always the same, will readers like our work? Fortunately, the answer has always been yes so far.

JJ:  The one thing I find fascinating with the Anthology books is how detailed they go into the hardware and collectibles for each console worldwide. Was it exceptionally difficult to do this for any of the consoles the books covered? How did you guys end up getting so much information on many of the harder to find collectibles?

JMD:  Definitely. Luckily, we know a lot of collectors from around the world. Some of them have an incredible amount of games, accessories, and more that we didn’t even know they existed! Please have a look to this Amazing Castlevania collection. We always try to show great things like that. Sometimes, pictures are much better than words. And that’s only a small part of some of the amazing things we learned of.

JJ:  Of the three books that have been released, which one was the project that came together the easiest of the bunch?

JMD:  To be honest, none of them were easy to make. The work and time needed to produce each book is similar. But I’ll admit that the older the console we cover is, the harder it can be to make a solid book.

 

JJ:  When releasing the GameCube Anthology book, or any of the other books so far, how challenging was it to have the books release internationally? Was the translation or localization process difficult?

JMD:  Our main challenge is to be known outside France and reach people internationally. That kind of awareness takes time, and we had to start from scratch. Our biggest strength in achieving that is the high quality of our books. I’m confident that our dedication to that quality will be recognized by many who check out our books overseas.  We appreciate those who have covered our books in the media thus far, but we know we still have a lot more work to do to get out there to more people.

JJ:  Now that the GameCube Anthology is out, what other consoles do you want to see get a similar treatment? Would you consider looking into other companies outside of Nintendo or Sony? Can fans have get a book looking at a SEGA console?

JMD:  Right now, our next book is going to be all about the Super Nintendo. One of my favorite consoles (with the Turbografx). So far, the Kickstarter for the SNES book has reached almost $100,000 (US) from people who have backed us. We’re planning on the book having 700 pages and split into two books, one dedicated to the SNES hardware and the other to the SNES software. Their shaping up to be absolutely amazing. And yes, we are thinking about publishing a SEGA book. Maybe; it will be a surprise for the future?

 

JJ:  What is the one thing people should look into about the Anthology books? What do you feel will be the one thing that will make them want to purchase any of them?

JMD:  That’s always a difficult question to answer. But if I have to find a good word to sum up the 2 years of work it took, I’d probably say “reference”. We’d like fans of the consoles to look at our books as a good reference for info about their favorite game consoles.

 

JJ:  Is there anything else more you want to say to fans of the books?

JMD:  Sure! At Geeks-Line, we love video games. All of our authors have been gamers since they were teenagers. We all grew up cradled by Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Zelda, and so much more. Our goal by publishing those Anthologies is to pay tribute to the consoles and games we enjoyed when we were kids. We also hope that these collection of books exuded that same passion to every reader who checks them out.

Did you enjoy this exclusive interview? Want to see more interviews just like this one? Got a suggestion about who we should talk to next? Leave us a comment down below and let your voice be heard!

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Jakejames Lugo Senior Editor
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