For as long as I can remember I have never thought that the official North American release day for Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES was known. Wikipedia, your encyclopedia in the cloud has always listed the North American release as "December, 1991" while listing a very specific "December 13th, 1991" for the Japanese release. Any other sort of internet deep dive would come up with the same result: no one listed the specific day on which this game was released. Try searching for "Tecmo Super Bowl release date" on Google or Bing now. The result is quite different because wikipedia is now different. I had noticed back in Oct of 2018 that the Tecmo Super Bowl Wikipedia page had been updated with the North American release day.
Anyone can update a Wikipedia page and anyone can view what has been changed and who changed it. It's possible to create an account on Wikipedia and this will show you what pages or talk has come from this specific user. If you don't create an account, you can still update a page but the site will list your IP address instead.
On Dec 10 of 2017 someone updated the release date of Tecmo Super Bowl from December of 1991 to Friday, December 13th, 1991
The updated user wasn't a registered account on Wikipedia so the IPv6 address "2600:1700:8880:6410:3935:833B:C73E:466F" was credited for the update. This is an address registered through AT&T and unless there is some other record associated with this address around this time there is no way to trace this short of having AT&T search through there records for it.
When you drill down into the contributions of this user, you find a pattern: This person, or bot, systematically updated 23 different game release dates over the course of an hour on Dec 10, 2017. One could surmise from this list of completely random games that this was the work of someone with a general interest in NES games, not a Tecmo Super Bowl enthusiast. Why were these particular games selected and if someone did have a list of releases dates for video game in North America 25+ years ago where exactly did they get it?
At the end of the day though the question remains: Was Tecmo Super Bowl released on Dec 13, 1991? The answer is doubtful and let me explain why. Tecmo was a Japanese company and like many while they maintained a office in the U.S. most were headquartered out of Japan. If you look through dates for video game releases you'll see a couple of things.
- Japanese video games are most often released on a Monday or a Friday
- US releases rarely, if ever, occur on the same calendar day as the Japanese release.
It makes sense for a release to occur before a weekend, right? Friday before a weekend seems the most logical as a person might purchase the game with the intent of playing it for the weekend. You'll see that December 13, 1991 is a Friday. However, while it is Friday in Japan it's actually Thursday in the US. As you start to find some games with actual release dates in the US you'll see Thursday and my guess would be because this is Friday to the bosses back in Japan. If there was an official release date for Tecmo Super Bowl that paralleled the Japanese release, it would most likely be Thursday, Dec 12, 1991. It's most probable though that even though this would have been a very highly anticipated sequel worthy of an official release date that the company most likely shipped product to retailers to be sold upon arrival. While unsatisfying, "December, 1991" probably is most accurate.
I would welcome any sort of help in answering this question and please comment on this article or send an email to [email protected]cmobowl.org.