Video Interview with Dion Dakis of NeoGeoFreak

I may not be a Neo-Geo expert, but I’ve ran this site long enough to know that there’s a number of SNK fans that aren’t keen on Dion Dakis. The co-founder of NeoGeoFreak pushed the buttons of a lot of American Neo-Geo collectors with his online antics and personality.

Last summer I had a trip out to Las Vegas and I worked it into my schedule to sit down with Dion Dakis for an evening and talk about the last few decades of the gaming industry. Knowing his reputation on neo-geo.com, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  On the other hand, he does have good eBay feedback and deals in public trade shows like the Classic Gaming Expo.  In his online writing (and sometimes while talking on the phone) he can come across as a stong personality, but once I met him in person, he seemed much more approachable. I did my best to go in with an open mind and try to present a neutral presentation.

I can understand the perspectives of both Mr. Dakis and those that disagree with him.   I understand the business aspect of NeoGeoFreak, but I can also relate to how people don’t like how he handles things.  Personally, if I was a game distributor, I would have done things differently.  But that’s me — I have a much different personality.

Long story short, I had an enjoyable time talking about games and learning some history. Dion was nice enough to let me record much of our conversation and take lots of pictures. Before our meetup, Dion went through his storage unit to dig up some very cool Neo-Geo collectables and artwork. What follows are the highlights. It took me a while to edit all the footage down and organize it – I apologize for the delay, but I hope you find this interesting regardless of how you feel about Mr. Dakis.

BTW, I realize the sound/video isn’t the best — it was low lighting, I only had the built-in mic on the camera, and I’m terrible at speaking on camera, so I’m surprised it turned out as well as it did 😉   Anyway, here we go!

Getting Started with Neo-Geo & Starting NeoGeoFreak

I talk to Dion about how he got started collecting for the Neo-Geo and how it turned into starting the business that became the leading US distributor for Neo-Geo games


Youtube Link

Experiences with SNK Japan

Even thought SNK wasn’t without it’s issues, Dion had some interesting memories of how things were in the corporate end of the Neo-Geo world


Youtube Link

Shady Stuff Going on in the 16-Bit Era

The dark side of our childhood is discussed 🙂


Youtube Link

Current Status of the SNK Community

I talk to Dion about what he thinks of the Neo-Geo community now and how things have progressed with homebrew software and hardware, etc


Youtube Link

Neo-Geo Game Authentication

With lower-end copies of Neo-Geo games floating around, Dion discusses the topic and how to authenticate your games


Youtube Link

Unreleased Neo-Geo Games

Curious about some of those lost Neo-Geo games — here’s Dion’s thoughts on the topic


Youtube Link

Photos of Dion’s Neo-Geo Memorabilia

Here’s a handful of pictures from Dion’s collection — for more images and notes to go with them, check out this gallery on the Racketboy Facebook Page

 


42 Comments

Anyone claiming that Racketboy is diminished by posting this needs to get over themselves. It’s a sit-down interview without bias with a person that had serious influence (good or bad in cases) in the gaming industry.

liquid snake says:

Dion……….LOL

Raidersrule says:

All business men , politicians, famous people, athletes are either hated or loved and do things in way we wouldnt but that’s probably why theyre so successful and famous. Dakis says lots was an act and ngf is still talked about it so it worked. Racketboy was great for this interview. Was it at dions business or home? any other pics? Great job racketboy. keep up the good work.

Hardak says:

Awesome, the whole interview was great. I like the fact that he wants more people to do homebrew and come together like NG: DEV TEAM, I didn’t expect that from him.

Raidersrule says:

I just noticed that NGF add says “NGF specializes in providing collectors with all of the titles that were previously unavailable on AES by converting NeoGeo MVS arcade cartridges.” Theyve boasted how their unreleased aes conversions from ngf were what made them special and made collectors and collections more special to have those carts because they were the first to make conversions of unreleased aes carts. They used to call people with the ngf conversions big timers and executives and super freaks. He’s very open in the videos im impressed that racketboy was able to get the video and pics for us to see. is there more? ((i live in vegas to)

megatenkota says:

I really liked this interview. this guy obviously made some mistakes, but everyone makes mistakes. I love the Neo Geo personally and almost every word this guy said was like GOLD. I loved this. thanks so much racketboy : )

firenze says:

You should just delete all the trolling comments. They are likely from Neo-Geo.com members – which is virtually the 4CHAN of the retro video game world. No amount of reason will sway these nutjobs.

Dion is Dion.. the guy is a narcissistic liar in many cases.. but Racketboy posting these videos has nothing to do with endorsing him.. thanks for the share

Skrills says:

Lots of naive comments. Probably Dion and ChrisR posting with madeup usernames.

Not buying it.

If you have a NGF sticker or seal on your Neo Geo you have a bootleg. End of story.

Captain Janks says:

When do we get an interview with Tiago Splitter?

darrentg says:

The less attention Dion gets, the better. I’m not going to say I’ve lost respect for Racketboy or the community because of this; but I’m wondering why a known thief, liar, and scammer is getting this kind of attention. The biggest thing that stands out to me is how I lost count of how many times Dion keeps saying “and 10, 15 years later everyone is finally starting to catch on”; no, no they’re not Dion. Your “freaked” conversions/bootlegs were ALWAYS low print quality, even back then. They’re worth less than the genuine article. The guy’s ego is so over-inflated, he’s manipulative; and that clearly shines through in these videos. I’m surprised so many people have fallen for his BS just by looking at these comments. And no, I’m not from Neo-Geo.com.

DragonShadow says:

After reseaching about SNK….alot of what this guy says don’t add up….

1.) Azure being SNK “parent company” when in reality Azure bought SNK in 2000…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aruze#Relationship_with_SNK

2.) Saying that the Barone Family were great…..despite the fact that their one of the main reason why the pocket color and SNK USA fail in America.

3.) Watch the Icons episode of SNK for an better idea on how SNK was actually run

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtFI7aLIzqw
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxP6qIiS6WQ

Anyways please do some research before believe everything this guys says.

chaz says:

stick to talking about sonic the hedgehog, racketboy.

I’m the Scott Wozniak listed in the “Thief, Scammer, Liar: The Dion Dakis Story – The Definitive Retrospective” thread. My dealings with Dion go back a long way. (Around 1999 – 2001.) Don’t want to get into great depth about it, but this guy was HATED fiercely back then for a lot of reasons. That being said, I enjoyed the interview and wish him the best.

Sound Lily says:

@Scott, nice to know that you actually managed to stop keeping such a grudge. I find it amazing that even now, 12 years later, it still brings out hatred and rage in anyone. From shitty “photocopied” inserts (from reports I hear, some were actually professionally printed), to the whole Jigen thing (from conflicting opinions and the image itself I can’t even have an opinion on) I can see why it would cause terrible pain to the community, but to hold it this long? To be honest I never really got deep into the Neo-Geo (and probably never will, too cost prohibitve) but the tales I hear about NGF are something to behold
I’d like to ask, what is your idea on what actually happened during NGF’s time?

NeoElite says:

I have close friends and relatives including myself who are serious Neo Geo collectors and have had years of experience in both online transactions with ngf and Dion Dakis himself, if anything he has always overdelivered in every aspect of a very well run business, he has always been upfront and honest about questions & concerns, has always delivered all my mib games in a timely manner and has gone out of his way to deliver clear professional photos before the actual items were shipped…has even gone to the extent of asking me to notify him when my packages have been recieved so it’s been very clear and proved to me that he’s always been very serious and courteous about everything he does. All titles that I’ve ordered from ngf/Dion have also been 110% authentic and I’ve even opened the more expensive Aes carts to make sure they were fully legit, ngh numbers and everything was always totally authentic. I also have over 100 Aes titles in my collection and most big titles came directly from ngf and Dion, those ngf titles are actually the highlights of my collection. Just recently Mr.Dakis also helped me find & replace some used titles in my collection with nib/mib ones, I have nothing but great things to say about Dion Dakis and have tremendous respect for him as both a person and business owner. I’m truly not quite understanding nor believing any of the undeserved hate geared at Dion Dakis and ngf. Anyone who is/was a real Snk head got their stuff from Dion/ngf.

Adam says:

Thanks for these interviews Racketboy.

Links says:

This is dissapointing, the guy is a known con artist with multiple ongoing court cases against him. Multiple people have said “he seems like a nice guy”. That’s the whole point, he’s a con artist. He would make fake games, and sell them to other’s as limited print’s or simmilar for ten time’s their worth. And he’s documented for stealing over $10,000 worth of carts that people sold him, only for him to return the games, that were actually one of his bootlegs disguised (or defaced) as their carts.

And that’s not even mentioning how he willingly destroys MVS/AES and inserts to make his own collection more valuable (I’m not making this shit up, go google it, ton’s of photo’s of him shredding Neo Geo case inserts).

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