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
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
Shady Stuff Going on in the 16-Bit Era
The dark side of our childhood is discussed 🙂
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
Neo-Geo Game Authentication
With lower-end copies of Neo-Geo games floating around, Dion discusses the topic and how to authenticate your games
Unreleased Neo-Geo Games
Curious about some of those lost Neo-Geo games — here’s Dion’s thoughts on the topic
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