5. The Genesis Only Pioneered Mature Gaming Because Atari Rejected It
In the late 80s, Sega and Atari began discussing the possibility of Atari localizing Sega's Mega Drive console for the American market. Negotiations even went far enough for Atari to provide Sega with a list of possible names for the American version of the system. Eventually, however, Atari decided that licensing the Mega Drive for an American release just wasn't worth the money, and the deal was off.
Without a distributor in place, Sega's Japanese headquarters tasked Sega of America with releasing the console themselves. Their desperation to make headway against Nintendo was what triggered them to do something that had previously seemed counterintuitive: eschew the traditional child demographic and instead target teenagers and adults.
It was a revolutionary tactic, and it worked - Sega successfully positioned themselves as the cool, more mature company, while Nintendo and others were seen as childish and outdated. Once Sega proved it was viable, attracting older audiences became the norm in the video game industry, and it still is today - and it likely would have never happened had Atari released the console instead of Sega.
The Atari talks weren't completely fruitless for Sega, as they did decide to go with one of the names Atari had recommended - Genesis.