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There were originally plans for a Popeye arcade game to be made by Nintendo, but negotiations with King Features Syndicate, the right holders for Popeye at the time, fell through, which lead up to the game being reworked into Donkey Kong.

Nearly a year later, after seeing the massive success of Donkey Kong, King Features Syndicate re-established contact with Nintendo with a proposition for a potential Popeye video game. A deal was struck and in December 1982, the Popeye arcade game was released.

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