1980 saw the release of a number games with influential concepts, including Pac-Man , Battlezone , Crazy Climber , Mystery House , Missile Command , Space Panic , Zork I , and Olympic Decathlon . The Atari VCS (later the Atari 2600) grew in popularity with a port of Space Invaders and support from new developer Activision.
Pac-Man is an arcade game designed by Toru Iwatani and published by Namco and Midway Games. It was initally released in Japan as PUCKMAN in May 1980, followed by the United States in October of the same year.
Battlezone is a first-person shooter tank combat arcade game from Atari, Inc. released in November 1980. The player controls a tank which is attacked by other tanks and missiles.
Crazy Climber is a coin-operated arcade game produced by Nichibutsu in 1980. It was also released in North America by Taito America by UA Ltd. in 1982 for the Emerson Arcadia 2001 and other video game consoles. It is one of Nichibutsu's most highly acclaimed video games in its library. A precursor to the platform game genre, Crazy Climber was the first video game revolving around climbing, specifically climbing buildings, before Nintendo's 1981 release Donkey Kong.
Electronic Games was the first dedicated video game magazine published in the United States and ran from October 15, 1981 to 1997 under different titles. It was co-founded by Bill Kunkel, Joyce Worley, and Arnie Katz, and is not to be confused with Electronic Gaming Monthly.
Space Invaders is a 1978 arcade game created by Tomohiro Nishikado. It was manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and licensed in the United States by the Midway division of Bally. Within the shooter genre, Space Invaders was the first fixed shooter and set the template for the shoot 'em up genre. The goal is to defeat wave after wave of descending aliens with a horizontally moving laser to earn as many points as possible.
Bug-Byte Software Ltd. was a company founded in 1980 by Tony Baden and Tony Milner, two Oxford chemistry graduates. It was one of the first to develop a range of 8-bit computer games during the early 1980s, for Sinclair, Commodore and other home computer brands, particularly for the Spectrum. Among the better known titles are Manic Miner and Twin Kingdom Valley.
HAL Laboratory, Inc. is a Japanese video game developer founded on 21 February 1980. While it is officially independent, it has been closely affiliated with Nintendo throughout its history. It is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo. The company got its name because "each letter put them one step ahead of IBM". The company is most famous for the Kirby, Mother, and Super Smash Bros. series.
Human Engineered Software was an American home computer software and hardware developer/publisher from 1980-1984, concentrating on the Commodore 64 and the Atari 8-bit.
Namco Limited is a brand and corporate name used from 1971 to 2018 by two Japanese companies in the businesses of video games, game centers and theme parks. The name continues to be used outside of Japan by the subsidiary Namco USA.
A mascot is any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name. Mascots are also used as fictional, representative spokespeople for consumer products, such as the rabbit used in advertising and marketing for the General Mills brand of breakfast cereal, Trix.
A player character is a fictional character in a role-playing game or video game whose actions are directly controlled by a player of the game rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.
Atari, Inc. was an American video game developer and home computer company founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. Primarily responsible for the formation of the video arcade and modern video game industries, the company was closed and its assets split in 1984 as a direct result of the Video game crash of 1983.
Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica, California. It currently serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, and consists of several subsidiary studios. Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top United States publisher in 2016.
Dragster, released in 1980 for the Atari 2600, is the first video game developed by Activision. It was programmed by David Crane, who later wrote Pitfall! The object of the game is to either beat the player's opponent across the screen, or to race against the clock for best time, depending on the settings used. Dragster is an unauthorized adaptation of the 1977 Kee Games coin-op Drag Race.
Infocom was a software company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that produced numerous works of interactive fiction. They also produced one notable business application, a relational database called Cornerstone.
Zork: The Great Underground Empire - Part I, later known as Zork I, is an interactive fiction video game written by Marc Blank, Dave Lebling, Bruce Daniels and Tim Anderson and published by Infocom in 1980. It was the first game in the popular Zork trilogy and was released for a wide range of computer systems, followed by Zork II and Zork III. It was Infocom's first game, and sold 378,987 copies by 1986.
Kenneth Cutts Richard Cabot Arnold is an American computer programmer well known as one of the developers of the 1980s dungeon-crawling video game Rogue, for his contributions to the original Berkeley (BSD) distribution of Unix, for his books and articles about C and C++, and his high-profile work on the Java platform.
The Atari 2600, originally sold as the Atari Video Computer System or Atari VCS until November 1982, is a home video game console from Atari, Inc. Released on September 11, 1977, it is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and games contained on ROM cartridges, a format first used with the Fairchild Channel F in 1976. This contrasts with the older model of having dedicated hardware that could play only those games that were physically built into the unit. The 2600 was bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a game cartridge: initially Combat, and later Pac-Man.
Arcadia 2001 is a second-generation 8-bit console released by Emerson Radio in May 1982, several months before the release of ColecoVision. It was discontinued only 18 months later, with a total of 35 games having been released. Emerson licensed the Arcadia 2001 to Bandai, which released it in Japan. Over 30 Arcadia 2001 clones exist.
The Intellivision is a home video game console released by Mattel Electronics in 1979. The name Intellivision is a portmanteau of "intelligent television". Development of the console began in 1977, the same year as the introduction of its main competitor, the Atari 2600. In 1984 Mattel sold their video game assets to a former Mattel Electronics executive and investors that would become INTV Corporation. Games development started in 1978 and continued until 1990 when the Intellivision was discontinued. From 1980 to 1983 over 3 million Intellivision units were sold.
The video game crash of 1983 was a large-scale recession in the video game industry that occurred from 1983 to 1985, primarily in America. The crash was attributed to several factors, including market saturation in the number of game consoles and available games, and waning interest in console games in favor of personal computers. Revenues peaked at around $3.2 billion in 1983, then fell to around $100 million by 1985. The crash was a serious event which abruptly ended what is retrospectively considered the second generation of console video gaming in North America.
A sound chip is an integrated circuit designed to produce sound. It might do this through digital, analog or mixed-mode electronics. Sound chips normally contain things like oscillators, envelope controllers, samplers, filters and amplifiers. During the late 20th century, sound chips were widely used in arcade game system boards, video game consoles, home computers, and PC sound cards.
Pitfall! is a video game designed by David Crane for the Atari 2600 and released by Activision in 1982. The player controls Pitfall Harry and is tasked with collecting all the treasures in a jungle within 20 minutes while avoiding obstacles and hazards.
1983 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Mario Bros., Pole Position II and Spy Hunter.
Demon Attack is a fixed shooter written by Rob Fulop for the Atari 2600 and published by Imagic in 1982. It was ported to the Intellivision, Odyssey², Atari 8-bit family, VIC-20, Commodore 64, IBM PC, TRS-80, IBM PCjr, and TRS-80 Color Computer. There is also a port for the TI-99/4A titled Super Demon Attack.
1984 saw many sequels and prequels and several new titles such as Tetris, Karate Champ, Boulder Dash, and 1942.
1982 was the peak year of arcade and console games during the Golden age of arcade video games. Troubles at Atari, Inc. late in the year triggered the North American video game crash of 1983. Many games were released that would spawn franchises, or at least sequels, including Dig Dug, Pole Position, Mr. Do!, Pitfall!, Q*bert, and Xevious. Additional consoles add to a crowded market. The new Commodore 64 goes on to eventually dominate the 8-bit home computer market.
Fueled by the previous year's release of the colorful and appealing Pac-Man, the audience for arcade games in 1981 became much wider. Pac-Man influenced maze games began appearing in arcades and on home systems. Nintendo broke from their mediocre early releases with Donkey Kong which defined the platform genre.
1979 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Galaxian, Warrior and Asteroids.
1977 has several new titles such as Space Wars.
A dedicated console is a video game console that is dedicated to a built-in game or games, and is not equipped for additional games, via ROM cartridges, discs or other digital media. Dedicated consoles were very popular in the early age of home video game consoles in the early and mid-1970s.
In the history of video games, the second-generation era refers to computer and video games, video game consoles, and handheld video game consoles available from 1976 to 1992. Notable platforms of the second generation include the Fairchild Channel F, Atari 2600, Intellivision, Odyssey², and ColecoVision. This generation began in November 1976 with the release of the Fairchild Channel F; followed by the Atari 2600 in 1977; Magnavox Odyssey² in 1978; Intellivision in 1980; and then the Emerson Arcadia 2001, ColecoVision, Atari 5200, and Vectrex. But, by the end of the era, there were over 15 different consoles. It coincided with, and was partly fueled by, the golden age of arcade video games, a peak era of popularity and innovation for the medium. Many games for second generation home consoles were ports of arcade games. The Atari 2600 was the first to port a game in 1980, with Space Invaders, and ColecoVision bundled in Nintendo's Donkey Kong for the system when it was released in August 1982.
The second decade in the industry's history was decade of highs and lows for video games. The decade began amidst a boom in the arcade business with giants like Atari still dominating the market since the late-1970s. Another, the rising influence of the home computer, and a lack of quality in the games themselves lead to an implosion of the North American video game market that nearly destroyed the industry. It took home consoles years to recover from the crash, but Nintendo filled in the void with its Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), reviving interest in consoles. Up until this point, most investors believed video games to be a fad that has since passed. In the remaining years of the decade, Sega ignites a console war with Nintendo, developers that have been affected by the crash experiment with the superior graphics of the PC, and Nintendo also releases the Game Boy, which would become the best-selling handheld gaming device for the next two-decades.
M Network was a video game division of Mattel that, in the 1980s, produced games in cartridge format for the Atari 2600 video game system.
A vertically scrolling video game or vertical scroller is a video game in which the player views the field of play principally from a top-down perspective, while the background scrolls from the top of the screen to the bottom to create the illusion that the player character is moving in the game world.
Despite the success of his game, Iwatani never received much attention. Rumors emerged that the unknown creator of Pac-Man had left the industry when he received only a $3500 bonus for creating the highest-grossing video game of all time.