Timeline of video games

Table of contents
1 2000s
2 1990s
3 1980s
4 1970s
5 1960s
6 1950s
7 Before The Video Game Era
8 pLinks
9 eLinks

2000s

2003

Acquisitions:
Microsoft Corporation
Connectix Corp.
Take 2 Interactive
TDK Mediactive, Inc.
Bankrupt/Defunct:
3DO Company
Established/Renamed/Merged:
Atari Inc. (formerly Infogrames, Inc. a subsidiary of Infogrames Entertainment SA)
Square Enix Co., Ltd. (formerly Square Co., Ltd. and Enix Corporation)
Events:
money.cnn.com
reports that video games are now a $10 billion dollar industry
AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences)
hosts the 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards for video games
inducts Yu Suzuki of Sega to the AIAS Hall Of Fame
BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
· hosts the 1st annual BAFTA Games Awards for video game publication
· hosts the 6th annual BAFTA Interactive Awards for multimedia technologies
E3 2003 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
· The 9th annual expo is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center
· The 6th annual Game Critics Awards For The Best Of E3
Gama Network (a division of CMP Media LLC, owned by United Business Media)
hosts the 5th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF)
GDC (Game Developers Conference)
hosts the 3rd annual Game Developers Choice Awards
Reuters, Associated Press::
Reported in late 2003 that Nintendo Co. Ltd. brought shares from Japanese toy and animation conglomerate Bandai Co. Ltd. making Nintendo one of Bandai's top 10 shareholders.
GameSpot.com::
Reported in late 2003 in a news story, a rebuttal regarding two statements from Nintendo and Bandai execs denying a potential Nintendo takeover of Bandai. According to the story, Nintendo is working with a Japanese banking firm that has Bandai and Nintendo as their corporate clients to try to take over Bandai.
Dreamworks Studios, Tecmo::
Released a press release on October 1st, 2003 that a movie adaptation of the video game Fatal Frame has been fast-tracked. Details on the movie was released during the 2003 Tokyo Game Show, it was stated that writer/producer John Rogers has signed onto the project as its producer. It was stated that the Fatal Frame movie is a major priority for Dreamworks Studios and that Speilberg himself has a first-hand role with the project. The press release can be found here: [1]
Hardware:
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
Game Boy Advance SP (GBA SP) handheld console which is an enhanced version of the Game Boy Advance.
Nokia Corporation
N-Gage multimedia handheld console. A hybrid of a handheld video game console and a mobile phone.
Lawsuits:
Wizards of the Coast, Nintendo, Pokemon U.S.A The Pokemon Company
In mid to late 2003, Wizards of the Coast filed a lawsuit against Nintendo, Pokemon U.S.A., The Pokemon Company, and other Nintendo affilates of breach of contract and other charges related to the Pokemon trading card game that WotC lost rights to create and distribute them in early 2003. It was reported that several WotC employees who were involved with the Pokemon trading card game was enticed and bribed to work with Nintendo and they disclosed secret information regarding the Pokemon trading card game to Nintendo that they signed a NDA with WotC not to disclose. WotC is claiming that Nintendo is using patented techniques and manufacturing techniques that was disclosed by the former WotC employees who joined Nintendo. The result of this lawsuit is currently pending.
Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, Wal-Mart, Sony Computer Entertainment America, families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede.
In late 2003, on November 11th, 2003, it was announced in an Associated Press news article that can be found here: [1] that the families of two victims who were shot by two teenagers who stated to investigators that they took rifles out of a locked room and shot at tractor trailer rigs, similar to Grand Theft Auto 3 filed a $246 million lawsuit against Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, and retailer Wal-Mart, and marketer Sony Computer Entertainment America. Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two are requesting a judge to dismiss the lawsuit stating in U.S. District Court on October 29th, 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the "purported psychological effects" on the Buckners are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech clause." The lawyer of the victims dismissed that and is trying to get the lawsuit moved into a state court and taken under consideration of the Tennessee's consumer protection act. The results of this lawsuit is currently pending.

2002

Acquisitions:
Activision
Luxoflux Corporation
Gray Matter Interactive Studios
Shaba Games LLC
Z-Axis Ltd.
Empire Interactive PLC
eJay AG (renamed eJay Entertainment GmbH)
Infogrames Entertainment SA
Eden Studios
Shiny Entertainment
Microsoft Corporation
Rare Ltd.
PCCW (Pacific Century CyberWorks Japan Co., Ltd)
Jaleco USA merges with VR1 Entertainment (renamed Jaleco Entertainment)
Sony Corporation
Aiwa Corporation
Vivendi Universal
Massive Entertainment
Bankrupt/Defunct:
Encore Software, Inc. (assets acquired by Navarre Corporation)
Established/Renamed:
.400 Software Studios
Firefly Games
Tiwak (formerly Yeti Interactive)
Events:
AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences)
· hosts the 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards for video games
· inducts Will Wright of Maxis to the AIAS Hall Of Fame
BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
· 5th annual BAFTA Interactive Awards for multimedia technologies
· 10 of 21 awards go to video games
· awards Ian Livingstone the BAFTA Interactive Special Award
E3 2002 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
· The 8th annual expo
· The 5th annual Game Critics Awards For The Best Of E3
Eidos Interactive
selects dutch model Jill De Jong as the new digitized Lara Croft character
G4 Media, LLC (subsidiary of Comcast Corporation)
launches the G4 cable television video game network channel
Gama Network (a division of CMP Media LLC, owned by United Business Media)
hosts the 4th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF)
GDC (Game Developers Conference)
hosts the 2nd annual Game Developers Choice Awards
Sega Corporation
· establishes the Sega Mobile division to develop, produce, and distribute video games for cellulars and PDAs
· establishes the Sega.com Business Solutions division to service video game developers and publishers
Rockstar Games
·Moral panic involving Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

2001

Acquisitions:
Activision
Treyarch Invention LLC
PCCW (Pacific Century CyberWorks Japan Co., Ltd.)
VR1 Entertainment
Established/Renamed/Merged:
Sierra Entertainment, Inc. (formerly Sierra On-Line)
Events/News:
AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences)
hosts the 4th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards for video games
inducts John Carmack of id Software to the AIAS Hall Of Fame
BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
hosts the 4th annual BAFTA Interactive Awards for multimedia technologies
15 of 21 awards go to video games
E3 2001 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
· The 7th annual expo
· The 4th annual Game Critics Awards For The Best Of E3
Gama Network (a division of CMP Media LLC, owned by United Business Media)
hosts the 3rd annual Independent Games Festival (IGF)
GDC (Game Developers Conference)
hosts the 1st annual Game Developers Choice Awards
Midway Games, Inc.
will no longer manufacture arcade games
Reuters
· reports that the Sega Dreamcast console has an estimated 800,000 online users playing its various online games already by midyear
· reports that Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and Sega are cooperating to allow online users for the Playstation 2 and Dreamcast consoles to play each other via the 1st ever cross-console network
Sony
cooperates with AOL to incorporate internet features with the Playstation 2 console; which include a browser, email, and instant messaging capabilities
Sega Corporation
· will no longer develop home consoles, in order to focus on game development
· 2nd annual Sega Dreamcast Championships (featuring the Crazy Taxi 2 video game)
· 1st place: Lindsay Gall ($15,000 & Jamaica resort trip)
· 2nd place: Michael Pirring ($10,000)
· 3rd place: Roger Mogle ($5,000)
Lawsuits:
Sega of America Inc. v. Kmart Corporation
Sega sues Kmart over an unpaid debt of over $2 million dollars
Uri Geller vs Nintendo
Uri Geller sues Nintendo over his resemblance to a Pokemon character. The suit is dismissed.
Hardware:
Game Park Inc.
GP32 (Game Park 32) wireless-multiplayer multimedia handheld console
Indrema
L600 Entertainment System multimedia home console
Microsoft Corporation
Xbox home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
GameCube home console
Game Boy Advance (GBA) backwards-compatible handheld console
Panasonic
Q multimedia console
Significant Software:
Infogrames Entertainment SA
Atari Anniversary Edition collection for the Dreamcast console and PC
Nikkei News
reports that the video game Phantasy Star Online (for Sega Dreamcast) has had 300,000 worldwide users login already by midyear

2000

Acquisitions:
Electronic Arts Inc.
DreamWorks Interactive, LLC
Infogrames, Inc.
Hasbro Interactive, Inc. (including the Game.com division and the rights to the Atari [Corporation] label)
Paradigm Entertainment, Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
Bungie Software Products Corp.
nVidia Corporation
3Dfx Interactive, Inc.
Sony Corporation
Verant Interactive, Inc.
THQ Inc.
Volition
Ubi Soft Entertainment, Inc.
Red Storm Entertainment, Inc.
Bankrupt/Defunct:
SNK
Established/Renamed:
21-6 Productions
Sega Rosso
Smilebit
Yeti Interactive
Events:
Reuters
reports that the Sony Playstation 2 console will export controls by Trade Ministry of Japan since the PS2 is sophisticated enough for military application
NPD Group, Inc.
reports that Electronic Arts ranks 1st in third-party video game publishing in the USA, ahead of Infogrames Entertainment SA
AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences)
· hosts the 3rd Annual Interactive Achievement Awards for video games
· inducts Hironobu Sakaguchi of Square Enix to the AIAS Hall Of Fame
BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
· hosts the 4th annual BAFTA Interactive Awards for multimedia technologies
· 7 of 20 awards go to video games
· awards David Bowie in part for his contributions to the video game Omikron: The Nomad Soul (for PC)
E3 2000 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
· The 6th annual expo
· The 3rd annual Game Critics Awards For The Best Of E3
Gama Network (a division of CMP Media LLC, owned by United Business Media)
hosts the 2nd annual Independent Games Festival (IGF)
Mattel, Inc.
sells Learning Co to Gores Technology Group
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· sells its 100,000,000th Game Boy handheld console
· spends over $80 million issuing gloves to over a 1,000,000 children after numerous reports of serious hand injuries from the controllers while playing certain stages of Mario Party (for N64)
Midway / Williams
announces to cease the Atari Games (Corp) label
Sega Corporation
· Sega.com, Inc. launches SegaNet, the 1st online console gaming network
· 1st annual Sega Dreamcast Championships (featuring the Sonic Adventure video game)
· all the internal consumer research & development divisions become individual developer companies
Hardware:
Bandai Co. Ltd.
Wonderswan Color handheld in Japan
Sega Corporation
Naomi 2 arcade console
Sony Corporation
Playstation 2 (PS2) home console
Toymax
Activision TV Games controller/console
Lawsuits:
Nintendo of America, Sega America, Electronic Arts, Inc v. Yahoo, Inc.
The lawsuit is over piracy negligence and profiting from counterfeit videogame products sold on Yahoo Auctions. The lawsuit is fully dropped in 2001 in order to cooperate against piracy.
Significant Software:
Electronic Arts Inc.
Ultima Online video game has over 150,000 online users by the end of february
Sega Corporation
ChuChu Rocket video game, the 1st online console game
NFL 2K1 video game, the 1st online console sports game
Phantasy Star Online video game, the 1st online console RPG game

1990s

1999

Acquisitions:
Activision
Elsinore Multimedia
Expert Software
Neversoft Entertainment
Infogrames Entertainment SA
Accolade
Gremlin Interactive (renamed Infogrames Sheffield House)
GT Interactive Software (GTIS)
Ozisoft
Take 2 Interactive
TalonSoft
Established/Renamed:
3d6 Games, Inc.
7FX
7 Studios
Bam! Entertainment, Inc.
Bohemia Interactive Studio
Liquid Entertainment
Events:
AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences)
· hosts the 2nd Annual Interactive Achievement Awards for video games
· inducts Sid Meier of Firaxis to the AIAS Hall Of Fame
BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
hosts the 2nd annual BAFTA Interactive Awards
Billy Mitchell
scores a perfect 3,333,360 points on the Pac-Man arcade game
E3 1999 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
· The 5th annual expo
· The 2nd annual Game Critics Awards For The Best Of E3
Gama Network (a division of CMP Media LLC, owned by United Business Media)
hosts the 1st annual Independent Games Festival (IGF)
Hardware:
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
Game Boy Light (GBL) handheld console in Japan only
Sega Corporation
Dreamcast internet-ready 128-bit home console
SNK
Neo Geo Pocket Color (NGPC) handheld
Tiger Electronics (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
Game.com Pocket Pro handheld
Lawsuits:
Nintendo vs Bung Enterprises Ltd.
Nintendo sues Bung over patent infringement
Sony Corporation v. Bleem LLC
Significant Software:
Bleem
releases the Bleem emulator for Playstation for an IBM-compatible PC
Connectix Corporation
releases the Virtual Game Station emulator for Playstation for a Macintosh

1998

Acquisitions:
Activision
CD Contact Data
Head Game Publishing
Eidos Interactive
Crystal Dynamics
Electronic Arts Inc.
Virgin Studio
Westwood Studios, Inc.
Hasbro, Inc.
Atari Corporation (acq. from JTS Corp.)
Microprose
Tiger Electronics
Bankrupt/Defunct:
JTS Corp (Atari Corporation)
Established/Renamed:
BreakAway Games, Ltd.
Elixir Studios Ltd.
Lego Media (est. by Lego Group)
Metro3D, Inc.
Rockstar Games
WildTangent, Inc.
Events:
AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences)
hosts the 1st Annual Interactive Achievement Awards for video games
inducts Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo to the AIAS Hall Of Fame
BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
hosts the 1st annual BAFTA Interactive Awards
E3 1998 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
The 4th annual expo
The 1st annual Game Critics Awards For The Best Of E3
Game One channel (subsidiary of Canalplus)
Infogrames Entertainment SA and Canal+ launch the Game One television channel
Hardware:
Bandai Co. Ltd
Wonderswan handheld in Japan
Majesco Sales Inc.
Genesis 3 home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
Game Boy Color (GBC) handheld console
Camera & Printer accessories for the Game Boy handheld console
Sega Corporation
Naomi arcade console
Dreamcast home console
SNK
Neo Geo Pocket (NGP) handheld
Significant Software:
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
Pokemon video game (for Game Boy)

1997

Acquisitions:
Activision <<< CentreSoft Ltd. (+) Raven Software
Electronic Arts Inc. <<< Maxis
Bankrupt/Defunct:
Gametek
Established/Renamed/Merged:
2015 Inc.
4D Rulers Software, Inc.
4HEAD Studios
Bungie Studios West (by Bungie Software Products Corp.)
Conspiracy Entertainment Corporation
Crave Entertainment, Inc.
Human Head Studios, Inc
Illusion Softworks, a.s.
Irem Software Engineering Inc.
Irrational Games LLC
Mythic Entertainment (formerly Interworld Productions)
THQ (formerly Toy Head-Quarters, Inc)
Warthog PLC
Events:
E3 1997 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) the 3rd annual expo
Gunpei Yokoi (1941-1997) dies after a double car accident
Hardware:
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
NES 2 compact home console (+) SNES 2 compact home console
Sony Corporation
Playstation development software for PC
Tiger Electronics
Game.com
Lawsuits:
Nintendo v. Games City
Nintendo sues Games City for selling the Game Doctor and Doctor V64 backup devices for the SNES and N64 consoles. Nintendo wins the suit.
Nintendo v. Prima Publishing
Nintendo sues Prima over copyrights to map of the N64 video game GoldenEye 007. Nintendo loses the suit

1996

Acquisitions:
Blizzard Entertainment (division of Vivendi Universal Games)
Blizzard North
Eidos
Core Design
Infogrames Entertainment SA
Ocean Software Ltd.
Midway Games, Inc. (subsidiary of WMS Industries, formerly known as Williams Electronics)
Atari Games Corp from Warner Communications Inc. (AOL Time Warner in 2000)
Bankrupt/Defunct:
Technos Japan Corporation, originator of the Nekketsu Kouha Kunio Kun series and Double Dragon series (assets acquired by Atlus Corporation)
Established/Renamed/Merged:
Atari Corporation merges with JTS Corp
Black Isle Studios (a division by Interplay)
Game Park Inc.
Microprose Inc. (formerly Spectrum Holobyte)
Overworks, Ltd.
Red Storm Entertainment, Inc.
Zed Two Limited
Events:
DigiPen Institute of Technology
receives accreditation and is the first school in north america to offer college degrees in video game development, with support from Nintendo
E3 1996 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
The 2nd annual expo
Gunpei Yokoi
ends his own employment at Nintendo
Hardware:
Bandai Co. Ltd.
Tamagotchi virtual pet handheld
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
Nintendo 64 (N64) 64-bit console
Game Boy Pocket (GBP) handheld console (30% smaller version of the previous Game Boy handheld console)
Sega Corporation
Net Link modem for the Sega Saturn home console
SNK
Neo Geo CDZ in Japan only
Namco
Alpine Racer arcade game, including a new type of user interface
Lawsuits:
Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Computer & Entertainment, Inc.
Significant Software:
Sony Corporation
Crash Bandicoot video game
Tomb Raider video game (released for the Sega Saturn console)

1995

Established/Renamed/Merged:
Frog City Software, Inc.
Interworld Productions
Talonsoft
Events:
E3 1995 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)
The 1st annual expo
Hardware:
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
Game Boy Play-It-Loud (GBPIL) color/clear versions of Game Boy
Virtual Boy (by Gunpei Yokoi) 32-bit console
Satellaview BS-X accessory for the Famicom console in Japan only
Sega Corporation
Sega Saturn home console
Lawsuits:
Nintendo vs Samsung Electronics
Nintendo sues Samsung for promoting software piracy. The suit is settled.
Nintendo of America, Inc. v. NTDEC

1994

Aiwa
· releases the CSD-GLM Mega Drive multimedia home console in Japan only
Apogee
· establishes the 3D Realms Entertainment division
Bandai Co. Ltd.
· releases the Playdia multimedia home console
Blizzard Entertainment (division of Vivendi Universal Games)
· is renamed from Silicon & Synapse
ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board)
· is established by the ESA (Entertainment Software Association, formerly IDSA, Interactive Digital Software Association)
NEC
· releases the PC-FX multimedia home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Super Game Boy adapter for the SNES home console
· releases the Donkey Kong Country video game
· Alpex Computer Corp. vs Nintendo lawsuit: Alpex sues Nintendo over patent infringements. Nintendo loses the case.
· Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Dragon Pacific Intern
Sega Corporation
· introduces the cable tv Sega Channel in cooperation with Time Warner (AOL Time Warner); The subscription service provides Genesis games via cable box to customers
· releases the 32X adapter for the Genesis home console
· releases the Nomad handheld console
· releases the Sega Saturn home console
· releases the Daytona USA arcade game
SNK
· releases the Neo Geo CD home console
Sony Corporation
· releases the Playstation (PS) home console
William Higinbotham (1910-1994)
· The inventor of the video game dies at 84
new companies:
·
defunct companies:
· Commodore

1993

Atari Corporation (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Jaguar home console
Broderbund
· releases the Myst video game
Commodore
· releases the Amiga CD32 multimedia home console
Hollenshead
· releases the Doom video game
Magnavox
· is acquired by the Carlyle Group
Microprose Inc. (owned by Infogrames Entertainment, in 2000)
· is acquired by the Spectrum Holobyte
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Star Fox video game (the 1st game to use the Super FX Chip)
Panasonic
· releases the 3DO home console
Pioneer
· releases the Laseractive multimedia home console
Sega Corporation
· releases the Virtua Fighter (by Yu Suzuki) arcade game, which is later displayed at the Smithsonian Institution
· releases the Night Trap video game for the Sega CD console
Tandy
· releases the Video Information System (VIS) multimedia internet home console
new companies:
· nVidia Corporation, 3DO Company, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., Croteam Ltd.
defunct companies:
·

1992

Atari Games Corp.
· Atari Games Corp. v. Nintendo of America, Inc.
JVC
· releases the Wondermega console
Midway Home Entertainment Inc.
· releases the Mortal Kombat arcade game
Philips (Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.)
· releases the CD-I multimedia home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America, Inc.
Sega Corporation
· releases the Sega CD home console
· releases the Virtua Racing arcade game
· releases the Game Gear handheld console
Taito Corporation
· creates the Wowow home console (unreleased)
TTI (Turbo Technologies Inc.)
· releases the Turboduo home console
new companies:
· Wow Entertainment Inc. (AM1)
defunct companies:
·

1991

Fujitsu
· releases the FM Towns Marty home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· New York State vs Nintendo lawsuit: the state attorney general sues Nintendo over the monopoly of the video game industry. Nintendo loses the suit and offers customers a $5 rebate on Nintendo games
Sega
· releases the Sonic The Hedgehog (by Yuji Naka) video game
new companies:
· Vicarious Visions, Inc, id Software, Bungie Software, Silicon & Synapse
defunct companies:
·

1990

Camerica
· releases the Game Genie adapter in Canada (1991 in the USA)
NEC
· releases the TurboExpress handheld console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Super Mario 3 video game
· releases the SNES (Super Nintendo/Super Famicom) 16-bit console
· Nintendo vs Color Dreams lawsuit: Nintendo sues Color Dreams over unlicensed production of Nintendo video games
SNK
· releases the Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System (AES) home console
Sega
· releases the R-360 arcade game, the first 3D - 360° gameplay
THQ Inc.
· Toy Head-Quarters merges with Trinity Acquisition Corporation
new companies:
· Eidos Interactive, Team17 Software Limited, Natsume Inc.
defunct companies:
·

1980s

1989

Acquisitions:
Hasbro, Inc.
Coleco Industries, Inc.
Established/Renamed/Merged:
Trinity Acquisition Corporation
Hardware:
Atari Inc. (subsidiary of Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
Lynx handheld console
Mattel, Inc.
Power Glove controller for the NES home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
Game Boy (GB) (by Gunpei Yokoi) handheld console
Sega Corporation
Genesis home console
Lawsuits:
Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Tengen
Nintendo sues Tengen over the Tetris video game copyrights. Tengen loses and recalls all its Tetris games.
Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Tengen
Nintendo sues Tengen over production of unlicensed Nintendo games. Nintendo loses
Nintendo v. Camerica Ltd.
Nintendo sues Camerica over patent violations of the Game Genie for the NES console. Camerica wins the suit.
Significant Software:
Maxis
releases SimCity
Tengen
releases an unlicensed version of the Tetris video game

1988

Activision
· is renamed to Mediagenic
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Nintendo Power magazine
· Nintendo vs Camerica Ltd. lawsuit: Nintendo sues Camerica over the clone production of an Advantage joystick controller for the NES console
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· Atari Games Corp (owned by Midway / Williams, in 1996) establishes the Tengen division
new companies:
· KOEI Co., Ltd., Visual Concepts
defunct companies:
· Coleco Industries Inc.

1987

Activision
· acquires Infocom
Atari Corporation (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the XE Game System (XEGS) home console
Electronic Arts Inc.
· acquires Batteries Included
Konami Corporation
· releases the Castlevania video game
NEC
· releases the Turbografx-16 console
Taito Corporation
· releases the Double Dragon arcade game
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· Nintendo of America, Inc. vs Blockbuster Entertainment lawsuit: Nintendo sues Blockbuster for photocopying complete NES manuals for its rental games. Nintendo wins the suit, and Blockbuster includes original manuals with its rentals.
· Nintendo of America, Inc. vs Blockbuster Entertainment lawsuit:
new companies:
· Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., Maxis, Gametek Inc., Apogee Software, Ltd., Empire Interactive PLC
defunct companies:
·

1986

Activision
· acquires Gamestar Software
Atari Corporation (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Atari 7800 backwards-compatible home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Metroid video game
· releases the Famicom Disk Drive System home console in Japan only
· releases the Legend Of Zelda (by Shigeru Miyamoto) video game
Sega Corporation
· releases the Sega Master System (SMS) home console
· releases the Outrun arcade game
Sharp
· releases the Twin Famicom home console
Sinclair Research Ltd.
· is acquired by the British Government
Taito Corporation
· releases the Bubble Bobble arcade game
· releases the Arkanoid arcade game
new companies:
· :Majesco Sales Inc., Ubi Soft Entertainment, Inc., Bethesda Softworks Inc.
defunct companies:
·

1985

Alex Pajitnov
· creates the Tetris video game
Atari (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Gauntlet arcade game (by Ed Logg)
Commodore
· releases the Amiga 1000 home computer
INTV Corp.
· releases the INTV III home console
Namco
· creates the Xevious arcade game
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Super Mario Bros video game
· releases the Robotic Operating Buddy (ROB) robot and video game for the NES home console
Sears (Tele-Games)
· releases the Dina home console
new companies:
· Titus Interactive, Westwood Studios, Inc.
defunct companies:
· RDI Systems
Square Enix
· Square Co. Ltd. is established

1984

Activision
· releases the Pitfall video game (by David Crane)
Hasbro, Inc.
· acquires Milton Bradley Company
Milton Bradley Company
· distributes the Vectrex home console
RDI Systems
· releases the Halcyon laser-disc home console
· releases the Thayer's Quest arcade game
Sega Corporation
· Sega Enterprises and CSK merge to form Sega Enterprises Ltd.
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· sells Atari, Inc. (to be renamed Atari Corporation)
· creates an entirely new division Atari Games Corp
new companies:
· Kemco
defunct companies:
· Astrocade Inc.

1983

Acornsoft
· releases the Elite video game
Bally/Midway
· releases the Spy Hunter arcade game
Coleco Industries, Inc.
· releases the Colecovision home console
· releases the Adam home console/computer
Commodore
· releases the Commodore 64 (C-64) home computer
Electronic Arts
· releases the One-On-One arcade game
Gottlieb
· releases the Mad Planets arcade game
Magicom (formerly Starcom)
· creates the Space Ace laser-disc arcade game (Cinematronics manufactures & markets it)
Mattel, Inc.
· releases the Aquarius home console
· releases the Intellivision II home console
Mystique
· releases the Custer's Revenge adult video game for the Atari 2600 home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Famicom (NES) home console in Japan (1985 in the US)
· MCA vs Nintendo lawsuit: MCA sues Nintendo over the title resemblance of the Donkey Kong video game to the King Kong movie. MCA loses the case
Starcade
· the video game tv game show
Starcom (later Magicom)
· creates the Dragon's Lair laser-disc arcade game (Cinematronics manufactures & markets it)
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· Atari, Inc. (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Star Wars arcade game
· Atari, Inc. v. Coleco
Williams Electronics
· releases the Blaster arcade game
new companies:
· Infogrames Entertainment SA, Interplay Entertainment Corp., Navarre Corporation, AM2, Origin Systems, Inc.
defunct companies:
· (Video game crash of 1983: Console and home video game sales plummet)

1982

Acorn
· releases the BBC Micro home computer, which brought the game Elite to prominence
Astrocade Inc. (formerly Astrovision)
· releases the Astrocade console
Bally/Midway
· releases the Tron arcade game before the movie
Coleco Industries, Inc.
· releases the Gemini home console
Commodore
· releases the VIC-20 home computer
Emerson
· releases the Arcadia 2001 home console
Entrex
· releases the Adventure Vision home console
GCE (General Consumer Electronics)
· releases the Vectrex home console
Gottlieb
· releases the Q-Bert arcade game
Milton Bradley Company
· releases the Microvision home console
Namco
· releases the Pole Position racing arcade game
· releases the Dig Dug arcade game (licenses it to Atari)
Sega Corporation
· releases the Zaxxon arcade game
Sinclair Research
· releases the ZX Spectrum home computer, at the time the most common gaming computer in the UK
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· Atari, Inc. (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Quantum arcade game
· releases the Atari 5200 home console
Williams Electronics
· releases the Joust arcade game
· releases the Robotron: 2084 arcade game
new companies:
· Electronic Arts Inc., Lucasfilm Games, MicroProse Software, Inc.
defunct companies:
·

1981

Astrovision Inc.
· distributes the Bally Computer System after buying the rights from Bally/Midway
Bally/Midway
· releases the Gorf arcade game
Coleco Industries, Inc.
· releases the Total Control 4 home console
Konami Corporation
· creates the Frogger video game
Namco
· releases the Galaga arcade game
Nelsonic
· releases the Space Attacker watch LCD game
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Donkey Kong arcade game (by Shigeru Miyamoto)
Sega Corporation
· test markets the SG-1000 home console
Sinclair Research
· releases the ZX81 home computer (the first widely available 'domestic' computer to play games in the UK)
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· Atari, Inc. (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Centipede arcade game (by Ed Logg & Dona Bailey)
· releases the Warlords arcade game
· releases the Tempest color vector arcade game
Williams Electronics
· releases the Stargate arcade game
new companies:
·
defunct companies:
· APF Electronics Inc.

1980

Apple
· releases the Akalabeth video game (for the Apple Iie computer)
Namco
· releases the Pac-Man arcade game (by Toru Iwatani)
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Radarscope arcade game
· releases the Game & Watch handheld LCD game (by Gunpei Yokoi)
Sinclair Research
· releases the ZX80 home computer (the first 'domestic' computer to play games in the UK)
Stern Electronics (a subsidiary of Universal Research Laboratories)
· releases the Berzerk arcade game
Texas Instruments
· releases the TI-99/4 home console
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· Atari, Inc. (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Missile Command arcade game
· releases the Battlezone arcade game (it is later enhanced for the US Army for military training)
Williams Electronics
· releases the Defender arcade game
new companies:
· Mindscape, Inc., Sierra On-line
defunct companies:
·

1970s

1979

Bally
· releases the Videocade & Computer System home console
Cinematronics
· releases the Warrior arcade game
Mattel, Inc.
· releases the Intellivision console
Milton Bradley Company
· releases the Microvision handheld
Sega Corporation
· releases the Monaco GP arcade game
Texas Instruments
· releases the Gamevision home console
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· Atari Inc. (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· creates the Cosmos handheld (unreleased)
· releases the Adventure arcade game
· releases the Lunar Lander arcade game
· releases the Asteroids arcade game (by Ed Logg & Lyle Rains)
new companies:
· Activision, Capcom Inc., Infocom, Strategic Simulations, Inc

1978

APF Electronics Inc.
· releases the MP-1000 home console
Bally/Midway
· releases the Bally Professional Arcade home console
Cinematronics
· releases the Space Wars vector arcade game
Entreprex
· releases the Apollo 2001 home console
Konami Corporation
· releases the Block Game arcade game
Magnavox
· releases the Odyssey 2 (G7000 Videopac) home console
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Color TV Game 15 home console
· releases the Computer Othello arcade game
Taito Corporation
· releases the Space Invaders arcade game
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· Atari Inc. (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· introduces the trackball controller on the arcade game Football
· releases the Pinball Game System home console
new companies:
· SNK

1977

Bally/Midway
· releases the Bally Home Library Computer home console
Namco
· is renamed from Nakamura Manufacturing Ltd.
Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· releases the Color TV Game 4 home console
· releases the Color TV Game 6 home console
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· Atari, Inc. releases the Atari 2600 home console (originally named Video Computer System VCS)

1976

Coleco Industries, Inc.
· releases the Telstar home console
Exidy
· releases the controversial Death Race arcade game
Fairchild Camera & Instrument Corp.
· releases the Video Entertainment System (Channel F) home cartridge console
Midway Home Entertainment Inc.
· releases the Sea Wolf arcade game
Radolfin
· releases the 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System home console
RCA
· releases the Studio II home console
Warner Communications Inc. (owned by AOL Time Warner, in 2000)
· acquires Atari

1975

Atari (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Pong home console
Magnavox
· releases the Odyssey 4000 home console
Microsoft Corporation
· is established
Midway Home Entertainment Inc.
· releases the Gunfight arcade game, the 1st to use a microprocessor

1974

Atari (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Gran Trak arcade racing game featuring a steering wheel
Exidy company
· is established
Kee Games
· releases the Tank arcade game
Philips (Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.)
· acquires Magnavox (Philips Consumer Electronics)

1973

Atari (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· releases the Got'Cha arcade game
Midway Home Entertainment Inc.
· releases the Winner arcade game
Williams Electronics
· releases the Paddle-Ball arcade game

1972

Atari (owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA, in 2000)
· company is established
· releases the Pong arcade game (by Al Alcorn)
Hunt The Wumpus video game
· is developed by Gregory Yob while at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Magnavox
· releases the Odyssey home console
Namco
· is renamed from Nakamura Manufacturing Ltd.

1971

Magnavox
· signs a preliminary license agreement with Sanders Associates
Nutting Associates
· introduces the 1st ever arcade game Computer Space
Oregon Trail video game
· is in development by Don Rawitsch

1970

RCA
· cancels a license agreement with Sanders Associates

1960s

1969

Konami Corporation
· is established

1968

Ralph Baer
· patents A Television Gaming Apparatus and Method

1967

Sanders Associates
· Bill Harrison develops the a light gun
Tecmo, Inc.
· is established

1966

Sanders Associates
· funds Ralph Baer to develop an interactive television game; He develops the primative video game 'Chase' in 2 months time.

1965

Sega Corporation
· Rosen Enterprises, Inc. merges with Sega

1964

1963

Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· is renamed from Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd.

1962

Panasonic
· is established by Matsushita Co.
Spacewar video game
· is presented at the MIT Science Open House

1961

Spacewar video game
· The second ever video game is invented by Steve Russell, with assistance from Peter Samson, Dan Edwards, Alan Kotok, & J. Graetz

1960

Sega Corporation
· is incorporated

1950s

1959

Midway Home Entertainment Inc.
· is established
Tennis For Two video game
· is exhibited for visitors to the Brookhaven National Laboratories, for its second and last season before its dismantling.

1958

William Higinbotham & Robert Dvorak
· develop in 3 weeks an unpatented video game called Tennis For Two on an analog computer connected to an oscilloscope as a screen, at the Brookhaven National Laboratories in New York. The game is exhibited for visitors to play with using 2 bulky controllers each equipped with a knob for trajectory and a button for firing the ball over the net.


Before The Video Game Era

1957

1956

1955

Namco
· is established as Nakamura Manufacturing Ltd.

1954

Sega Corporation
· Rosen Enterprises, Inc. is established

1953

Taito Corporation
· is established
Sega Corporation
· is renamed from Standard Games to Service Games Of Japan

1952

1951

Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· changes Marufuku Co. Ltd. to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd.
Ralph Baer
· The future founder of the video game industry, first conceives the idea of an interactive television while employed by Loral Electronics in Bronx, New York.
Sega Corporation
· moves from Honolulu to Tokyo

1950

Bandai Co., Ltd.
· is established in Tokyo

1945

Mattel, Inc.
· is established

1940

Sega Corporation
· is established as Standard Games

1938

Ralph Baer
· The future founder of the video game industry moves to the USA.

1935

TDK Corporation
· is established

1933

Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· is established as Yamauchi Nintendo & Co.

1932

Coleco Industries, Inc.
· is established as the Connecticut Leather Company
Bally Corporation
· is established
Lego Group ("leg godt" ~ "play well")
· The future parent of the Lego Interactive division is established in Billund, Denmark

1931

D. Gottlieb & Co.
· is established

1923

Hasbro, Inc.
· is established as Hassenfeld Brothers in Providence, Rhode Island.

1922

Ralph Baer
· the future founder of the video game industry (& the handheld electronic game Simon) is born in Germany.

1918

Panasonic
· parent company is established as Matsushita Electric Devices Manufacturing Works

1917

Magnavox
· is renamed from the Commercial Wireless & Development Company

1911

Magnavox
· is established as the Commercial Wireless & Development Company

1910

William A. Higinbotham
· The future inventor of the video game is born

1891

Philips (Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.)
· is established

1889

Nintendo Co. Ltd.
· Fusajiro Yamauchi establishes the foundation of the future company in Japan

1871

Nokia Corporation
· is renamed to Nokia Ab

1865

Nokia Corporation
· is established in Tampere, Finland.

1860

Milton Bradley Company
· is established in Springfield, Massachusetts.


pLinks

1983 Video Game Crash

AIAS Hall Of Fame
BAFTA Interactive Awards
Independent Games Festival
Game Developers Choice Awards
AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards
Game Critics Awards For The Best Of E3

eLinks

Tennis For Two (1958) The First Video Game (requires Realplayer) U.S. Department Of Energy Website
Video Game Time Line Project Video Game Settings
Video Game Music Archive
Video Game Museum Game Screenshots & Platform Specs
Game Market Watch Video Game News
Computer Games Magazine Video Game News
ESRB Entertainment Software Rating Board

AIAS Hall of Fame
Game Critics Awards
Independent Games Festival
Game Developers Choice Awards
AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards



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