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- APF Electronics goes defunct
- The arcade game market in the US generates $8.2 billion in revenue (equivalent to $21.3 billion in 2014).
- The home video game market in the US generates $1 billion in sales revenue (equivalent to $2.59 billion in 2014).
- The home video game market in Europe is worth $200 million (equivalent to $519 million in 2014).
- February, Konami releases Scramble, the first side-scrolling shooter with forced scrolling and multiple distinct levels.
- February, Williams Electronics releases Defender.
- July 9, Nintendo releases Shigeru Miyamoto's Donkey Kong, which introduces the characters of Mario and Donkey Kong, and sets the template for the platformer genre. It is also one of the first video games with a fleshed out storyline.
- September, Namco releases Galaga, the popular sequel to Galaxian.
- June, Konami releases Frogger, a popular arcade game.
- October, Frogger is distributed in North America by Sega-Gremlin.
- October, Sega releases Turbo, a racing video game for the VCO Object that features a third-person perspective, rear-view racer format, nearly a year before Namco's Pole Position.
- October 21, Williams Electronics releases Eugene Jarvis' Stargate arcade game.
- November, Namco releases Bosconian, which was the first game to have a continue feature.
- December, Jump Bug, the first scrolling platformer, developed by Hoei/Coreland and Alpha Denshi, is distributed in North America by Rock-Ola under license from Sega.
- Midway releases Gorf and Wizard of Wor.
- ^ Video Game Myth Busters - Did the "Crash" of 1983/84 Affect Arcades?, The Golden Age Arcade Historian (December 27, 2013)
- ^ George Lucas and the Digital Revolution, p. 296, 2006
- ^ http://2600connection.com/library/magazines/spectrum/spectrum_dec82.pdf#page=7
- ^ Game Genres: Shmups, Professor Jim Whitehead, January 29, 2007, Accessed June 17, 2008
- ^ "donkey kong [coin-op] arcade video game, nintendo co., ltd. (1981)". Arcade-history.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28.