Arcade game

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"Coin-op" redirects here. For other coin-operated machines, see Vending machine.
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An arcade game (or coin-op) is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses, such as restaurants, bars, and particularly amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, and merchandisers (such as claw cranes).

The golden age of arcade video games lasted from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. While arcade games were still relatively popular during the late 1990s, the entertainment medium saw a continuous decline in popularity in the Western hemisphere when home-based video game consoles made the transition from 2D graphics to 3D graphics. Despite this, arcades remain popular in many parts of Asia as late as the early 2010s.

Arcade action games[edit]

The term "arcade game" is also used to refer to an action video game that was designed to play similarly to an arcade game with frantic, addictive gameplay.[1] The focus of arcade action games is on the user's reflexes, and the games usually feature very little puzzle-solving, complex thinking, or strategy skills.

History[edit]

The first popular "arcade games" were early amusement park midway games such as shooting galleries, ball toss games, and the earliest coin-operated machines, such as those that claim to tell a person their fortune or played mechanical music. The old midways of 1920s-era amusement parks (such as Coney Island in New York) provided the inspiration and atmosphere of later arcade games.

In the 1930s, the first coin-operated pinball machines were made. These early amusement machines were distinct from their later electronic cousins in that they were made of wood, also they did not have plungers or lit-up bonus surfaces on the playing field, and used mechanical instead of electronic scoring readouts. By around 1977, most pinball machines in production switched to using solid state electronics for both operation and scoring.[2]

Electro-mechanical games[edit]

In 1966, Sega introduced an electro-mechanical game called Periscope.[3] It was an early submarine simulator and light gun shooter,[4] which used lights and plastic waves to simulate sinking ships from a submarine.[5] It became a worldwide success in Japan, Europe, and North America,[6] where it was the first arcade game to cost a quarter per play,[3] which would remain the standard price for arcade games for many years to come.[6] In 1967, Taito released an electro-mechanical arcade game of their own, Crown Soccer Special, a two-player sports game that simulated association football, using various electronic components, including electronic versions of pinball flippers.[7]

The company Sega later produced gun games which resemble first-person shooter video games, but were in fact electro-mechanical games that used rear image projection in a manner similar to the ancient zoetrope to produce moving animations on a screen.[8] The first of these was the light gun game Duck Hunt,[9] which Sega released in 1969;[10] it featured animated moving targets on a screen, printed out the player's score on a ticket, and had sound effects that were volume controllable.[9] That same year, Sega released an electro-mechanical arcade racing game Grand Prix, which had a first-person view, electronic sound, a dashboard with a racing wheel and accelerator,[11] and a forward-scrolling road projected on a screen.[12] Another Sega release that year was Missile, a shooter and vehicle combat simulation that featured electronic sound and a moving film strip to represent the targets on a projection screen. It was also the earliest known arcade game to feature a joystick with a fire button, which was used as part of an early dual-control scheme, where two directional buttons are used to move the player's tank and a two-way joystick is used to shoot and steer the missile onto oncoming planes displayed on the screen; when a plane is hit, an explosion is animated on screen along with an explosion sound.[13] In 1970,[14] the game was released in North America as S.A.M.I. by Midway.[13] That same year, Sega released Jet Rocket, a combat flight simulator featuring cockpit controls that could move the player aircraft around a landscape displayed on a screen and shoot missiles onto targets that explode when hit.[15]

Throughout the 1970s, electro-mechanical arcade games were gradually replaced by electronic video games, following the release of Pong in 1972.[16] In 1972, Sega released an electro-mechanical game called Killer Shark, a first-person light gun shooter known for appearing in the 1975 film Jaws.[8] In 1974, Nintendo released Wild Gunman, a light gun shooter that used full-motion video projection from 16 mm film to display live-action cowboy opponents on the screen.[17] One of the last successful electro-mechanical arcade games was F-1, a racing game developed by Namco and distributed by Atari in 1976;[18] the game was shown in the films Dawn of the Dead (1978)[19] and Midnight Madness (1980), as was Sega's Jet Rocket in the latter film. The 1978 video game Space Invaders, however, dealt a yet more powerful blow to the popularity of electro-mechanical games.[20]

Arcade video games[edit]

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In 1971 students at Stanford University set up the Galaxy Game, a coin-operated version of the Spacewar video game. This ranks as the earliest known instance of a coin-operated video game. Later in the same year, Nolan Bushnell created the first mass-manufactured game, Computer Space, for Nutting Associates.

In 1972, Atari was formed by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. Atari essentially created the coin-operated video game industry with the game Pong, the first successful electronic ping pong video game. Pong proved to be popular, but imitators helped keep Atari from dominating the fledgling coin-operated video game market.

Golden age[edit]

Taito's Space Invaders, in 1978, proved to be the first blockbuster arcade video game.[21] Its success marked the beginning of the golden age of arcade video games. Video game arcades sprang up in shopping malls, and small "corner arcades" appeared in restaurants, grocery stores, bars and movie theaters all over the United States, Japan and other countries during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Space Invaders (1978), Galaxian (1979), Pac-Man (1980), Battlezone (1980), Defender (1980), and Bosconian (1981) were especially popular. By 1981, the arcade video game industry was worth $8 billion[22] ($20.8 billion in 2014).

During the late 1970s and 1980s, chains such as Chuck E. Cheese's, Ground Round, Dave and Busters, and Gatti's Pizza combined the traditional restaurant and/or bar environment with arcades.[23] By the late-1980s, the arcade video game craze was beginning to fade due to advances in home video game console technology. By 1991, US arcade video game revenues had fallen to $2.1 billion.[24]

Sega AM2's Hang-On, designed by Yu Suzuki and running on the Sega Space Harrier hardware, was the first of Sega's "Super Scaler" arcade system boards that allowed pseudo-3D sprite-scaling at high frame rates.[25] The pseudo-3D sprite/tile scaling was handled in a similar manner to textures in later texture-mapped polygonal 3D games of the 1990s.[26] Designed by Sega AM2's Yu Suzuki, he stated that his "designs were always 3D from the beginning. All the calculations in the system were 3D, even from Hang-On. I calculated the position, scale, and zoom rate in 3D and converted it backwards to 2D. So I was always thinking in 3D."[27] It was controlled using a video game arcade cabinet resembling a motorbike, which the player moves with their body. This began the "Taikan" trend, the use of motion-controlled hydraulic arcade cabinets in many arcade games of the late 1980's, two decades before motion controls became popular on video game consoles.[28]

Renaissance[edit]

In the early 1990s, the arcades experienced a major resurgence with the 1991 release of Capcom's Street Fighter II,[29] which popularized competitive fighting games and revived the arcade industry to a level of popularity not seen since the days of Pac-Man,[30] setting off a renaissance for the arcade game industry in the early 1990s.[31] Its success led to a wave of other popular games which mostly were in the fighting genre, such as Pit-Fighter (1990) by Atari, Mortal Kombat by Midway Games,[32] Fatal Fury: King of Fighters (1992) by SNK, Virtua Fighter (1993) by SEGA, Killer Instinct (1994) by Rare, and The King of Fighters (1994–2005) by SNK.

3D polygon graphics were popularized by the Sega Model 1 games Virtua Racing (1992) and Virtua Fighter (1993),[33] followed by racing games[30] like the Namco System 22 title Ridge Racer (1993) and Sega Model 2 title Daytona USA, and light gun shooters like Sega's Virtua Cop (1994)[34] and Mesa Logic's Area 51 (1995), gaining considerable popularity in the arcades.[30] By 1994, arcade games in the United States were generating revenues of $7 billion[35] in quarters (equivalent to $11.1 billion in 2014),[36] in comparison to home console game sales of $6 billion,[35] with many of the best-selling home video games in the early 1990s often being arcade ports.[37] Combined, total US arcade and console game revenues of $13 billion in 1994 ($20.7 billion in 2014) was nearly two and a half times the $5 billion revenue grossed by movies in the United States at the time.[35]

Around the mid-1990s, the fifth-generation home consoles, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and Nintendo 64, began offering true 3D graphics. By 1995, personal computers followed, with 3D accelerator cards. While arcade systems such as the Sega Model 3 remained more advanced than home systems,[38] consoles and computers began approaching technological parity with arcade equipment. The technological advantage that arcade games had, in their ability to customize and use the latest graphics and sound chips, narrowed, and the convenience of home games caused a rapid decline in arcade gaming. By 1998, Sega's 128-bit console, the Dreamcast, could produce 3D graphics on-par with the Sega Naomi arcade machine. After producing the more powerful Sega Hikaru in 1999 and Sega Naomi 2 in 2000, Sega eventually stopped manufacturing custom arcade system boards, with their subsequent arcade boards being based on either consoles or commercial PC components.

Decline[edit]

Arcade video games had declined in popularity so much by the late 1990s, that revenues in the United States dropped to $1.33 billion in 1999,[39] and reached a low of $866 million in 2004.[40] Furthermore, by the early 2000s, networked gaming via computers and then consoles across the Internet had also appeared,[41] replacing the venue of head-to-head competition and social atmosphere once provided solely by arcades.[42]

The arcades also lost their status as the forefront of new game releases. Given the choice between playing a game at an arcade three or four times (perhaps 15 minutes of play for a typical arcade game), and renting, at about the same price, exactly the same game—for a video game console—the console became the preferred choice. Fighting games were the most attractive feature for arcades, since they offered the prospect of face-to-face competition and tournaments, which correspondingly led players to practice more (and spend more money in the arcade), but they could not support the business all by themselves.

Recent 20th anniversary arcade machine, combining two classic video games.

To remain viable, arcades added other elements to complement the video games such as redemption games, merchandisers, and food service. Referred to as "fun centers" or "family fun centers",[43] some of the longstanding chains such as Chuck E. Cheese's and Gatti's Pizza ("GattiTowns")[44] also changed to this format. Many old video game arcades have long since closed, and classic coin-operated games have become largely the province of dedicated hobbyists.

Today[edit]

Today's arcades have found a niche in games that use special controllers largely inaccessible to home users. An alternative interpretation[by whom?] (one that includes fighting games, which continue to thrive and require no special controller) is that the arcade game is now a more socially-oriented hangout, with games that focus on an individual's performance, rather than the game's content, as the primary form of novelty. Examples of today's popular genres are rhythm games such as Dance Dance Revolution (1998) and DrumMania (1999), and rail shooters such as Virtua Cop (1994), Time Crisis (1995) and House of the Dead (1996).[citation needed]

In the Western world, the arcade video game industry still exists today but in a greatly reduced form. Video arcade game hardware is often based on home game consoles to facilitate porting a video arcade game to a home system; there are video arcade versions of Dreamcast (NAOMI, Atomiswave), PlayStation 2 (System 246), Nintendo GameCube (Triforce), and Microsoft Xbox (Chihiro) home consoles. Some arcades have survived by expanding into ticket-based prize redemption and more physical games with no home console equivalent, such as skee ball and Whac-A-Mole. Some genres, particularly dancing and rhythm games (such as Konami's Dance Dance Revolution), continue to be popular in arcades.

In the Japanese gaming industry, on the other hand, arcades have remained popular through to the present day. As of 2009, out of Japan's $20 billion gaming market, $6 billion of that amount is generated from arcades, which represent the largest sector of the Japanese video game market, followed by home console games and mobile games at $3.5 billion and $2 billion, respectively.[45] In 2005, arcade ownership and operation accounted for a majority of Namco's revenues, for example.[46] However, due to the country's economic recession, the Japanese arcade industry has also been steadily declining, from ¥702.9 billion (US$8.7 billion) in 2007 to ¥504.3 billion ($6.2 billion) in 2010.[47]

Worldwide, arcade game revenues gradually increased from $1.8 billion in 1998 to $3.2 billion in 2002, rivalling PC game sales of $3.2 billion that same year.[48] In particular, arcade video games are a thriving industry in China, where arcades are widespread across the country.[49] The US market has also experienced a slight resurgence, with the number of video game arcades across the nation increasing from 2,500 in 2003 to 3,500 in 2008, though this is significantly less than the 10,000 arcades in the early 1980s. As of 2009, a successful arcade game usually sells around 4000 to 6000 units worldwide.[50]

The relative simplicity yet solid gameplay of many of these early games has inspired a new generation of fans who can play them on mobile phones or with emulators such as MAME. Some classic arcade games are reappearing in commercial settings, such as Namco's Ms. Pac-Man 20 Year Reunion / Galaga Class of 1981 two-in-one game,[51] or integrated directly into controller hardware (joysticks) with replaceable flash drives storing game ROMs. Arcade classics have also been reappearing as mobile games, with Pac-Man in particular selling over 30 million downloads in the United States by 2010.[52] Arcade classics are also appearing on multi-game arcade machines for home users.[53]

Technology[edit]

Inside of a Neo Geo

Virtually all modern arcade games (other than the very traditional midway-type games at county fairs) make extensive use of solid state electronics and integrated circuits. In the past, coin-operated arcade video games generally used custom per-game hardware often with multiple CPUs, highly specialized sound and graphics chips, and the latest in expensive computer graphics display technology. This allowed arcade system boards to produce better graphics and sound than what was then possible on video game consoles or personal computers, which is no longer the case today. Recent arcade game hardware is often based on modified video game console hardware or high-end PC components.

Arcade games frequently have more immersive and realistic game controls than either PC or console games, including specialized ambiance or control accessories: fully enclosed dynamic cabinets with force feedback controls, dedicated lightguns, rear-projection displays, reproductions of automobile or airplane cockpits, motorcycle or horse-shaped controllers, or highly dedicated controllers such as dancing mats and fishing rods. These accessories are usually what set modern video games apart from other games, as they are usually too bulky, expensive, and specialized to be used with typical home PCs and consoles.

Arcade genre[edit]

Arcade games often have short levels, simple and intuitive control schemes, and rapidly increasing difficulty. This is due to the environment of the Arcade, where the player is essentially renting the game for as long as their in-game avatar can stay alive (or until they run out of tokens).

Games on consoles or PCs can be referred to as "arcade games" if they share these qualities or are direct ports of arcade titles. Many independent developers are now producing games in the arcade genre that are designed specifically for use on the Internet. These games are usually designed with Flash/Java/DHTML and run directly in web-browsers.

Arcade racing games have a simplified physics engine and do not require much learning time when compared with racing simulators. Cars can turn sharply without braking or understeer, and the AI rivals are sometimes programmed so they are always near the player (rubberband effect).

Arcade flight games also use simplified physics and controls in comparison to flight simulators. These are meant to have an easy learning curve, in order to preserve their action component. Increasing numbers of console flight video games, from Crimson Skies to Ace Combat and Secret Weapons Over Normandy indicate the falling of manual-heavy flight sim popularity in favor of instant arcade flight action.[54]

Other types of arcade-style games include fighting games (often played with an arcade controller), beat 'em up games (including fast-paced hack and slash games), light gun rail shooters and "bullet hell" shooters (intuitive controls and rapidly increasing difficulty), music games (particularly rhythm games), and mobile/casual games (intuitive controls and often played in short sessions).

Emulation[edit]

Main article: Arcade emulator

Emulators such as MAME, which can be run on modern computers and a number of other devices, aim to preserve the games of the past.

Legitimate emulated titles started to appear on the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, with CD-ROM compilations such as Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1, and on the PlayStation 2 and GameCube with DVD-ROM titles such as Midway Arcade Treasures.

Arcade games are currently being downloaded and emulated through the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console Service starting in 2009 with Gaplus, Mappy, Space Harrier, Star Force, The Tower of Druaga, Tecmo Bowl, Altered Beast and many more. Other classic arcade games such as Asteroids, Tron, Discs of Tron, Yie Ar Kung-Fu, Pac-Man, Joust, Battlezone, Dig Dug, Robotron: 2084, and Missile Command are emulated on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.

Locations[edit]

In addition to restaurants and video arcades, arcade games are also found in bowling alleys, college campuses, dormitories, laundromats, movie theaters, supermarkets, shopping malls, airports, ice rinks, corner shops, truck stops, bar/pubs, hotels, and even bakeries. In short, arcade games are popular in places open to the public where people are likely to have free time.

List of highest-grossing arcade video games[edit]

For arcade games, success was usually judged by either the number of arcade hardware units sold to operators, or the amount of revenue generated, from the number of coins (such as quarters or 100 yen coins) inserted into machines,[55] and/or the hardware sales (with arcade hardware prices often ranging from $1000 to $4000 or more). This list only includes arcade games that have either sold more than 1000 hardware units or generated a revenue of more than US$1 million. Most of the games in this list date back to the golden age of arcade video games, though some are also from before and after the golden age.

Game Release year Hardware units sold Gross revenue
(US$ without inflation)
Gross revenue
(US$ with 2014 inflation)[36]
Space Invaders 1978 360,000 (up to 1980)[56] $2.702 billion (up to 1982)[n 1] $9.77 billion
Pac-Man 1980 400,000 (up to 1982)[57] $2.5 billion (up to 1999)[n 2] $7.16 billion
Street Fighter II 1991 200,000 (up to 1992)
(The World Warrior: 60,000
Champion Edition: 140,000)
[n 3]
$2.312 billion (up to 1995)
(The World Warrior
Champion Edition)
[60]
$4 billion
(The World Warrior
Champion Edition)
Donkey Kong 1981 132,000 (up to 1982)[n 4] $280 million (up to 1982)
(US hardware sales)[62]
$726 million
(US hardware sales)
Ms. Pac-Man 1981 125,000 (up to 1988)[63][64]
Asteroids 1979 100,000 (up to 2001)[64][65] $800 million (up to 1991)[66][67] $1.39 billion
Defender 1981 60,000 (up to 2002)[68][69] $1 billion (up to 2002)[70][71] $1.31 billion
Galaxian 1979 40,000 (in the US up to 1982)[72][73]
Donkey Kong Jr. 1982 30,000 (in the US up to 1982)[n 4]
Mr. Do! 1982 30,000 (in the US up to 1982)[74]
Popeye 1982 20,000 (in the US up to 1982)[61]
Out Run 1986 20,000 (up to 1987)[75]
Pump It Up 1999 20,000 (up to 2005)[76]
NBA Jam 1993 20,000 (up to 2013)[77] $1 billion (up to 2010)[78] $1.08 billion
Gun Fight 1975 8,000 (up to 1976)[79][80]
Sega Network Mahjong MJ3 2005 7,608 (up to 2006)[81]
Hang-On 1985 7,500 (up to 1985)[82]
Dinosaur King 2005 7,000 (up to 2006)[83]
Wheels (Speed Race) 1974 7,000 (up to 1975)[84][85]
Sega Network Mahjong MJ2 2003 5,486 (up to 2005)[n 5]
Donkey Kong 3 1983 5,000 (in the US up to 1982)[n 4]
Sangokushi Taisen 2 2006 4,041 (up to 2007)[n 6]
Initial D Arcade Stage 4 2007 3,904 (up to 2007)[n 7]
Mario Bros. 1983 3,800 (in the US up to 1983)[90]
Dance Dance Revolution 1998 3,500 (in Japan as of 1999)[91]
Zoo Keeper 1982 3,000 (in the US up to 1983)[92]
Initial D Arcade Stage 2001 2,534 (up to 2004)[93]
World Club Champion Football 2002 2,479 (up to 2009)[n 9] $706.014 million (up to 2012)[n 11] $926 million
Mortal Kombat 1992 24,000 (up to 2002)[32] $570 million (up to 2002)[32] $747 million
Jungle Hunt 1982 18,000 (in the US up to 1983)[92]
Scramble 1981 15,136 (up to 1981)[98]
Mushiking: King of the Beetles 2003 13,500 (up to 2005)[99] $530 million (up to 2007)[n 12] $679 million
Mahjong Fight Club 3 2004 13,000 (up to 2004)[102]
Super Cobra 1981 12,337 (up to 1981)[98]
Oshare Majo: Love and Berry 2004 10,300 (up to 2006)[103][104] $302.68 million (up to 2007)[n 13] $378 million
Centipede 1981 55,988 (up to 1991)[105] $115.65 million (up to 1991)[105] $200 million
Shining Force Cross 2009 2,389 (up to 2009)[106]
Pengo 1982 2,000 (in the US up to 1983)[92]
Sangokushi Taisen 2005 1,942 (up to 2006)[n 14]
World Club Champion Football: Intercontinental Clubs 2008 1,689 (up to 2009)[n 8] $150.1 million (up to 2012)[n 10] $164 million
Dragon's Lair 1983 16,000 (up to 1983)[113][114] $68.8 million (up to 1983)[113][115] $163 million
Mortal Kombat II 1993 27,000 (up to 2002)[32] $100 million (up to 1994)[116] $159 million
Pole Position 1982 21,000 (in the US up to 1983)[90] $60.933 million (up to 1983)[105][90]
(US hardware sales)
$149 million
(US hardware sales)
StarHorse3 Season I: A New Legend Begins 2011 $132.18 million (up to 2012)[n 15] $139 million
Border Break 2009 2,998 (up to 2009)[106] $107 million (up to 2012)[n 16] $118 million
Dig Dug 1982 22,228[105] (in the US up to 1983)[92] $46.3 million (up to 1983)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$113 million
(US hardware sales)
Tempest 1981 29,000 (up to 1983)[90] $62.408 million (up to 1991)[105] $108 million
TV Basketball (Basketball) 1974 1,400 (up to 1974)[118]
The House of the Dead 4 2005 1,008 (up to 2005)[119]
Radar Scope 1980 1,000 (in the US up to 1980)[120]
Tron 1982 800 (in the US up to 1982)[121] $45 million (up to 1983)[122] $102 million
Sengoku Taisen 2010 $94.04 million (up to 2012)[n 17] $102 million
Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road 2007 $78.2 million (up to 2008)[n 18] $88.9 million
StarHorse2 2005 38,614 (up to 2009)[n 19] $59.321 million (up to 2011)
(Fifth Expansion)[n 20]
$71.6 million
(Fifth Expansion)
Q*bert 1982 25,000 (up to 2001)[126]
Robotron: 2084 1982 23,000 (up to 1983)[90]
Samba de Amigo 1999 3,000 (up to 2000)[127] $47.11 million (up to 2000)[n 21] $66.7 million
Asteroids Deluxe 1981 22,399 (up to 1999)[128] $46.1 million (up to 1999)[128] $65.3 million
Missile Command 1980 19,999 (up to 2010)[129] $36.8 million (up to 1991)[128] $63.7 million
Berzerk 1980 15,780 (up to 1981)[98]
Sangokushi Taisen 3 2007 $54.4 million (up to 2011)[n 22] $61.9 million
Pong 1972 8,500–19,000[130][131] $11 million (up to 1973)[132] $58.4 million
Lord of Vermilion 2008 $50.443 million (up to 2008)[n 23] $55.3 million
Sega Network Mahjong MJ4 2008 12,892 (up to 2009)[n 24] $47 million (up to 2010)[n 25] $51.5 million
Kangaroo 1982 9,803[105] (up to 1983)[92] $20.58 million (up to 1983)
(US hardware sales)[105]
$50.3 million
(US hardware sales)
Battlezone 1980 15,122 (up to 1999)[128] $31.2 million (up to 1999)[128] $44.2 million
Stargate 1983 15,000 (up to 1983)[90]
Space Duel 1982 12,038 (up to 1991)[105]
Big Buck Hunter Pro 2006 10,000 (up to 2009)[133][134]
Snake Pit 1983 9,000 (up to 1983)[135]
Bagman 1983 5,000 (in the US up to 1983)[92]
Big Buck Safari 2008 5,500 (up to 2009)[133]
Hard Drivin' 1989 3,318 (up to 1989)[105] $22.9 million (up to 1989)[105] $43.6 million
Gauntlet 1985 7,848 (up to 1985)[105] $18.01 million (up to 1985)[105] $39.5 million
Sega Network Mahjong MJ5 2011 $34.87 million (up to 2012)[n 26] $36.6 million
Millipede 1982 9,990 (up to 1991)[105] $20.669 million (up to 1991)[105] $35.8 million
Race Drivin' 1990 3,525 (up to 1991)[105] $20.03 million (up to 1991)[105] $34.7 million
Time Traveler 1991 $18 million (up to 1991)[115] $31.2 million
Space Ace 1984 $13 million (up to 1984)[115] $29.5 million
Xevious 1982 5,295 (in the US up to 1983)[105] $11.1 million (up to 1983)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$27.1 million
(US hardware sales)
Big Buck Hunter Pro: Open Season 2009 3,000 (up to 2010)[136]
Silver Strike Live 2010 3,000 (up to 2010)[137]
H2Overdrive 2009 2,000 (up to 2010)[138]
Atari Football 1978 11,306 (up to 1999)[128] $17.266 million (up to 1999)[128] $24.4 million
Final Lap 1987 1,150 (in the US up to 1988)[105] $9.5 million (up to 1988)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$19.7 million
(US hardware sales)
Paperboy 1984 3,442 (up to 1991)[105] $8.6 million (up to 1991)[105] $14.9 million
Star Wars 1983 12,695 (up to 1991)[105] $7.595 million (up to 1991)[105] $13.2 million
Beatmania 1997 25,000 (up to 2000)[139] $12.4 million (up to 1998)
(Japan hardware sales)[n 27]
$18.2 million
(Japan hardware sales)
Sprint 2 1976 8,200 (up to 1999)[128] $12.669 million (up to 1999)[128] $17.9 million
Championship Sprint 1986 3,595 (up to 1991)[105] $8.26 million (up to 1991)[105] $14.3 million
Pole Position II 1983 2,400 (in the US up to 1983)[105] $7.43 million (up to 1983)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$17.6 million
(US hardware sales)
Breakout 1976 11,000 (up to 1999)[128] $12.045 million (up to 1999)[128] $17.1 million
Sea Wolf 1976 10,000 (up to 2000)[140]
Lunar Lander 1979 4,830 (up to 1999)[128] $8.19 million (up to 1999)[128] $11.6 million
Super Sprint 1986 2,232 (up to 1999)[128] $7.8 million (up to 1999)[128] $11 million
Marble Madness 1984 4,000 (up to 1985)[141] $6.3 million (up to 1991)[105] $10.9 million
Sea Wolf II 1978 4,000 (up to 2000)[142]
Rolling Thunder 1986 2,406 (in the US up to 1987)[105] $4.8 million (up to 1987)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$10.3 million
(US hardware sales)
Tetris 1989 5,771 (in the US up to 1991)[105] $5.2 million (up to 1991)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$9 million
(US hardware sales)
Arabian 1983 1,950 (in the US up to 1983)[92] $3.9 million (up to 1983)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$9.23 million
(US hardware sales)
Terminator Salvation 2010 1,000 (up to 2010)[143] $8 million (up to 2010)[143] $8.65 million
Blasteroids 1987 2,000 (up to 1991)[105] $4.69 million (up to 1991)[105] $8.12 million
Super Breakout 1978 4,805 (up to 1999)[128] $5.7 million (up to 1999)[128] $8.07 million
Pac-Mania 1987 1,412 (in the US up to 1987)[105] $2.82 million (up to 1987)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$5.85 million
(US hardware sales)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 1985 2,825 (up to 1991)[105] $3.2 million (up to 1991)[105] $5.54 million
Four Trax 1989 205 (in the US & EU as of 1989)[105] $2.9 million (up to 1989)[105]
(US & EU hardware sales)
$5.52 million
(US & EU hardware sales)
Assault 1988 1,079 (in the US up to 1988)[105] $2.5 million (up to 1988)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$4.99 million
(US hardware sales)
Gauntlet II 1986 3,520 (up to 1991)[105] $2.4 million (up to 1991)[105] $4.16 million
Guitar Hero Arcade 2009 2,000 (up to 2009)[144]
Drag Race 1977 1,900 (up to 1999)[128] $2.8 million (up to 1999)[128] $3.96 million
Night Driver 1976 2,100 (up to 1999)[128] $2.4675 million (up to 1999)[128] $3.49 million
I, Robot 1984 750-1,000[105][145] $1.5 million (up to 1984)[105] $3.41 million
R.B.I. Baseball 1987 3,945 (in the US up to 1987)[105] $1.6 million (up to 1987)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$3.32 million
(US hardware sales)
Computer Space 1971 1,500–2,000 (up to 1984)[146][147]
Death Race 1976 1,000 (up to 1976)[80]
Dunk Shot 1986 556 (in the US up to 1987)[105] $1.4 million (up to 1987)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$3.01 million
(US hardware sales)
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 1984 800 (up to 1991)[105] $1.68 million (up to 1991)[105] $2.91 million
Dragon Spirit 1987 600 (in the US up to 1987)[105] $1.2 million (up to 1987)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$2.49 million
(US hardware sales)
Triple Hunt 1977 865 (up to 1999)[128] $1.2 million (up to 1999)[128] $1.7 million

Best-selling arcade video game franchises[edit]

These are the combined hardware sales of at least two or more arcade games that are part of the same franchise. This list only includes franchises that have sold at least 5,000 hardware units or grossed at least $10 million revenues.

Franchise Original release year Total hardware units sold Gross revenue
(US$ without inflation)
Gross revenue
(US$ with 2014 inflation)[36]
Pac-Man 1980 526,412 (up to 1988)[n 28] $3.853 billion (up to 1999)[n 29] $11 billion
Street Fighter 1987 500,000 (up to 2002)[149][150] $2.312 billion (up to 1993)
(Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition)
[60]
$4.8 billion
(Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
Street Fighter II': Champion Edition)
Space Invaders 1978 360,000 (up to 1980)[56] $2.702 billion (up to 1982)[n 1] $9.77 billion
Pac-Man Clones 1980 300,000 (up to 2002)[151]
Mario 1981 170,800 (up to 1983)[n 30] $280 million (up to 1982)
(US hardware sales)[62]
$726 million
(US hardware sales)
Donkey Kong 1981 167,000 (up to 1983)[n 4] $280 million (up to 1982)
(US hardware sales)[62]
$726 million
(US hardware sales)
Asteroids 1979 136,437 (up to 1999)[n 31] $850.79 million (up to 1999)[n 32] $1.2 billion
Golden Tee Golf 1989 100,000 (up to 2011)[152]
Defender 1981 75,000 (up to 2002)[n 33] $1 billion (up to 2002)[70] $1.31 billion
Centipede 1981 65,978 (up to 1991)[n 34] $136.3 million (up to 1991)[n 35] $236 million
Mortal Kombat 1992 51,000 (up to 2002)[32] $1 billion (up to 1995)[153] $1.31 billion
Galaxian 1979 40,986 (in the US up to 1988)[n 36]
Starhorse 2000 38,734 (up to 2009)[n 37] $191.501 million (up to 2012)[n 38] $262 million
Big Buck 2000 33,500 (up to 2010)[n 39]
Mr. Do! 1982 30,000 (in the US up to 1982)[74]
Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road 2007 $78.2 million (up to 2008)[n 18] $88.9 million
Lord of Vermilion 2008 $50.443 million (up to 2008)[n 23] $55.3 million
Bemani 1997 28,500 (up to 2000)[n 40] $12.4 million (up to 1998)
(Japan hardware sales)[n 27]
$18.2 million
(Japan hardware sales)
Scramble 1981 27,473 (up to 1981)[98]
Sega Network Mahjong 2000 25,986 (up to 2006)[n 41] $81.87 million (up to 2012)[n 42] $112 million
Pole Position 1982 24,550 (in the US up to 1983)[n 43] $77.9 million (up to 1988)
(US hardware sales)[n 44]
$190 million
(US hardware sales)
Dig Dug 1982 22,228[105] (in the US up to 1983)[92] $46.3 million (up to 1983)[105]
(US hardware sales)
$113 million
(US hardware sales)
Pump It Up 1999 20,000 (up to 2005)[76]
Breakout 1976 15,805 (up to 1999)[128] $17.745 million (up to 1999)[128] $25.1 million
Star Wars 1983 14,039 (up to 1991)[105] $9.275 million (up to 1983)[105] $16.1 million
Sprint 1976 14,027 (up to 1999)[128] $28.729 million (up to 1999)[128] $40.7 million
Mushiking 2003 13,500 (up to 2005)[99] $530 million (up to 2007)[n 12] $679 million
Sea Wolf 1976 14,000 (up to 2000)[140]
Mahjong Fight Club 2002 13,000 (up to 2004)[102]
Gauntlet 1985 11,368 (up to 1991)[105] $20.41 million (up to 1991)[105] $35.3 million
Love and Berry 2004 10,300 (up to 2006)[103] $302.68 million (up to 2007)[n 13] $378 million
Sangokushi Taisen 2005 9,929 (up to 2008)[n 45] $148.44 million (up to 2012)[n 46] $179 million
Pong 1972 8500–19,000[130][131] $11 million (up to 1973)[132] $58.4 million
Hang-On 1985 7,500 (up to 1985)[82]
Initial D Arcade Stage 2001 7,111 (up to 2005)[n 47]
Dinosaur King 2005 7,000 (up to 2006)[83]
Hard Drivin' 1989 6,843 (up to 1991)[105] $42.93 million (up to 1991)[105] $75.48 million
Xevious 1982 5,295 (in the US up to 1983)[105]
Samba de Amigo 1999 3,000 (up to 2000)[127] $47.11 million (up to 2000)[n 21] $66.7 million
Border Break 2009 2,998 (up to 2009)[106] $107 million (up to 2012)[n 16] $118 million
World Club Champion Football 2002 2,479 (up to 2009)[n 9] $706.014 million (up to 2012)[n 11] $926 million

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Space Invaders:
  2. ^ a b Pac-Man:
  3. ^ Street Fighter II:
  4. ^ a b c d e Donkey Kong:
    • Japan: 65,000 of Donkey Kong
      • Brian Ashcraft ; with Jean Snow. ; forewords by Kevin Williams; Crecente, Brian (2008). "sixty-five+thousand" Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers (1st ed. ed.). Tokyo: Kodansha. ISBN 4-7700-3078-9. Retrieved 12 February 2012. "Jumpman hopped over barrels, climbed ladders, and jumped from suspended platform to suspended platform as he tried to rescue a damsel from his pissed-off pet gorilla. The game was a smash, and sixty-five thousand cabinets were sold in Japan, propping up the then-struggling Nintendo and laying the groundwork for Nintendo and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto to dominate gaming throughout the 1980s and beyond." 
    • United States: 67,000 of Donkey Kong
      • Bienaimé, Pierre (13 January 2012). "Square Roots: Donkey Kong (NES)". Nintendojo. Retrieved 8 April 2012. "Donkey Kong sold some 67,000 arcade cabinets in two years, making two of its American distributors sudden millionaires thanks to paid commission. As a barometer of success, know that Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are the only arcade games to have sold over 100,000 units in the United States." 
    • United States: 30,000 of Donkey Kong Jr. and 5000 of Donkey Kong 3.[61]
  5. ^ a b Sega Network Mahjong MJ2:
    • April 2004 to March 2005: 4,984[86]
    • April 2005 to June 2005: 502[87]
  6. ^ Sangokushi Taisen 2:
    • 3,211 units during April–September 2006.[83]
    • 830 units during April–September 2007.[88]
  7. ^ a b Initial D Arcade Stage 4:
    • 3,056 units in fiscal year ending March 2007.[89]
    • 848 units during April–September 2007.[88]
  8. ^ a b World Club Champion Football: Intercontinental Clubs
    • World Club Champion Football: Intercontinental Clubs 2006-2007 - 831 units from June 2008 to March 2009[107]
    • World Club Champion Football: Intercontinental Clubs 2008–2009 - 858 units from April 2009 to December 2009[106]
  9. ^ a b World Club Champion Football series, unit sales:
    • World Club Champion Football: European Clubs 2004–2005 - 514 units in fiscal year ending March 2006[81]
    • World Club Champion Football: European Clubs 2004–2005 Ver. 2 - 276 units during April–September 2006 (240 satellite units during April–June 2006,[94] and 36 body units during April–September 2006)[83]
    • World Club Champion Football: Intercontinental Clubs 2008–2009 - 1,689 units from June 2008 to December 2009[n 8]
  10. ^ a b World Club Champion Football: Intercontinental Clubs
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2010: ¥4.2 billion[108]
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2011: ¥3.8 billion[109]
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2012: ¥3.6 billion[110][111]
    • 1st Quarter Ended 30 June 2012: ¥0.5 billion[112]
    • Currency conversion:[97]
      • ¥4.2 billion = $51.9159 million
      • ¥3.8 billion = $46.9716 million
      • ¥3.6 billion = $44.8253 million
      • ¥0.5 billion = $6.3784 million
  11. ^ a b World Club Champion Football series, revenue:
    • Series revenues up until March 2009 - $552.3 million
      • 480 million player cards sold. Prices could range from ¥300 for a single card from an arcade machine to ¥1000 for a starter pack.[95] A ¥1000 starter pack consists of 11 player cards, equivalent to ¥90.91 each.[96] Total revenues from player card sales thus range from ¥43.64 billion (at ¥90.91 per card) to ¥144 billion (at ¥300 per card). In US dollars, this is equivalent to a range of $552.3 million to $1.82244 billion.[97] The lowest value of $552.3 million will be assumed.
    • World Club Champion Football: Intercontinental Clubs revenues from April 2009 to June 2012 - $150.1 million[n 10]
  12. ^ a b Mushiking:
  13. ^ a b Love and Berry:
  14. ^ a b Sangokushi Taisen:
    • As of March 2005: 421[86]
    • April 2005 to March 2006: 1,521[81]
  15. ^ a b StarHorse3 Season I: A New Legend Begins
    • Fiscal year ended March 2012: ¥10.1 billion[110]
    • 1st Quarter Ended 30 June 2012: ¥0.5 billion[112]
    • Currency conversion:[97]
      • ¥10.1 billion = $125.8 million
      • ¥0.5 billion = $6.3784 million
  16. ^ a b Border Break:
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2010: ¥3.3 billion[108]
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2011: ¥2.5 billion[109]
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2012: ¥2.3 billion[110][117]
    • 1st Quarter Ended 30 June 2012: ¥0.5 billion[112]
    • Currency conversion:[97]
      • ¥3.3 billion = $40.7317 million
      • ¥2.5 billion = $30.8542 million
      • ¥2.3 billion = $28.6371 million
      • ¥0.5 billion = $6.3784 million
  17. ^ a b Sengoku Taisen:
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2011: ¥6.4 billion[109]
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2012: ¥1.2 billion[110]
    Currency conversion:[97]
    • ¥6.4 billion = $79.1 million
    • ¥1.2 billion = $14.94 million
  18. ^ a b Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road
    • ¥4.5 billion from June 2007 to March 2008[123]
      • Currency conversion: $56.731 million[97]
    • ¥1.7 billion from April 2008 to September 2008[124]
      • Currency conversion: $21.4317 million[97]
  19. ^ a b StarHorse2:
    • From April 2005 to March 2007: 18,079 units
      • StarHorse2: New Generation – 7,819 units from April 2005 to June 2006 (6,020 units in fiscal year ended March 2006,[81] and 1,799 units during April–June 2006)[83]
      • StarHorse2: Second Fusion - 10,260 units from April 2006 to March 2007 (8,105 conversion kits during April–December 2006,[103] and 2,155 body and satellite units in fiscal year ending March 2007)[89]
    • From April 2007 to March 2008: 10,275 units (756 body and satellite units of StarHorse2: Second Fusion during April–September 2007,[88] and 9,519 conversion kits in fiscal year ended March 2008)[125]
    • From April 2009 to December 2009: 10,657 units of StarHorse2: Fifth Expansion[106]
  20. ^ a b StarHorse2: Fifth Expansion:
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2010: ¥2.8 billion[108]
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2011: ¥2 billion[109]
    • Currency conversion:[97]
      • ¥2.8 billion = $34.6039 million
      • ¥2 billion = $24.7171 million
  21. ^ a b Samba de Amigo: ¥3.84 billion
    • Currency conversion: $47.11 million[97]
  22. ^ a b Sangokushi Taisen 3:
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2010: ¥1.8 billion[108]
    • Fiscal year ended 31 March 2011: ¥2.6 billion[109]
    • Currency conversion:[97]
      • ¥1.8 billion = $22.2401 million
      • ¥2.6 billion = $32.1248 million
  23. ^ a b Lord of Vermilion: ¥4 billion[124]
    • Currency conversion: $50.443 million[97]
  24. ^ a b Sega Network Mahjong MJ4:
    • Fiscal year ended March 2008: 10,427[125]
    • Fiscal year ended March 2009: 2,465[107]
  25. ^ a b Fiscal year ended 31 March 2010: ¥3.8 billion[108]
    • Currency conversion: $47 million[97]
  26. ^ a b Fiscal year ended March 2012: ¥2.8 billion[110]
    • Currency conversion: $34.87 million[97]
  27. ^ a b Beatmania:
    • ¥1 billion in May 1998[91]
    • Yen-Dollar currency conversion: $12.4 million[97]
  28. ^ Pac-Man series:
  29. ^ Pac-Man series:
  30. ^ Mario series:
  31. ^ Asteroids series:
  32. ^ Asteroids series:
  33. ^ Defender series:
  34. ^ Centipede series:[105][90] Millipede: 9,990
  35. ^ Centipede series:[105] Millipede: $20.669 million
  36. ^ Galaxian series:
  37. ^ StarHorse series:
    • Starhorse Progress – 120 in fiscal year ended March 2005[86]
    • StarHorse2 – 38,614 up to 2009[n 19]
  38. ^ Starhorse series, 2009–2011:
    • Starhorse2 – $59.321 million[n 20]
    • StarHorse3 Season I: A New Legend Begins – $132.18 million[n 15]
  39. ^ Big Buck series:
    • Big Buck Hunter series sales up until April 2007: 22,500 units, including 7,500 Big Buck Hunter Pro units.[134]
    • Series sales after April 2007 until September 2009: additional 2,500 Big Buck Hunter Pro units and 5,500 Big Buck Safari units.[133]
    • Big Buck Hunter Pro: Open Season sales from September 2009 to January 2010: 3,000 units[136]
  40. ^ Bemani series, sales:
  41. ^ Sega Network Mahjong MJ series:
    • Sega Network Mahjong MJ2 from April 2004 to June 2005: 5,486 units[n 5]
    • Sega Network Mahjong MJ3 from April 2005 to March 2006: 7,608 units[81]
    • Sega Network Mahjong MJ4 from April 2007 to March 2009: 12,892[n 24]
  42. ^ Sega Network Mahjong MJ series, 2009–2012:
    • Sega Network Mahjong MJ4: $47 million in fiscal year 2010[n 25]
    • Sega Network Mahjong MJ5: $34.87 million in fiscal year 2012[n 26]
  43. ^ Pole Position series US sales:
  44. ^ Pole Position series US sales:[105][90]
  45. ^ Sangokushi Taisen series:
    • Sales from January 2005 to September 2006: 5,153 units
      • Sangokushi Taisen from January 2005 to March 2006: 1,942 units[n 14]
      • Sangokushi Taisen 2 during April–September 2006: 3,211 units[83]
    • Sales from April 2007 to March 2008: 4,776
      • 166 body units of Sangokushi Taisen 2 during April–September 2007[88]
      • 4,610 satellite units of Sangokushi Taisen from April 2007 to March 2008[125]
  46. ^ Sangokushi Taisen series, 2009–2011:
    • Sangokushi Taisen 3: $54.4 million[n 22]
    • Sengoku Taisen: $94.04 million[n 17]
  47. ^ Initial D series:
    • Initial D Arcade Stage: 2,534 units from April 2004 to September 2004[93]
    • Initial D Arcade Stage Ver. 3: 673 units from April 2004 to March 2005[86]
    • Initial D Arcade Stage 4: 3,904 units from April 2006 to September 2007[n 7]

References[edit]

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