1980 in video games

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List of years in video games

1980 saw the release of a number of games with influential concepts, including Pac-Man, Battlezone, Crazy Climber, Mystery House, Missile Command, Phoenix, Rally-X, Space Panic, Stratovox, Zork, Adventure, and Olympic Decathlon. The year's highest-grossing video game was Namco's arcade game Pac-Man, while the best-selling home system was Nintendo's Game & Watch. The Atari VCS (later called the Atari 2600) also grew in popularity with a port of Space Invaders and support from new third-party developer Activision.

Financial performance[edit]

  • The arcade video game market in the US generates $2.81 billion in revenue[1] ($9.24 billion adjusted for inflation).
  • Home video games sell $464 million ($1.53 billion adjusted for inflation) in the United States, with the Atari VCS leading the market with a 44% share.[2]

Highest-grossing arcade games[edit]

The following titles were the highest-grossing arcade games worldwide in 1980.

Rank Title Gross revenue Inflation Cabinet sales Developer Distributor(s) Genre Ref
1 Pac-Man $1,000,000,000 $3,300,000,000 100,000 Namco Namco / Midway Maze [3][4][5]
2 Asteroids $700,000,000 $2,300,000,000 70,000 Atari, Inc. Atari, Inc. Shoot 'em up [6][7]
Galaxian Un­known Un­known Un­known Namco Namco / Midway Shoot 'em up [8][9]
Space Invaders Un­known Un­known Un­known Taito Taito / Midway Shoot 'em up [10]

Japan and United States[edit]

In Japan and the United States, the following titles were the highest-grossing arcade video games of 1980.

Rank Japan (Game Machine)[8][11] United States
Title #1 #2 #3 Points Cash Box[12] Play Meter[9][13] RePlay[14][15] Cabinet sales
1 Pac-Man 62 46 17 295 Asteroids < 60,000[6]
2 Galaxian 44 25 18 200 Galaxian < 40,000[16]
3 Crazy Climber 14 19 30 110 Space Invaders < 12,000[17][18]
4 Moon Cresta 3 24 15 72 Un­known Missile Command Un­known
5 Monaco GP 11 4 11 52 Un­known Rip Off Un­known
6 Rally-X 1 6 3 18 Un­known Un­known Un­known
7 Heiankyo Alien (Digger) 1 4 4 15
8 Pitch In 0 1 5 7
9 Super Speed Race 0 2 2 6
10 Sasuke vs. Commander 0 0 5 5
Space Invaders 0 1 3 5
Missile Command 0 2 1 5

Best-selling home video games[edit]

The following titles were the best-selling home video games in 1980.

Rank Title Platform Developer Publisher Release Year Genre Sales Ref
1 Space Invaders Atari VCS Taito Atari, Inc. 1980 Shoot 'em up 1,318,655 [19][20]
2 Breakout Atari VCS Atari, Inc. 1978 Action 256,265 [20]
3 Football Atari VCS Atari, Inc. 1979 Sports (American football) 248,502
4 Bowling Atari VCS Atari, Inc. 1979 Sports 245,670
5 Night Driver Atari VCS Atari, Inc. 1980 Racing 161,352
6 Air-Sea Battle Atari VCS Atari, Inc. 1977 Shooter 160,093
7 Circus Atari Atari VCS Atari, Inc. 1980 Action 148,756
8 Street Racer Atari VCS Atari, Inc. 1977 Racing 89,269
9 Video Olympics Atari VCS Atari, Inc. 1977 Sports 36,028

Best-selling home systems[edit]

Rank System(s) Manufacturer Type Generation Sales Ref
1 Game & Watch Nintendo Handheld 2,000,000+ [21]
2 Atari Video Computer System (VCS) Atari, Inc. Console Second 1,250,000 [22]
3 TRS-80 Tandy Corporation Computer 8-bit 290,000 [23]
4 Intellivision Mattel Console Second 200,000 [22][24]
5 Atari 400 / Atari 800 Atari, Inc. Computer 8-bit 200,000 [23]
6 Commodore PET Commodore International Computer 8-bit 90,000 [23]
7 Apple II Apple Inc. Computer 8-bit 79,500 [25]
8 HP 9800 / HP series 80 Hewlett-Packard Computer 8-bit 11,300 [25]
9 North Star Horizon North Star Computers Computer 8-bit 8,200 [25]
10 TI-99/4 Texas Instruments Computer 8-bit 8,100 [25]

Events[edit]

Awards[edit]

Business[edit]

Notable releases[edit]

Games[edit]

Arcade
Console
Computer
Handheld

Hardware[edit]

Arcade
Console
Computer

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Video Game Myth Busters - Did the "Crash" of 1983/84 Affect Arcades?, The Golden Age Arcade Historian (December 27, 2013)
  2. ^ Lindner, Richard (1990). Video Games: Past, Present and Future; An Industry Overview. United States: Nintendo of America.
  3. ^ Kline, Stephen; Dyer-Witheford, Nick; Peuter, Greig De (2003). Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing. McGill–Queen's University Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7735-2591-7. The game produced one billion dollars in 1980 alone
  4. ^ Altraide, Dagogo (January 15, 2019). "Video Games: Pac-Man! (1980)". ColdFusion Presents: New Thinking: From Einstein to Artificial Intelligence, the Science and Technology That Transformed Our World. Mango Publishing. p. 179. ISBN 978-1-63353-751-4.
  5. ^ Loguidice, Bill; Barton, Matt (August 21, 2012). Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time. CRC Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-136-13758-7. It was all Midway could do to keep up with the demand for the quarter-munching machines, churning out a hundred thousand of them in 1980 (three times that number were produced over the next seven years).
  6. ^ a b Kubey, Craig (1982). The Winners' Book of Video Games. New York: Warner Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-446-37115-5.
  7. ^ Kepos, Paula; Derdak, Thomas (1994). "International Directory of Company Histories". International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. 9: 45. In 1980, the company introduced Asteroids to compete with the Space Invaders arcade game, which was produced by another company. Atari's version proved to be a popular alternative. By the end of the year, 70,000 of the units had been shipped.
  8. ^ a b "ベストスリー 本紙調査 (調査対象1980年) 〜 アーケードゲーム機" [Best Three Book Survey (Survey Target 1980) ~ Arcade Game Machines] (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 159. Amusement Press, Inc. February 15, 1981. p. 2.
  9. ^ a b Sullivan, George (1981). Social Science. Pi Gamma Mu. p. 210. Examination of the graphics of 10 video machines, selected from the list of the 20 most popular videos for 1980 as published by Play Meter, supported our initial observations. (...) The three most popular video games for 1980 were Asteroids, Galaxian, and Space Invaders in that order. All three video games involve shooting electronic projectiles at rocks in space or at alien invaders.
  10. ^ Cohen, Daniel (1982). Video Games. New York: Pocket Books. p. 17. ISBN 0-671-45872-8.
  11. ^ ""Donkey Kong" No.1 Of '81 — Game Machine's Survey Of "The Year's Best Three AM Machines" —" (PDF). Game Machine. No. 182. Amusement Press, Inc. February 15, 1982. p. 30.
  12. ^ "1980 Jukebox/Games Route Survey" (PDF). Cash Box: AMOA-28. November 1, 1980.
  13. ^ "Play Meter Award 1980". New York Heritage Digital Collections. Empire State Library Network. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  14. ^ Adlum, Eddie (November 1985). "The Replay Years: Reflections from Eddie Adlum". RePlay. Vol. 11, no. 2. pp. 134-175 (160-3).
  15. ^ "Video Games". RePlay. November 1980.
  16. ^ "Midway Mfg. Co. v. Dirkschneider, 543 F. Supp. 466 (D. Neb. 1981)". Justia Law. U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska. July 15, 1981. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  17. ^ Stone, Andrea (December 1982). "The House That Pac Built: Midway Manufacturing is king of the coin-op hill and loving it!". Video Games. Pumpkin Press. 1 (3): 53-55 (54).
  18. ^ Dale Peterson (1983), Genesis II, creation and recreation with computers, Reston Publishing, p. 175, ISBN 0-8359-2434-3, retrieved May 1, 2011, By 1980, some 300,000 Space Invader video arcade games were in use in Japan, and an additional 60,000 in the United States.
  19. ^ Kent, Steven L. The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokémon and Beyond (PDF). Three Rivers Press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-7615-3643-7.
  20. ^ a b Cartridge Sales Since 1980. Atari Corp. Via "The Agony & The Ecstasy". Once Upon Atari. Episode 4. Scott West Productions. August 10, 2003. 23 minutes in.
  21. ^ "昔(1970年代)のテレビゲームは何台売れた?" [How many old (1970s) video games sold?]. Classic Videogame Station Odyssey (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  22. ^ a b Greenberg, Jonathan (April 13, 1981). "Japanese invaders: Move over Asteroids and Defenders, the next adversary in the electronic video game wars may be even tougher to beat" (PDF). Forbes. Vol. 127, no. 8. pp. 98, 102.
  23. ^ a b c Reimer, Jeremy (December 15, 2005). "Total share: 30 years of personal computer market share figures". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on June 7, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  24. ^ Bloom, Steve (1982). "The Next Step" (PDF). Video Invaders. Arco Pub. pp. 107-109 (108). ISBN 978-0-668-05518-5.
  25. ^ a b c d Pollack, Andrew (August 13, 1981). "Big I.B.M.'s Little Computer". The New York Times. Vol. 130, no. 45, 039. p. D1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  26. ^ The Arcade Awards – 1980Electronic Games Winter 1981, pages 38-9
  27. ^ "Bally Awards" (PDF). Arcadian. 2 (3): 20. January 15, 1980. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  28. ^ Steve L. Kent (2001), The ultimate history of video games: from Pong to Pokémon and beyond: the story behind the craze that touched our lives and changed the world, Prima, p. 143, ISBN 0-7615-3643-4, retrieved May 1, 2011, 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.
  29. ^ The Essential 50 - Pac-Man, 1UP
  30. ^ Playing With Power: Great Ideas That Have Changed Gaming Forever, 1UP
  31. ^ Gaming's Most Important Evolutions Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, GamesRadar+
  32. ^ "AtariAge - Catalog - Atari (CO16725-Rev. D)". atariage.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  33. ^ Campbell, Colin (March 9, 2015). "The story of Yars' Revenge is a journey back to a lost world of video games". Polygon. Retrieved July 2, 2015.