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- May 22, Namco releases Pac-Man (originally known as Puckman in Japan). It becomes the highest-grossing game of all time. It has the first gaming mascot character, established the maze chase genre, opened gaming to female audiences, introduced power-ups, and featured cutscenes.
- July, Atari releases Missile Command.
- November 12, Stern Electronics releases Berzerk, with designer Alan McNeil's signature on the monitor glass of each cabinet.
- November, Namco releases Rally-X, the first game with a bonus round. It also features multi-directional scrolling.
- November, Universal releases Space Panic, often cited as the first platform game, though the term didn't exist yet.
- Atari releases Battlezone (it is later enhanced for the US Army for military training — albeit relying on specialized vector graphics hardware).
- Cinematronics releases Star Castle. In 1982 the Atari 2600 port ends up as Yars' Revenge.
- ^ Video Game Myth Busters - Did the "Crash" of 1983/84 Affect Arcades?, The Golden Age Arcade Historian (December 27, 2013)
- ^ 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 2011-05-01,
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.
- ^ The Essential 50 - Pac-Man, 1UP
- ^ Playing With Power: Great Ideas That Have Changed Gaming Forever, 1UP
- ^ Gaming's Most Important Evolutions, GamesRadar