1980 in video gaming
- Electronic Games hosts the first Arcade Awards, the first video game awards ceremony. It awards games released during 1978-1979, with Space Invaders winning the overall Game of the Year award.
- New companies: Brøderbund, Bug-Byte, HAL Laboratory, Human Engineered Software, Mindscape, On-Line Systems, Sirius, Sir-Tech
- Mattel creates the original five-programmer Intellivision game design team, nicknamed the Blue Sky Rangers by a magazine writer when the company keeps their names secret in a TV Guide interview.
- The arcade game market in the US generates $2.81 billion in revenue (equivalent to $8.17 billion in 2017).
- 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.
- October, Nichibutsu releases the vertically-scrolling Crazy Climber, the first video game with a climbing mechanic and an objective of climbing to the top of the level.
- 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 was still several years in the future.
- 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.
- Atari's port of Space Invaders becomes the 2600's killer app, and the first console title to sell a million copies.
- December, Infocom releases Zork I, the first Zork game and the first Infocom game.
- Rogue is written by Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, and Ken Arnold, spawning the genre of roguelike games.
- Edu-Ware releases The Prisoner for the Apple II, loosely based upon the 1960s TV series of the same name.
- Strategic Simulations, Inc. releases its first game: Computer Bismarck for the TRS-80.
- May, Namco Pac-Man hardware debuts.
- December, Data East releases the DECO Cassette System, the first standardized arcade platform, for which many games are developed during the golden age of arcade video games.
- Mattel releases the Intellivision video game console.
- Sinclair Research releases the ZX80 home computer and Acorn Computers release the Atom, the first 'domestic' computers to play games in the UK.
- Tandy releases the Tandy Color Computer.
- 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 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.
- The Essential 50 - Pac-Man, 1UP
- Playing With Power: Great Ideas That Have Changed Gaming Forever, 1UP
- Gaming's Most Important Evolutions Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., GamesRadar