1982 in video gaming
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- December 27 - Starcade, a video game television game show, debuts on TBS in the United States.
- Electronic Games holds the third Arcade Awards, for games released during 1980-1981. Pac-Man wins the best arcade game award, Asteroids (Atari VCS) wins the best console game award, and Star Raiders (Atari 8-bit family) wins the best computer game award.
- Eidansha Boshu Service Center shortens its name to Enix and in August establishes itself as a computer game publisher.
- New companies:
- The US arcade game market is worth $4.3 billion, equivalent to $10.7 billion in 2017.
- The US home video game market is worth $3.8 billion, equivalent to $9.43 billion in 2017.
- The Japanese home video game market is approaching ¥300 billion, equivalent to $3.45 billion in 2017.
- January, Sega releases Zaxxon, which introduces isometric graphics, and looks far more 3D than any other raster game at the time.
- January 13, Midway releases Ms. Pac-Man (despite it being copyrighted as 1981); it is (as the name suggests) the sequel to Pac-Man, but was created without Namco's authorization. They also release Baby Pac-Man and Pac-Man Plus without Namco's authorization later in the year; the former is a pinball/video game hybrid.
- April 19, Namco releases Dig Dug, manufactured by Atari in North America.
- August, Nintendo releases Donkey Kong Jr., the sequel to Donkey Kong.
- August, Taito releases parallax scroller Jungle Hunt.
- September 24, Namco releases Pole Position, one of the first games with stereophonic and quadraphonic sound. Featuring a pseudo-3D, third-person, rear-view perspective, it becomes the most popular racing game of its time.
- September, Sega releases maze game Pengo, starring a cute penguin.
- October, Namco releases Super Pac-Man, the third title in the Pac-Man series.
- October, Universal releases Mr. Do! solely as a conversion kit, the first game in the series.
- November, Konami releases Time Pilot,
- December, Namco releases Xevious which sets the style for scrolling shooters to come.
- December 31, Gottlieb releases Q*bert.
- Bally/Midway releases the Tron arcade game before the movie.
- Atari releases Gravitar which, though extraordinarily difficult, inspires a number of gravity-based computer games.
- Williams Electronics releases Joust, Robotron: 2084, Sinistar, and the second game of the year with parallax scrolling, Moon Patrol. Robotron popularizes the twin-stick control scheme for fast action games, as first used by Space Dungeon in 1981.
- Data East releases BurgerTime.
- Taito releases Front Line, which creates the blueprint for mid-80s, vertically scrolling, commando games.
- Electro Sport releases Quarter Horse, the first Laserdisc video game.
- March, Atari releases the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man. 12 million cartridges are produced, 7 million sold; it's believed to be one of the causes of the North American video game crash of 1983.
- April, Activision releases Pitfall!, which goes on to sell 4 million copies.
- May, Atari releases Yars' Revenge.
- August, overlooked arcade games are revitalized as ColecoVision launch titles, including Cosmic Avenger, Mouse Trap, Lady Bug, and Venture.
- October, Atari releases Swordquest: Earthworld, the first title in a planned four-game contest.
- December, Atari releases E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Written in five and a half weeks, it's one of the games that sparks the crash of 1983.
- Activision releases River Raid, Megamania, Barnstorming, Chopper Command, and Starmaster for the Atari 2600. River Raid becomes one of the all-time bestselling games for the system.
- Mattel releases Utopia for Intellivision, one of the first sim games.
- Starpath releases Dragonstomper (the only RPG for the Atari 2600) and Escape From the Mindmaster.
- Parker Brothers releases Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back for the Atari 2600, which is the first Star Wars video game.
- Imagic releases Demon Attack, Atlantis, and Dragonfire for the 2600. Atlantis sells over a million copies while Demon Attack doubles that.
- March 11, Infocom releases their first non-Zork title, Deadline.
- August 24, Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress is released.
- November, Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 is released for MS-DOS. It becomes a standard compatibility test for early PC clones.
- Big Five Software releases the widely ported Miner 2049er, a platformer with ten screens compared to the four of Donkey Kong.
- Brøderbund releases Choplifter for the Apple II.
- Edu-Ware releases Prisoner 2 for the Apple II, Atari, and IBM PC.
- Koei releases The Dragon and Princess, the earliest known Japanese RPG, for NEC's PC-8001 home computer platform. It is an early example of tactical turn-based combat in the RPG genre.
- Koei releases Night Life, the first erotic computer game.
- Pony Canyon releases Spy Daisakusen, another early Japanese RPG. Based on the Mission: Impossible franchise, it replaces the traditional fantasy setting with a modern espionage setting.
- Sir-Tech Software, Inc. releases Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds, the second scenario in the Wizardry series.
- Sierra On-Line releases Time Zone for the Apple II. Written and directed by Roberta Williams, the graphical adventure game shipped with 6 double-sided floppy disks and cost US$99.
- Synapse releases Necromancer and Shamus for the Atari 8-bit family.
- Hiroyuki Imabayashi's Sokoban is released for the NEC PC-8801 and becomes an oft-cloned puzzle game concept.
- Datamost releases the action/adventure game Aztec for the Apple II.
- January, Sega releases the Sega Zaxxon, an arcade system board that introduces isometric graphics.
- September, Namco releases the Namco Pole Position, the first arcade system board to use 16-bit microprocessors, with two Zilog Z8002 processors. It is capable of pseudo-3D, sprite-scaling, and displays up to 3840 colors.
- Atari releases the Atari 5200 home console, a lightly modified Atari 8-bit computer with analog joysticks and no keyboard.
- Coleco Industries releases the Gemini, an Atari 2600 clone.
- Emerson releases the Arcadia 2001 home console.
- Entex releases the Adventure Vision home console.
- General Consumer Electronics releases the Vectrex home console.
- Coleco releases the ColecoVision home console.
- Starpath releases the Starpath Supercharger add-on for the Atari 2600.
- July, Timex Sinclair releases a modified ZX81 in the US as the TS1000. It's the first sub-$100 home computer.
- Commodore Business Machines releases the Commodore 64 home computer, which would become the European market leader and one of the best-selling computers of all time.
- NEC releases the NEC PC-98, which would become the Japanese market leader and one of the best-selling computers of all time. It is released as the APC overseas.
- Sharp releases the X1.
- Sinclair Research releases the ZX Spectrum home computer, which would become the most popular gaming computer of its generation in the UK.
- Dragon Data, initially a subsidiary of Mettoy, releases the Dragon 32 home microcomputer.
- Video Game Myth Busters - Did the "Crash" of 1983/84 Affect Arcades?, The Golden Age Arcade Historian (December 27, 2013)
- Everett M. Rogers & Judith K. Larsen (1984), Silicon Valley fever: growth of high-technology culture, Basic Books, p. 263, ISBN 0-465-07821-4,
Video game machines have an average weekly take of $109 per machine. The video arcade industry took in $8 billion in quarters in 1982, surpassing pop music (at $4 billion in sales per year) and Hollywood films ($3 billion). Those 32 billion arcade games played translate to 143 games for every man, woman, and child in America. A recent Atari survey showed that 86 percent of the US population from 13 to 20 has played some kind of video game and an estimated 8 million US homes have video games hooked up to the television set. Sales of home video games were $3.8 billion in 1982, approximately half that of video game arcades.
- Buchanan, Levi. "Top 10 Best-Selling Atari 2600 Games". IGN.
- "ランダム・アクセス・メモ". Oh! FM-7. August 4, 2001. p. 4. Retrieved September 19, 2011. (Translation)
- Retro Japanese Computers: Gaming's Final Frontier, Hardcore Gaming 101, reprinted from Retro Gamer, Issue 67, 2009
- "Time Zone: An interview with Roberta Williams". Computer Gaming World. May–June 1982. pp. 14–15.
- Maher, Jimmy (June 5, 2012). "Time Zone". The Digital Antiquarian. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-06.