1986 in video games

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List of years in video games

1986 saw many sequels and prequels in video games, such as Super Mario Bros. 2, along with new titles such as Arkanoid, Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, Dragon Quest, Ikari Warriors, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Out Run and R.B.I. Baseball. The year's highest-grossing arcade video games were Hang-On in Japan, Hang-On and Gauntlet in the United States, and Nemesis (Gradius) in London. The year's best‑selling home system was the Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom) for the third year in a row, while the year's best-selling home video games in Western markets were Super Mario Bros. in the United States and Yie Ar Kung-Fu in the United Kingdom.

Financial performance[edit]

In the United States, the home video game industry recovered with the arrival of the third generation of video game consoles led by the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).[1]

Highest-grossing arcade games[edit]

Japan[edit]

In Japan, the following titles were the highest-grossing arcade games of 1986, according to the Game Machine charts.

Rank Title Arcade cabinet Points
January–June[2] July–December[3] Total
1 Hang-On Ride-on / sit-down 1576 1679 3255
2 Major League Table 968 1678 2646
3 Ikari (Ikari Warriors) Table 992 1420 2412
4 Real Mahjong Haihai Table 1062 1083 2145
5 Tehkan World Cup Table 694 1152 1846
6 Space Harrier Rolling type 887 949 1836
7 Gradius Table 860 965 1825
8 Arkanoid Table 1719 1719
9 ASO: Armored Scrum Object Table 898 820 1718
10 1942 Table 862 826 1688

United Kingdom and United States[edit]

In the United Kingdom and United States, the following titles were the highest-grossing arcade video games of 1986.

Rank United Kingdom United States
Electrocoin (London)[4] RePlay[5] AMOA[6][7] Play Meter
Dedicated Conversion
1 Nemesis (Gradius) Hang-On Gauntlet Mat Mania Gauntlet[8]
2 Hang-On Gauntlet Hang-On,
Ikari Warriors,
Speed Buggy,
World Series
Choplifter,
Hogan's Alley,
1942,
Rush 'N Attack
Un­known
3 Ikari Warriors Mat Mania
4 Arkanoid World Series
5 Super Sprint Spy Hunter
6 Salamander Pole Position II
7 Rampage Mania Challenge
8 Enduro Racer Ikari Warriors
9 Konami GT (GT Racer) Ghosts 'n Goblins
10 Jail Break Super Sprint

Best-selling home systems[edit]

Rank System(s) Manufacturer Type Generation Sales
Japan USA Worldwide
1 Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicom Nintendo Console 8-bit 3,900,000[9] 3,000,000[10] 6,900,000+
2 Commodore 64 (C64) Commodore Computer 8-bit 2,500,000[11]
3 Famicom Disk System Nintendo Console 8-bit 2,000,000[12] 2,000,000
4 Commodore 128 (C128) Commodore Computer 8-bit 1,000,000[13]
5 Apple II Apple Inc. Computer 8-bit 700,000[11]
6 NEC PC-88 / PC-98 NEC Computer 8-bit / 16-bit 510,000[14][15] Un­known 510,000+
7 Sega SG-1000 / Master System Sega Console 8-bit 280,000[9] 125,000[16] 405,000+
8 Apple Macintosh Apple Inc. Computer 16-bit 380,000[11]
9 Amiga Commodore Computer 16-bit 200,000[11]
Atari ST Atari Corporation Computer 16-bit 200,000[11]

Best-selling home video games[edit]

Japan[edit]

In Japan, home video games that sold at least one million copies in 1986 include The Hyrule Fantasy: Zelda no Densetsu (The Legend of Zelda), which sold 1 million copies for the Famicom Disk System (FDS) on its first day of release in February;[17] Dragon Quest, which sold over 1 million cartridges for the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System) within six months between May and November;[18] and Gradius, which sold over 1 million between April and December.[19][20]

According to Famicom Tsūshin (Famitsu) magazine, the following titles were the top ten best-selling 1985-1986 releases during the three-year sales tracking period between May 1986 (when Famitsu began tracking sales) and mid-1989.[21]

Rank Title Developer Publisher Genre Platform Sales
1 Pro Yakyū: Family Stadium (R.B.I. Baseball) Namco Namco Sports (baseball) Famicom < 2,050,000[22]
2 Super Mario Bros. Nintendo Nintendo Platformer Famicom Un­known
3 Super Mario Bros. 2 (The Lost Levels) Nintendo Nintendo Platformer Famicom Disk System < 1,380,000[23]
4 Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Dōchū Konami Konami Action-adventure Famicom < 1,200,000[22]
5 Takahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima (Adventure Island) Hudson Soft Hudson Soft Platformer Famicom < 1,050,000[22]
6 Gegege no Kitaro: Youkai Daimakyou (Ninja Kid) TOSE Bandai Action Famicom Un­known
7 Makaimura (Ghosts 'n Goblins) Capcom Capcom Platformer
8 Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior) Chunsoft Enix Role-playing Famicom 1,000,000+[18]
9 Dragon Ball: Shenlong no Nazo (Dragon Power) TOSE Bandai Action Famicom Un­known
10 Metroid Nintendo Action-adventure Famicom Disk System

The following titles were the best-selling home video games on the bi-weekly Famitsu charts in 1986. Famicom Tsūshin magazine began tracking sales from May 1986.

Month Weeks 1-2 Weeks 3-4 Ref
May Gegege no Kitaro: Youkai Daimakyou (Famicom) [24]
June Super Mario Bros. (Famicom)[25] Super Mario Bros. 2 (FDS) [26]
July Makaimura (Famicom) [27][28]
August Volleyball (FDS) Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Dōchū (Famicom) [29]
September Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Dōchū (Famicom) Un­known [30]
October Takahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima (Famicom)[31] Akumajō Dracula (FDS) [32]
November Takahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima (Famicom)[33] Pro Wrestling - Famicom Wrestling Association (FDS) [34]
December Dragon Ball: Shenlong no Nazo (Famicom) Meikyū Kumikyoku (Famicom) [35]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the following titles were the top ten best-selling home video games of 1986, according to the annual Gallup software sales chart. The top ten titles were all home computer games. The best-selling game was Yie Ar Kung-Fu, making it the second year in a row that a fighting game topped the annual charts, after The Way of the Exploding Fist in 1985.[36]

Rank Title Developer Publisher Genre
1 Yie Ar Kung-Fu Konami Imagine Software Fighting
2 Formula 1 Simulator Spirit Software Mastertronic Racing
3 Commando Capcom Elite Systems Run-and-gun shooter
4 Green Beret Konami Imagine Software
5 Thrust Superior Software Superior Software Multi-directional shooter
6 Ghosts 'n Goblins Capcom Elite Systems Platformer
7 Paperboy Atari Games Elite Systems Action
8 Rambo Ocean Software Ocean Software Run-and-gun shooter
9 Kik Start Mastertronic Mastertronic Racing
10 Ninja Master Tron Software Firebird Software Action

United States[edit]

In the United States, Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the best-selling home video game of 1986.[37][38] The following titles were the best-selling home video games on the bi-weekly FAO Schwarz charts in 1986, reported by Famicom Tsūshin (Famitsu) magazine from June 1986 onwards.

Month Weeks 1-2 Weeks 3-4 Platform Sales Ref
June Super Mario Bros. NES Un­known [39][40]
July Kung Fu Un­known NES Un­known [41]
August Un­known Super Mario Bros. NES Un­known [42]
September Kung Fu Un­known
October Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known
November Un­known Un­known
December Un­known Un­known
1986 Super Mario Bros. NES 1,000,000+ [37][38]

Top-rated games[edit]

Major awards[edit]

Award Amusement Players Association Awards
(United States, January 1987)[43][44]
Famitsu Best Hit Game Awards
(Japan, February 1987)[45]
5th Golden Joystick Awards
(United Kingdom, March 1987)[46]
Arcade Console Computer
Game of the Year Super Mario Bros. Dragon Quest (Famicom) Gauntlet
Critics' Choice Awards Meikyuu Kumikyoku (Famicom)
Nazo no Kabe (Famicom)
Volleyball (Famicom)
Zanac (Famicom Disk System)
Best Scenario / Story Dragon Quest (Yuji Horii)
Best Graphics / Visuals Out Run Akumajō Dracula (Castlevania)
Best Music / Soundtrack The Hyrule Fantasy: Zelda no Densetsu (Koji Kondo) Sanxion
Best Audio Gauntlet
Best Character Design Dragon Quest (Akira Toriyama)
Best Port Ghosts 'n Goblins (Famicom)
Original / Innovative Gauntlet The Sentinel
Best Hardware Family Trainer (Power Pad)
Best Software House Elite Systems
Best Programmer Koichi Nakamura (Dragon Quest) Andrew Braybrook
Best Arcade-Style Game Uridium
Best Action Game Metroid (Famicom)
Best Platform Game Super Mario Bros. 2 (Famicom Disk System)
Best Shooting Game Gradius (Famicom)
Best Adventure Game The Pawn
Best RPG Dragon Quest (Famicom)
Best Sports Game Pro Yakyū: Family Stadium (R.B.I. Baseball)
Best Puzzle Game Kineko (Famicom Disk System)
Best Strategy Game Vietnam

Famitsu Platinum Hall of Fame[edit]

The following 1987 video game release entered Famitsu magazine's "Platinum Hall of Fame" for receiving a Famitsu score of at least 35 out of 40.[47]

Title Platform Score (out of 40) Developer Publisher Genre
Pro Yakyū: Family Stadium (R.B.I. Baseball) Nintendo Family Computer 35 Namco Namco Baseball

Business[edit]

Notable releases[edit]

Arcade
Console
Computer

Hardware[edit]

  1. The 1040ST personal computer, the second in the ST line. With a megabyte of RAM and a price of US$999, it is the first computer with a cost-per-kilobyte of under $1.[51]
  2. The Atari 7800 console two years after its original test market date.
  3. A smaller model Atari 2600 for under US$50. The TV campaign proclaims "The fun is back!"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lindner, Richard (1990). Video Games: Past, Present and Future; An Industry Overview. United States: Nintendo of America.
  2. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: '86 上半期" [Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: First Half '86] (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 288. Amusement Press, Inc. July 15, 1986. p. 28.
  3. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: '86 下半期" [Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25: Second Half '86] (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 300. Amusement Press, Inc. January 15, 1987. p. 16.
  4. ^ "1986 Top Ten Coin-Ops". Sinclair User. No. 59 (February 1987). January 18, 1987. p. 96.
  5. ^ "Top 20 of 1986". Top Score. Amusement Players Association. July–August 1987. p. 3.
  6. ^ "Coin Machine: AMOA Announces Awards Nominations" (PDF). Cash Box. August 23, 1986. p. 38.
  7. ^ "AMOA JB, Games & Cig Vending Awards Winners" (PDF). Cash Box. December 6, 1986. p. 30.
  8. ^ "1986". Play Meter. Vol. 20, no. 13. December 1994. p. 76.
  9. ^ a b Tanaka, Tatsuo (August 2001). Network Externality and Necessary Software Statistics (PDF). Statistics Bureau of Japan. p. 2.
  10. ^ Kent, Steven L. (June 16, 2010). The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 1: From Pong to Pokemon and Beyond . . . the Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-56087-2. Americans purchased 3 million NES consoles in 1986.
  11. ^ a b c d e 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.
  12. ^ McFerran, Damien (November 20, 2010). "Feature: Slipped Disk - The History of the Famicom Disk System". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on December 19, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Mansfield, Richard (April 1987). "Editor's notes". Compute!'s Gazette. Vol. 5, no. 4. p. 6.
  14. ^ Methe, David; Mitchell, Will; Miyabe, Junichiro; Toyama, Ryoko (January 1998). "Overcoming a Standard Bearer: Challenges to NEC's Personal Computer in Japan". Research Papers in Economics (RePEc): 35 – via ResearchGate.
  15. ^ Juliussen, Egil; Juliussen, Karen (1990). The Computer Industry Almanac 1991. Pearson P T R. pp. 10–47, 10–48. ISBN 978-0-13-155748-2.
  16. ^ "Comparing the New Videogame Systems" (PDF). Computer Entertainer. Vol. 5, no. 11. February 1987. p. 13.
  17. ^ Page, Barnaby (December 15, 1988). "All that glitters is not sold: New consoles and computers may sound wonderful – but they're often just too good, argues Barnaby Page". The Games Machine. No. 14 (January 1989). p. 148. The Nintendo II is several years off, and even Nintendo themselves — in the shape of their UK agent Mike Wensman — recognise that software is the problem there. (...) Still, according to Wensman, that pays off. In Japan, he claims, Legend Of Zelda sold a mind-boggling million copies on its first day of release, and it does provide 260 hours of play.
  18. ^ a b Iwamoto, Yoshiyuki (2006). Japan on the Upswing: Why the Bubble Burst and Japan's Economic Renewal. Algora Publishing. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-87586-463-1.
  19. ^ Gradius (North American NES front cover). December 1986. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  20. ^ Kent, Steven L. (June 16, 2010). The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 1: From Pong to Pokemon and Beyond... the Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. Crown Publishing Group. p. 510. ISBN 978-0-307-56087-2.
  21. ^ "総合TOP50" [Total Top 50]. ファミコン通信 〜 '89全ソフトカタログ [Famicom Tsūshin: '89 All Software Catalog]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). September 15, 1989. p. 78.
  22. ^ a b c "Japan Platinum Game Chart". The Magic Box. Archived from the original on January 1, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  23. ^ "Count Down Hot 100". Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 226. April 16, 1993. pp. 77-92 (85).
  24. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30: 6月6日" [Famitsū Top 30: June 6]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 1. June 20, 1986. pp. 6–7.
  25. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30: 6月20日" [Famitsū Top 30: June 20]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 2. July 4, 1986. pp. 4–5.
  26. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30: 7月4日" [Famitsū Top 30: July 4]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 3. July 18, 1986. pp. 4–5.
  27. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30" [Famitsū Top 30]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 4. August 1, 1986.
  28. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30" [Famitsū Top 30]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 5. August 22, 1986.
  29. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30: 9月5日" [Famitsū Top 30: September 5]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 7. September 19, 1986. pp. 4–5.
  30. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30" [Famitsū Top 30]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 10. October 3, 1986.
  31. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30" [Famitsū Top 30]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 8. October 31, 1986.
  32. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30" [Famitsū Top 30]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 11. November 14, 1986.
  33. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30" [Famitsū Top 30]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 12. November 28, 1986.
  34. ^ "ファミ通 TOP 30" [Famitsū Top 30]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 13. December 12, 1986.
  35. ^ "ファミコン通信 TOP 30: 1月23日" [Famicom Tsūshin Top 30: January 23]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). Vol. 1987, no. 3. February 6, 1987. pp. 8–9.
  36. ^ "Yie Ar tops charts for 1986". Popular Computing Weekly. February 12, 1987. p. 6.
  37. ^ a b "Count Down Hot 100: USA Hot 10!". Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 226. April 16, 1993. p. 83.
  38. ^ a b DeMaria, Rusel; Meston, Zach (1991). Super Mario World Game Secrets. Prima Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-55958-156-1. Super Mario Bros. featured Mario in a romp through eight delightfully varied worlds, each one jam-packed with action and adventure. The game sold more than one million copies in 1986 alone. (Today, Super Mario Bros. comes packaged with the NES.)
  39. ^ "U.S.A. TOP 10: 6月6日". Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 1. June 20, 1986. p. 9.
  40. ^ "U.S.A. TOP 10: 6月20日". Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 2. July 4, 1986. p. 7.
  41. ^ "U.S.A. TOP 10: 7月4日". Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 3. July 18, 1986. p. 7.
  42. ^ "U.S.A. TOP 10: 9月5日". Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). No. 7. September 19, 1986. p. 7.
  43. ^ "Amusement Players Association's Players Choice Awards". Top Score. Amusement Players Association. Winter 1987.
  44. ^ Horowitz, Ken (July 30, 2020). Beyond Donkey Kong: A History of Nintendo Arcade Games. McFarland & Company. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-4766-4176-8.
  45. ^ "1986 ベストヒットゲーム大賞" [1986 Best Hit Game Awards]. Famicom Tsūshin (in Japanese). Vol. 1987, no. 3. February 6, 1987. pp. 4 to 7.
  46. ^ "Golden Joystick Awards". Computer and Video Games. No. 66 (April 1987). EMAP. March 16, 1987. pp. 100–1.
  47. ^ "週刊ファミ通クロスレビュープラチナ殿堂入りソフト一覧" [Weekly Famitsu Cross Review Platinum Hall of Fame Software List]. Geimin (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  48. ^ Hoffman, Erin (January 19, 2010). "When the Stars Align". The Escapist. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  49. ^ Jankowski, Filip (April 15, 2019). "The Presence of Female Designers in French Video Game Industry, 1985–1993". Games and Culture. 15 (6): 5. doi:10.1177/1555412019841954. ISSN 1555-4120. S2CID 150836593.
  50. ^ Jankowski, Filip (2017). "Political and Social Issues in French Digital Games, 1982–1993" (PDF). TransMissions. 2: 167.
  51. ^ Robinson, Philip; Edwards, Jon R. (March 1986). "The Atari 1040ST". BYTE. p. 84. Retrieved July 4, 2014.