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||This article does not cite any sources. (December 2009)
- February, Atari Games releases the Hard Drivin' arcade game, with filled polygon 3D graphics and physics simulation.
- March 21, Sega releases Phantasy Star II, a landmark title for the role-playing video game genre.
- April 21, Nintendo of America introduces Enix's Dragon Warrior franchise to North America. Nintendo of America releases Super Mario Land on the Game Boy, introducing Princess Daisy to the Mario series.
- June 5, Bullfrog Productions releases Populous which was one of the first commercially successful god games.
- June, Lucasfilm Games releases puzzle game Pipe Dream, which lives on in other titles as a visual representation of computer or security system hacking.
- July 11, Capcom releases Mega Man 2 in more countries (US).
- July 27, Nintendo releases Mother in Japan.
- August, Nintendo of America introduces Enix's Dragon Warrior franchise to North America.
- August 26, Nintendo releases the Zelda Game & Watch.
- September - Atari Games releases the S.T.U.N. Runner arcade game.
- October 3, Brøderbund releases the Prince of Persia game, the first in a series of games, noted for its advancements in animation.
- October 3, Maxis releases Will Wright's SimCity, the first of the "Sim" games and a revolutionary real-time software toy.
- December 6, Strategic Studies Group releases Warlords which was one of the first fantasy turn-based strategy game.
- December 15, Techno Soft releases Herzog Zwei (Mega Drive/Genesis) in Japan, laying the foundations for the real-time strategy genre.
- Tengen releases an unlicensed version of the Tetris video game, which is recalled after Nintendo sues Tengen.
- Wes Cherry writes Solitaire and Robert Donner writes Minesweeper, which are bundled with Microsoft Windows starting from version 3.
- Psygnosis releases Shadow of the Beast, demonstrating the capabilities of the Amiga and helping sales of the computer.
- Hasbro, Inc. acquires elements of Coleco Industries, Inc.
- Trinity Acquisition Corporation founded (renamed THQ in 1990)
- Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Tengen
- Nintendo sues Tengen over the Tetris video game copyrights. Tengen loses and recalls all its Tetris games.
- November - Nintendo sues Tengen over production of unlicensed Nintendo games. Tengen loses. (Tengen originally sued Nintendo on December 12, 1988 for antitrust violations.)
- Nintendo v. Camerica Ltd. Nintendo sues Camerica over patent violations of the Game Genie for the NES console. Camerica wins the suit.