1994 in video gaming
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- Nintendo proclaims "1994: The Year of the Cartridge".
- Nintendo Australia Pty. Ltd, the Australian subsidiary of Nintendo Co., Ltd is established and opened by Hiroshi Yamauchi and effectively ends Mattel Australia's distribution of Nintendo's products throughout Australia.
- "Project Reality" is renamed the Nintendo Ultra 64. The console's design is revealed to the public for the first time in spring 1994.
- April — Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) founded (name changed to the Entertainment Software Association in 2003); IDSA founds Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
- April 28 — Sega and MGM make a venture to create video games, movies, and television programs.
- June 24 — The Computer Game Developers Association is formed by Ernest W. Adams.
- November — Game Zero magazine drops their print format and becomes the first video game news magazine on the web.
- November 10 — William Higinbotham, creator of Tennis for Two (1958), dies at 84.
- January - Mega Man X is released in the US.
- February 2 — Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega, Mega Drive/Genesis), introduces Knuckles the Echidna.
- February 23 - Super Street Fighter II Turbo (Arcade), introduces Akuma.
- March 15 - Mega Man 6 is released in the US.
- March 19 — Super Metroid (SNES), distributed on a 24-megabit cartridge. Super Metroid was called the "best game of all time" by Electronic Gaming Monthly in 2002.
- March 25 — Bethesda releases The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- March 27 - Origin releases Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, based both around space simulation gameplay and an interactive movie with big-name actors. It's one of the most expensive games developed, with a budget of US$4 million.
- April 2 - Square Co. releases Final Fantasy VI (then known as Final Fantasy III in North America) for the SNES on April 2 in Japan and October 11 in North America.
- April 3 - Accolade releases Bubsy II on GameBoy, Sega Genesis, and SNES.
- May 3 — Epic MegaGames releases Jazz Jackrabbit, a console-style "animal with attitude" platformer.
- June 2 - Sir-Tech releases turn-based tactics game Jagged Alliance, the first installment of Jagged Alliance series.
- June 14 - Nintendo releases Donkey Kong 94 for the Game Boy.It featured remakes of the first four stages of the original game plus adding 96 puzzle based levels. Mario is much more versatile in this version, as he can backflip, handstand, and spin on wires. It received critical acclaim and became a Game Boy fan favorite and classic.
- July — LucasArts releases TIE Fighter.
- July 5 — Capcom releases Darkstalkers.
- July 15 — Acclaim Entertainment and Mirage releases the fighting game Rise of the Robots.
- August 2 — Shiny Entertainment releases Earthworm Jim.
- August 25 — SNK Playmore releases The King of Fighters.
- August 27 — Nintendo releases Mother 2 for the Super Famicom in Japan, which was released almost a year later in North America on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as EarthBound. EarthBound also introduces Ness.
- August 31 - Electronic Arts releases The Need for Speed for the 3DO, which begins the most successful racing game franchise of all time.
- September - MicroProse releases Master of Magic.
- September 9 — The Super NES version of Mortal Kombat 2 is released with all blood and fatalities left intact, the first major release on any Nintendo console at that point to have such content.
- September 22 — Origin Systems releases Looking Glass Studios' System Shock.
- October — Killer Instinct (Rare), the first arcade machine with an internal hard disk.
- October 10 — id Software releases Doom II and Dave D. Taylor creates a Linux port of the original Doom, becoming the first major game for the new operating system.
- October 17 — Sonic & Knuckles is released. It allows a player to connect previous Sonic games to the cartridge, making Knuckles playable in them.
- October 25 — MicroProse releases UFO: Enemy Unknown and the Strategy Game of the Year Master of Orion.
- November — Sega releases the 32X add-on in Europe and the US alongside Doom and Star Wars Arcade.
- November 21 — Nintendo releases Rare's Donkey Kong Country (SNES), featuring 3D pre-rendered graphics. It also introduces Diddy Kong and King K. Rool.
- November 23 — Blizzard Entertainment releases the real-time strategy game Warcraft, which spawns a franchise and influences many later games.
- November 23 — Sierra On-Line releases the computer adventure game King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, the first in the series to use "SVGA" graphics.
- December 9 — Namco releases its first 3D fighting game Tekken to arcades.
- December 10 — Nintendo releases Wario's Woods, the last official game to be released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in North America before Nintendo would officially discontinue production of the console.
- December 16 - Mega Man X2 is released in Japan.
- December 21 — Bungie releases Marathon, one of the earliest original (non-ported) first-person shooters for the Macintosh.
- December 24 — Heretic is released by id Software. It the first in Raven Software's Heretic/Hexen series and also the first game bundled with DWANGO, one of the earliest online multiplayer services
- Maxis releases SimCity 2000, sequel to the popular SimCity.
- Sega releases the Daytona USA racing game in arcades.
- Sensible Software releases Sensible World of Soccer, regarded as the best Amiga game of all time by British Amiga magazine Amiga Power.
- Namco releases Point Blank in arcades.
- Aiwa releases the Aiwa Mega-CD multimedia home console in Japan only.
- Bandai releases the Playdia multimedia home console.
- NEC releases the PC-FX multimedia home console.
- introduces the North American cable TV Sega Channel in cooperation with Time Warner (AOL Time Warner); the subscription service provides Sega Genesis games via cable box to customers
- releases the Sega 32X add-on for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in Europe (November 14), North America (November 21) and Japan (December 3)
- releases the Sega Nomad handheld console in North America, a portable Sega Genesis.
- releases the Sega Saturn home console in Japan on November 22
- SNK releases the Neo Geo CD home console.
- Sony releases the PlayStation home console in Japan on December 3.
- Nintendo releases the Super Game Boy adapter for the SNES home console.
- Atari Corporation discontinues the Lynx handheld system.
- New companies: Neversoft
- Defunct: Commodore, Tradewest
- September 14 - Video gaming magazine Nintendomagasinet is cancelled after four years. Number 9 of 1994 would have been released on this day, but instead the magazine joins Super Power.
- Apogee establishes the 3D Realms Entertainment division.
- Blizzard Entertainment is renamed from Silicon & Synapse.
- SSI sold to Mindscape
- Alpex Computer Corp. v. Nintendo lawsuit: Alpex sues Nintendo over patent infringements related to the NES. Nintendo loses the case. (In 1996 this ruling was reversed by an appeals court, which determined that no patents had been infringed upon.)
- Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Dragon Pacific Intern
- "Showtime at the Nintendo Booth for the Winter Consumer Electronics Show". Free Library. January 5, 1994. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- "Sonic & Knuckles Release Information for Genesis". GameFAQs. October 17, 1994. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- "Tidbits...". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 90. Ziff Davis. January 1997. p. 28.