List of years in games
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The following pages are dedicated to important moments and events in the gaming world, in their respective years.
Pre to the 1970s
- Games in ancient times – Royal Game of Ur, Senet, Tic-tac-toe
- 6th century in games – Chess
- 15th century in games – Trick-taking game
- 16th century in games – Bingo (UK game)
- 17th century in games – Hangman
- 18th century in games – Whist, Pinball
- 19th century in games – Snakes and Ladders, Ouija; Nintendo is launched.
- 1900s in games – Flinch
- 1910s in games
- 1920s in games – Escalado; Henry and Helal Hassenfeld found the Hassenfeld Brothers company (1923), later shortened to the name Hasbro (1968).
- 1930s in games – Monopoly, Scrabble
- 1940s in games – Cluedo
- 1950s in games – Tactics, Risk, Yahtzee, The first ever video games are developed; (Tennis for Two, Nimrod and Bertie the Brain)
- 1960s in games – Twister, Spacewar!, KerPlunk, Trouble, Operation, Battleship
- 1970 in games – Buckaroo!
- 1971 in games – Uno
- 1972 in games – Pong
- 1973 in games
- 1974 in games – Dungeons & Dragons
- 1975 in games – Pop-Up Pirate
- 1976 in games – Blockade, Snake
- 1977 in games
- 1978 in games – Space Invaders, Top Trumps, Hungry Hungry Hippos; Atari 2600 launched
- 1979 in games – Trivial Pursuit, Asteroids, Guess Who?
- 1980 in games – Pac-Man, Rubik's Cube
- 1981 in games – Donkey Kong, Centipede, Castle Wolfenstein, Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness
- 1982 in games – Tron, River Raid, Q*Bert
- 1983 in games – Jenga
- 1984 in games – Boulder Dash
- 1985 in games – Super Mario Bros., Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
- 1986 in games – Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, Kid Icarus, Rampage, Mouse Trap
- 1987 in games – Final Fantasy, Mega Man, Street Fighter
- 1988 in games – Sega Genesis launched.
- 1989 in games – Prince of Persia; Game Boy and Atari Lynx launched.
Major shake-ups occur in the who's-who of US game publishing and distribution. Wizards of the Coast, which started the decade as a small West Coast publisher, buys veteran Avalon Hill later in the decade, only to be bought up in turn by industry juggernaut Hasbro. TSR and Iron Crown Enterprises both collapse.
The collectible card game (CCG) became a dominant business model, first by Magic: The Gathering then by several rivals. By the mid-nineties, hundreds of CCGs competed for market share, and most of these products were culled for weak sales. Collectible gaming also expanded from cards into dice, tiles, and miniatures.
The Settlers of Catan breaks Eurogaming into the American market, becoming an overnight bestseller and gateway game. Publishers such as Mayfair Games and Rio Grande Games begin meeting the new market demand with titles from Europe.
Online retailing begins to pose a challenge to "brick and mortar" game stores, though the full effects of e-commerce will not be felt until the following decade.
- 1990 in games – Super Nintendo Entertainment System launched
- 1991 in games – Sonic the Hedgehog
- 1992 in games – Kirby's Dream Land, Super Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat
- 1993 in games – Magic: The Gathering, Doom, Star Fox, Elefun
- 1994 in games – Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, The Need for Speed, EarthBound, Gator Golf, Super Metroid; PlayStation launched
- 1995 in games – The Settlers of Catan, Jumanji, Rayman
- 1996 in games – Pokémon Red and Blue, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Bop It, Diablo, Quake, Crash Bandicoot
- 1997 in games – Fallout, Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, GoldenEye 007
- 1998 in games – Dance Dance Revolution, Spyro the Dragon; Game Boy Color launched
- 1999 in games – Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, RollerCoaster Tycoon
The internet continues to shake up the publishing and distribution of games. Online retailing becomes a serious threat to "brick and mortar" retailers. Desktop publishing proves to be a boon for hobby game designers, and the door is opened for many small publishers producing their own game designs. Z-Man Games and Fantasy Flight Games become major players in the US hobby game industry. Miniatures games dominate the collectible games market.
- 2000 in games – The Sims; PlayStation 2 launched
- 2001 in games – Halo: Combat Evolved, Gothic, Conker's Bad Fur Day; Xbox, GameCube and Game Boy Advance launched
- 2002 in games – Battlefield 1942, Ratchet & Clank, Kingdom Hearts, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Mafia
- 2003 in games – Call of Duty
- 2004 in games – Fable; Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable launched
- 2005 in games – Guitar Hero, Nintendogs, God of War, Club Penguin; Xbox 360 launched
- 2006 in games – Rayman Raving Rabbids, Viva Piñata, Just Cause, Wii Sports; PlayStation 3 and Wii launched
- 2007 in games – Assassin's Creed, Portal, Mass Effect, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
- 2008 in games – LittleBigPlanet, Moshi Monsters, World of Goo
- 2009 in games – Angry Birds, Borderlands, Words with Friends, Infamous, Just Dance
- 2010 in games – Alan Wake, Plants vs. Zombies, Talking Tom, Fruit Ninja, Limbo, Cut the Rope, Red Dead Redemption; Kinect and PlayStation Move launched
- 2011 in games – Minecraft, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, Rayman Origins, Temple Run; Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita launched
- 2012 in games – Candy Crush Saga, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Clash of Clans, Draw Something; Wii U launched
- 2013 in games – The Last of Us, Yo-kai Watch, Disney Infinity; PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launched
- 2014 in games – Five Nights at Freddy's, Watch Dogs, Destiny
- 2015 in games – Splatoon
- 2016 in games – Pokémon Go, Overwatch; Oculus Rift launched
- 2017 in games – Fortnite, Nioh, Cuphead, Detention, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Bendy and the Ink Machine; Nintendo Switch launched
- 2018 in games – Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man
- 2019 in games – Harry Potter: Wizards Unite