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[edit]


This decade saw the board wargame gain a level of popularity. It also saw the appearance of the earliest, simple video games, and the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.



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.


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.