Did you know that the first arcade game that was found dates all the way back to 1909?
The arcade style and genre have proven as the most popular ever since video games originated. These free online games then entered a golden era which has been developing further ever since, following the advancements that occurred in technology throughout the 70s and 80s. This is the sole reason why modern-day gamers are able to reap the benefits from contemporary video game softwares post the implementation of audio and video into the ever-popular genre.
Now let us look at the evolution of the arcade world, while also focussing on what led to the expansion of this genre...
This is the mother-of-all, the original arcade game that was first invented in Philadelphia by J.D. Estes in 1909. In 1914, the outdoor amusement industry bought the first skee-ball alleys that were about 36 feet long. Coming to 1928, in order to enable more diverse crowds to enter the game arena, the size of the alley was reduced to 14 feet.
- Coin-Operated Slot Machine
Baffle Ball, yes, ths was the name of the first coin-operated machine created in 1931 in Chicago.
Fun Fact: These machines were either heavily regulated or banned by most states as they were considered gambling.
In order to revive the reputation of coin machines, pinball machines were invented in 1933. Unfortunately, they were quite controversial too and referred to as “Games Of Chance”. Reason being, it was quite similar to the coin machines that were banned due to gambling. In 1947 however, they were fitted with flippers that hit the ball and be seen as a skill oriented family friendly game rather than gambling.
This was the first coin operated video game that was installed in 1971’s September at Stanford University. It cost a dime to play 1 game and a quarter to play 3. Shortly after, the first mass-produced video game was released in November. The first ever commercially successful video game however, was Pong. It was released in 1972.
Space Invaders, a Taito Corp production, went on to become one of the most famous arcade games of all time developed by Tomohiro Nishikado.
This game was the first ever major hit of the Golden Age in 1979. Released by Atari, it was its highest selling game with an estimate of about 70,000 cabinets.
The most successful video game of all time, Pac-Man was invented in 1980 and sold 350,000 arcade cabinets and racked up more than 2 billion dollars in revenue. This game appealed to all the gamers out there irrespective of gender or social standing and soon became a pop culture hit.
In 1991, games like Mortal Combat and Virtua Fighter earned huge success and shifted the focus of arcades. Capcom released Street Fighter II and swept the arcade industry through fists and knives.
The early 2000s were all about simulation games like Strike Fighter, Mario Kart Arcade GP, Dead Heat Street Racing and Big buck Hunter HD. These games include photo and score sharing, and competition for cash prizes.
The new additions started from 2013, where almost all arcade games consist of a combination of heart rate monitor, 3D glasses, surround sound, vibrations, and blasts of air. Dark Escape 4D is the best example of this kind.
Games are forever evolving with multiplayers and augmented reality we have a long way to go.