1979 in video games

1979 saw many sequels and prequels in video games, such as Space Invaders Part II and Super Speed Race, along with new titles such as Asteroids, Football, Galaxian, Head On, Heiankyo Alien, Monaco GP , Sheriff and Warrior. The year's highest-grossing video game was again Taito's arcade game Space Invaders, for the second year in a row.

List of years in video games

Financial performanceEdit

Highest-grossing arcade gamesEdit

Space Invaders was the top-grossing video game worldwide in 1979,[1] having become the arcade game industry's all-time best-seller by 1979.[2] The following table lists the year's top-grossing arcade game in Japan, the United Kingdom, United States, and worldwide.

Market Title Cabinet sales Developer Distributor Genre Ref
Japan Space Invaders 300,000[1][3] Taito Taito Shoot 'em up [4][5]
United Kingdom Space Invaders < 85,000[a] Taito Midway Manufacturing Shoot 'em up [1]
United States Space Invaders 55,000 Taito Midway Manufacturing Shoot 'em up [6][7]
Worldwide Space Invaders 355,000+ Taito Shoot 'em up [1]

JapanEdit

In Japan, the following titles were the highest-grossing arcade games of 1979, according to the annual Game Machine chart. Taito's Space Invaders was the highest-grossing arcade game for a second year in a row.[4][5]

Rank[4] Title Points Developer Distributor Genre Cabinet sales
#1 #2 #3 Total
1 Space Invaders 40 4 3 131 Taito Taito Shoot 'em up 300,000[1][3]
2 Galaxian 9 13 9 62 Namco Namco Shoot 'em up Un­known
3 Monaco GP 9 11 8 57 Sega Sega Racing
4 Head On 0 11 2 24 Sega/Gremlin Sega Maze
5 Super Speed Race V 2 5 1 17 Taito Taito Racing
6 Speed Race CL-5 0 1 4 6 Taito Taito Racing
Space Chaser 0 2 2 6 Taito Taito Maze
Special Dual 0 2 2 6 Sega/Gremlin Sega Compilation
Space Stranger 2 0 0 6 Taito Hoei Sangyo Shoot 'em up
10 Heiankyo Alien (Digger) 0 1 3 6 Theoretical Science Group Denki Onkyō Maze
Sheriff (Bandido) 0 1 3 6 Nintendo R&D1 Nintendo Shoot 'em up

United StatesEdit

The following titles were the top ten highest-grossing arcade video games of 1979 in the United States, according to Cash Box, Play Meter and RePlay magazines.

Rank Cash Box[8] Play Meter[9] RePlay[6] Cabinet sales
1 Space Invaders 55,000[7]
2 N/A Football < 10,405[10]
3 N/A Star Fire Sprint 2 Un­known
4 N/A Space Wars Head On
5 N/A Head On Star Hawk
6 N/A Sprint 2 Space Wars
7 N/A Crash Star Fire
8 N/A Super Breakout
9 N/A Star Hawk Crash
10 N/A Video Pinball

Best-selling home systemsEdit

Rank System Manufacturer Type Generation Sales Ref
1 Atari Video Computer System (Atari VCS) Atari, Inc. Console Second 1,000,000 [11]
2 TRS-80 Texas Instruments Computer 8-bit 200,000 [12]
3 Atari 400 / Atari 800 Atari, Inc. Computer 8-bit 100,000 [12]
4 Commodore PET Commodore International Computer 8-bit 45,000 [12]
5 Apple II Apple Inc. Computer 8-bit 35,000 [12]

Major awardsEdit

Electronic Games magazine hosted the first Arkie Awards in 1980, for games in 1979.[13][14]

Award Winner Platform(s)
Game of the Year Space Invaders Arcade
Best Pong Variant Video Olympics Atari VCS
Best Sports Game Football Bally Professional Arcade
Best Target Game Air-Sea Battle Atari VCS
Best S.F. Game Cosmic Conflict Odyssey²
Best Solitaire Game Golf Odyssey²
Most Innovative Game Basketball Atari VCS
Best Audio and Visual Effects Bally Arcade / Bally

BusinessEdit

Notable releasesEdit

GamesEdit

Arcade
  • April – Sega's dot-eating driving game, Head On, is released. It becomes a popular concept to clone, especially for home systems.
  • August – Atari releases Lunar Lander, the first arcade version of a game concept created on minicomputers ten years earlier.
  • November – Atari releases the vector graphics-based Asteroids, which becomes Atari's second best selling game of all time and displaces Space Invaders as the most popular game in the US.
  • November – Namco releases fixed shooter Galaxian in full color.
  • November – Vectorbeam releases Tail Gunner, a space shooter with a first-person perspective.
  • December – Nintendo releases Radar Scope, featuring a pseudo-3D, third-person perspective. Later, 2000 out of 3000 manufactured machines are converted to Donkey Kong.
  • Cinematronics releases Warrior, one of the first fighting games without a boxing theme.
  • Sega releases the vertically scrolling Monaco GP, featuring full color and day/night driving. It is one of Sega's last discrete logic (no CPU) hardware designs.
Computer

HardwareEdit

Computer
  • June – Texas Instruments releases the TI-99/4. It is the first home computer with a 16-bit processor and, with TI's TMS9918 video chip, one of the first with hardware sprites.
  • September – NEC releases the PC-8001, the first in the PC-8000 series of home computers.
  • November – Atari, Inc. releases the first two models in the Atari 8-bit family: the Atari 400 and Atari 800 home computers. They feature custom graphics and sound coprocessors which support sprites, four-channel audio, and programmable display modes.
Console
Handheld

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Space Invaders sold 85,000 arcade cabinets in the United Kingdom between 1978 and 1979.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "After Pong". ACE. No. 6 (March 1988). February 4, 1988. pp. 29-32 (29).
  2. ^ "1979: The Year in Review". Cash Box. Cash Box Pub. Co. December 19, 1979. p. 114.
  3. ^ a b "Can Asteroids Conquer Space Invaders?" (PDF). Electronic Games. Vol. 1 no. 1. Winter 1981. pp. 30–33 (31). Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "ベストスリー 本紙調査" [Best 3 Paper Survey] (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 136. Amusement Press, Inc. February 1980. p. 2.
  5. ^ a b "調査対象5年間のベスト1" [Best 1 of the 5 Years Surveyed] (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 159. Amusement Press, Inc. February 15, 1981. p. 1.
  6. ^ a b "Video Games". RePlay. November 1979.
  7. ^ a b Sullivan, George (1983). "The First Big Hits". Screen Play: The Story of Video Games. F. Warne. p. 38-47 (40). ISBN 978-0-7232-6251-0.
  8. ^ "AMOA Expo 1979: '79 Route Survey" (PDF). Cash Box: AMOA-33. November 10, 1979.
  9. ^ "The Winners of '79: Top Videos". Play Meter. 1979.
  10. ^ Product: Total Build (PDF). Atari Games. 1999.
  11. ^ Russell, Jimmy (December 3, 2012). 101 Amazing Atari 2600 Facts. Andrews UK Limited. ISBN 9781782344957.
  12. ^ a b c d Reimer, Jeremy (December 15, 2005). "Total share: 30 years of personal computer market share figures". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 27, 2021. Lay summary (December 7, 2012).
  13. ^ The Arcade Awards – 1980Electronic Games Winter 1981, pages 38-9
  14. ^ "Bally Awards" (PDF). Arcadian. 2 (3): 20. January 15, 1980. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  15. ^ "Coin-Op history – 1975 to 1997 – from the pages of RePlay". RePlay. 1998. Archived from the original on April 28, 1998. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  16. ^ Lindner, Richard (1990). Video Games: Past, Present and Future; An Industry Overview. United States: Nintendo of America.
  17. ^ Scorpia (October 1991). "C*R*P*G*S / Computer Role-Playing Game Survey". Computer Gaming World. p. 109. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  18. ^ "List of Top Sellers". Computer Gaming World. 2 (5): 2. September–October 1982.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2005.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)