ⓘ 1984 in video gaming


ⓘ 1984 in video gaming

  • The fifth Arcade Awards are held, for games released during 1982-1983. Pole Position wins Coin-Op Game of the Year, Ms. Pac-Man wins console Videogame of the Year, Lode Runner wins Computer Game of the Year, and Q*bert wins dedicated Stand-Alone Game of the Year.
  • In the second Golden Joystick Awards held in 1985, Knight Lore takes Game of the Year.

1. Business

  • Defunct companies: Astrocade, Human Engineered Software, Imagine, Sirius.
  • Broderbund acquires 8-bit gaming competitor Synapse Software.
  • Atari shuts down the Atari Program Exchange, which sold notable "user written" games such as Eastern Front 1941 and Dandy.
  • New companies: Accolade, Elite Systems, Gremlin Graphics, Kemco, New World Computing, Novagen, Ocean, Psygnosis, Sculptured Software
  • Mattel sells video game assets including M Network and Intellivision hardware and software intellectual property to a group led by a former Mattel Electronics executive that becomes INTV Corporation. Mattel Electronics closes their games development offices in California and Taiwan. The games development office in France is sold to investors and renamed Nice Ideas.
  • Sega and CSK merge to form Sega Enterprises Ltd.
  • Hasbro, Inc. acquires Milton Bradley Company.
  • Management Sciences America acquires Edu-Ware Services.
  • Warner Communications Inc. sells Atari arcade video game, home video game, and home computer intellectual properties including the Atari logo and trademark, inventories of Atari home video game and home computer hardware and software, as well as certain Atari international subsidiaries to Tramel Technology. Warner Communications effectively closes its domestic home video game and computer divisions but retains the arcade games division and renames Atari Inc. to Atari Games, with permission from Tramel Technology. Tramel Technology renamed to Atari Corporation.

2.1. Notable releases Games

  • December - Capcom releases 1942.
  • July 20 - Namco releases action role-playing game Tower of Druaga.
  • July - Data East releases Technōs Japans Karate Champ, laying the foundations for the one-one-one fighting game genre.
  • December - Atari Games releases Marble Madness, their first game written in the C programming language and to use a 68000-family microprocessor.
  • December - Namco releases Super Xevious and Dragon Buster, the latter of which is one of the first games to feature a life bar.
  • April - Namco releases Gaplus, the sequel to Galaga.
  • August - Namco releases Pac-Land and lays the foundations for horizontally-scrolling platform games.
  • November 1 - Namco releases Grobda, a spin-off from Xevious.
  • December - Irem releases Kung-Fu Master and lays the foundations for the beat em up genre.
  • Electronic Arts releases Adventure Construction Set.
  • June 6 - Alexei Pajitnov creates Tetris for the Electronika 60 in the Soviet Union.
  • Broderbund releases Karateka for the Apple II.
  • Broderbund releases The Ancient Art of War by Dave and Barry Murry. It is a real-time tactics game and a precursor to the real-time strategy genre.
  • Sierra On-Line releases Kings Quest I for the PCjr.
  • Epyx releases Impossible Mission for the Commodore 64.
  • First Star releases Boulder Dash, which inspired enough clones to create the rocks-and-diamonds genre.
  • December 7 - Knight Lore by Ultimate Play the Game is released for the ZX Spectrum. It is the third title in the Sabreman series, but the first to use the isometric Filmation engine.
  • Infocom releases The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Sorcerer, Cutthroats, and Seastalker.
  • Synapse releases Atari 8-bit game Dimension X, over 9 months after running magazine ads showing features that werent present in the final game.
  • The Lords of Midnight, a strategy adventure game by Mike Singleton, is released.
  • December - T&E Soft releases Hydlide, an early action role-playing game that features a health regeneration mechanic and anticipates elements of The Legend of Zelda and Ys series.
  • September 20 - Elite, an influential wireframe 3D space trading game offering a then-unique open-ended design, is published by Acornsoft.
  • October - Nihon Falcom releases action role-playing game Dragon Slayer.
  • Bullet-Proof Software releases The Black Onyx, which helps popularize turn-based role-playing games in Japan.
  • December 17 - Nintendo releases Ice Climber and Balloon Fight for the Famicom/NES.
  • Activision releases Pitfall II: Lost Caverns, one of the last major titles for the Atari 2600. Each cartridge contains a custom chip allowing improved visuals and 4-voice sound.
  • June 4 - Nintendo releases a conversion of their own Donkey Kong 3 for the Famicom/NES.

2.2. Notable releases Hardware

  • Atari, Inc. announces the Atari 7800, a next-gen console thats compatible with Atari 2600 cartridges, but capable of greatly improved visuals. It is shelved until 1986 due to the sale of the company and legal issues.
  • January 24, Apple Inc. announces the original, 128K, floppy disc-only, Macintosh.
  • March, IBM releases the IBM PCjr in an attempt to enter the home computer market. It has improved sound and graphics over the original, business-oriented IBM PC, but is commercial failure.
  • Discontinued systems: Atari 5200, Magnavox Odyssey², Vectrex