ⓘ 1974 in video gaming

                                     

ⓘ 1974 in video gaming

  • H.R. "Pete" Kaufman leaves Ramtek to found Exidy, Inc.
  • Namco acquires the Japanese division of Atari, Inc. and formally enters the video arcade game market.
  • The number of copies of Pong and its commercial clones exceed 100.000 units. Approximately 10.000 of these units were manufactured by Atari, the original developer of the Pong.
  • Atari acquires Kee Games as a "marketing ploy." Atari will continue to use the "Kee Games" title as a brand name until 1978.
  • Royal Philips Electronics N.V. acquires Magnavox, which becomes "Philips Consumer Electronics."
                                     

1. Notable releases

Magazines

  • Play Meter, the first magazine devoted to coin-operated amusements including arcade games, publishes its first issue.

Video game consoles

  • Magnavox reissues the Odyssey and releases it in Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, West Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, and Venezuela.
                                     

1.1. Notable releases Arcade games

  • November 5: Prior to their acquisition by Atari, Kee Games releases Tank to video arcades.
  • July 24: Atari releases Gran Trak 10, the first car-racing video game, to video arcades.
  • February: Taito releases Basketball, an early example of sprite graphics, used to represent baskets and player characters, making it the first video game with human figures. The same month, Midway licenses the game for a North American release under the title TV Basketball, making it the first Japanese game licensed for North American release.
  • November: Taito releases Tomohiro Nishikados Speed Race, the second car-racing video game. It introduces scrolling sprite graphics with collision detection, and uses a racing wheel controller. Midway releases it as Wheels and Racer in the United States.
                                     

1.2. Notable releases Computer games

  • Jim Bowery develops Spasim for the PLATO system. Two versions are released, the first in March and the second in July. It is also recognized as an ancestor of the first-person shooter genre.
  • Gary Whisenhunt and Ray Wood develop dnd, the first game with a boss, and arguably the first role-playing video game, for the PLATO system. Development continued into 1975; it is unclear at what point the game became playable.
  • Steve Colley, Howard Palmer, and Greg Johnson develop Maze War on the Imlac PDS-1 at the NASA Ames Research Center in California. It is recognized as an ancestor of the first-person shooter genre.
                                     

1.3. Notable releases Video game consoles

  • Magnavox reissues the Odyssey and releases it in Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, West Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, and Venezuela.