ⓘ 2003 in video gaming


ⓘ 2003 in video gaming

2003 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Beyond Good & Evil, Call of Duty, Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, PlanetSide, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and True Crime: Streets of LA.


1. Events

  • November - Kazushige Nojima resigns from Square Enix.
  • March 6–9 - Game Developers Conference hosts 3rd annual Game Developers Choice Awards and Gama Networks 5th annual Independent Games Festival IGF.
  • July 16 - Interactive Digital Software Association IDSA renamed as Entertainment Software Association ESA.
  • October 31 - British Academy of Film and Television Arts announces that nominations for the 6th annual BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards will instead be split between the 1st annual BAFTA Games Awards for video game publications and on November 24 the BAFTA Interactive Awards for multimedia technologies; ceremonies to be held in February 2004.
  • February 27 - Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences hosts 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards; inducts Yu Suzuki of Sega to the AIAS Hall of Fame.
  • September 12 - Valve releases their game distribution software Steam out of beta
  • October 1 - DreamWorks SKG and Tecmo announce a movie adaptation of the video game Fatal Frame has been fast-tracked with John Rogers and Steven Spielberg involvement.
  • May 14–16 - 9th annual E³ Electronic Entertainment Expo held at Los Angeles Convention Center; 6th annual Game Critics Awards for the Best of E3.
  • April 1 - Enix Corporation and Square Co., Ltd. officially merge, forming Square Enix Co., Ltd.
  • July - IEMA Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association hosts 4th annual Executive Summit.
  • October 20 - Families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young adults shot by teens William and Josh Buckner who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by Grand Theft Auto III, file a US$246 million lawsuit against developer Rockstar Games, publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, retailer Walmart, and console-maker Sony Computer Entertainment America.

1.1. Events Business

  • December - Interplay closes its Black Isle Studios division.
  • Late 2003 - Data East goes defunct.
  • April - Pan European Game Information PEGI, a European video game content rating system, comes into use.
  • August 1 - Virgin Interactive is renamed to Avalon Interactive by its owner Titus Software.
  • Late 2003 - Nintendo buys shares from Japanese toy and animation conglomerate Bandai making Nintendo one of Bandais top 10 shareholders.
  • June 12 - Obsidian Entertainment founded.
  • CNN/Money reports that video games are a US$10 billion industry
  • May 7 - Infogrames Entertainment, SA rebrands all its subsidiaries under the Atari brand.
  • Enix Corporation officially absorbs Square Co., Ltd., forming Square Enix Co., Ltd.
  • Early 2003 - Compile goes defunct.
  • August - Microsoft announced ATI as the developer of the GPU for their next generation console, Project Xenon. Their previous contract with Nvidia was finished but the GPU of the Xbox continued in production.
  • May - The 3DO Company announces bankruptcy and closes down its New World Computing subsidiary.
  • September - Silicon Dreams Studio goes defunct.
  • Take-Two Interactive buys TDK Mediactive, Inc.
  • February 19 - Microsoft announces a deal to buy Connectix Corporation.

1.2. Events Notable releases

| December 30 || Sonic Heroes || data-sort-value=" | N/A || PS2, Xbox, GCN || data-sort-value=" | N/A || data-sort-value=" | N/A


2. Trends

Computer games continue to lose ground to console video games with a US sales drop of 14% in 2003. NPD Total 2003 entertainment software sales in the United States grew slightly to US$7 billion; console sales increased to $5.8 billion and computer games accounted for the remaining $1.2 billion. ESA pdf

Video game consoles

The dominant video game consoles in 2003 were:

  • Nintendos GameCube
  • Microsofts Xbox
  • Sonys PlayStation 2

Handheld game systems

The dominant handheld systems in 2003 were:

  • Nintendos Game Boy Advance

Additionally, two new handheld consoles were introduced in 2003, the Game Boy Advance SP an enhanced GBA and Nokias N-Gage.

Video game sales

The top 10 selling console video games in 2003 in the United States ranked by units sold, according to NPD, were: