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This Day in Video Game History
Midway released Mortal Kombat to U.S. arcades. The is the first entry in the highly acclaimed, highly controversial tournament fighting series. The game's story follows a Shaolin fighting monk named Liu Kange who must defend the Earth against the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung. Originally, the developers had wanted to create a game starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, but the star was already in negotiations with another game company, so they took their inspiration for the film Enter the Dragon and added a fantasy element to the story. The game still gives a nod to Van Damme in the form of the character Johnny Cage, a martial artist turned movie star whose signature move is a punch to the groin modeled after a scene in the Van Damme film Bloodsport.
On the Next Generation Online website, an article reported that Nintendo had confirmed Wednesday, October 21 as the launch date of the Gameboy Color in Japan, followed by launch dates of Monday, November 23 in the United States, and mid-December in Europe. The same article reported that Nintendo will manufacture as many as one million units of the device each month beginning in November.
GT Interactive released the single-player Duke Nukem: Zero Hour third-person shooting game for the Nintendo 64 in England.
The Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun published an article reporting that Konami has future plans to produce portable game systems that receive text and images from the Tokyo FM Broadcasting Company for the childrens' market in the Spring of 2000.
Eidos Interactive released the cyberpunk-themed Project Eden first-person shooter for Windows in North America. The game places a heavy emphasis on puzzle components and introduces a number of unique gameplay elements, including an innovative respawn system and the ability to control four characters at once. (ESRB: E)
Cinemaware and Metro3D released the Defender of the Crown strategy game for the GameBoy Advance in North America. The game is a port of the 1986 Commadore 64 title. The game loosely resembles a medieval version of Risk. (ESRB: E)
Ubisoft released Batman: Vengeance, based on The New Batman Adventures television series, for Windows, the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The game was praised for so closely resembling the animated series it was based on and for its complex storyline. (ESRB: T)
SCi released the Conflict: Desert Storm II tactical shooter for Windows, the PlayStation 2, and Xbox in the U.S. (ESRB: T)
Nintendo released the Pikmin 2 real-time strategy game for the GameCube in Europe. (PEGI: 3+)
Activision released Tony Hawk's Underground 2 skating game for the PlayStation 2 in Europe. (PEGI: 16+)
The third annual Active Gamer Benchmark Study is released by Nielsen Entertainment. The study revealed that an estimated 64% of the projected 117 million online gamers in the United States are female and that, while teenagers dominate the market, approximately eight percent of gamers (about fifteen million) are age forty-five or older. The same study also revealed that gaming has become an increasing social pastime, with what the study categorizes as "active gamers" spending five hours or more a week online and teenagers spending spending seven hours a week online. The statistics were based on a study of 2,220 “active gamers” who played video games at least once a week and were over the age of thirteen.
2K Games released Game of the Year Edition of the roleplaying game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the PlayStation 3 in Europe. The game, which was originally released in March of 2006, had become one of the best-selling and best received games of the year, but had garnered some controversy in the press after its rating was adjusted in some regions. This new version rewarded fans with some new content, but more importantly, it represented a second start in which the game could be released under its proper rating, with all of its original (minor) gameplay issues corrected.
The BBFC rejected Rockstar Games' application to publish a modified version of the stealth game Manhunter in the United Kingdom with a rating of "18". The company appealed the decision and won the right to sell the new version on December 10th.
Nintendo released the Donkey Kong Barrel Blast racing game for the Wii in North America. (ESRB: E)
THQ released the Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights driving game for the PlayStation Portable in North America. (ESRB: T)