This Day in Video Game History
Square released the roleplaying game Final Fantasy II for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in Japan. The game would not only be extremely popular but also very long-lived, with various ports of the game being sold right up through the modern day. By the close of the first fiscal quarter of 2003, the game would have sold over 1.28 million copies.
In an article published in the The Puget Sound Business Journal, author Lorianne Denne reveals that Nintendo of America employed 1,400 people at Washington headquarters, that seventy percent of homes with children between ages 8 – 15 had Nintendo products, and that in the year prior, sixteen percent of household expenditures on toys had been paid for Nintendo products.
Across the U.S., retail chain Kay-Bee Toy Stores pulled the controversial Digital Pictures game The Night Trap from its shelves in response to the very public controversy that erupted following a December 9, 1993 Senate hearings on video game violence that critically examined the game, along with Mortal Kombat complaints. While the game was, in retrospect, quite mild, it featured a highly inflammatory full-motion cut-scene in which a girl in a nightgown was murdered. During the Senate hearings, the game was described as “ultra-violent,” “sick,” “shameful,” and “disgusting."
Sony Computer Entertainment of America announced that total revenue of its PlayStation system, including both hardware and software sales, had exceeded one billion dollars since the platform’s launch on December 3, 1994 through December 1, 1996.
Crave released Virtual Pool 64 for the Nintendo 64 in the U.S. (ESRB: E)
Acclaim released the Re-Volt racing game for Windows, the Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, and PlayStation in the U.S. (ESRB: E)
Interplay released the Earthworm Jim 3D platform game for the Nintendo 64 in Europe. The game stirred outrage among Earthworm Jim fans when the developer mistakenly labeled the game’s packaging with a description that included content (reoccurring villains and locations) that had been cut from the game late in the development cycle in order to get the game to market on time. Because the issue, the PlayStation version of the title was canceled.
Nintendo released Mario Party 2 for the Nintendo 64 in Japan.
THQ released the Road Rash 64 racing game for the Nintendo 64 in Europe.
THQ released the Evil Dead: Hail to the King survival horror, based on the Evil Dead trilogy, game for the PlayStation in the U.S. (ESRB: M)
Electronic Arts released the The Simpsons Road Rage, based on the animated television series The Simpsons, racing game for the GameCube in the U.S. The game would be widely deridded for its open plagiarism of the popular games Crazy Taxi and to London Taxi, however, while the game had few original elements, it did achieve commercial success, largely due to the popularity of the television series. (ESRB: T)
Genki released the Jade Cocoon 2 roleplaying game for the PlayStation 2 in North America. The game was notable for featuring characters designed by Katsuya Kondō, who had worked on the Studio Ghibli films Kiki’s Delivery Service and I Can Hear the Sea. (ESRB: T)
Square EA released the Final Fantasy X roleplaying game for the PlayStation 2 in the U.S. The game was the first in the long-running Final Fantasy series to feature fully three-dimensional environments rather than pre-rendered backdrops. It was also the first game in the series to feature voice actors. The game was both a critical and commercial success, selling over 1.4 million copies on pre-order alone in Japan and becoming the first PlayStation 2 game to reach both the two- and then four- million unit marks. (ESRB: T)
Eidos Interactive released Legacy of Kain: Defiance for Windows in the U.S. It was the fifth game in the Legacy of Kain series.
Running With Scissors released the first-person shooter (FPS) Postal 2: Share the Pain for Windows in in the U.S. (ESRB: M)
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) announced that it would apply for a judicial review of its own Video Appeals Committee’s (VAC) decision to overturn the board’s earlier ban on the controversial game Manhunt 2. The organization released a statement explaining that, "The VAC judgment, if allowed to stand, would have fundamental implications with regard to all the Board’s decisions, including those turning upon questions of unacceptable levels of violence."
SNK Playmore released NeoGeo Battle Coliseum for the PlayStation 2 in the U.S. (ESRB: T)
THQ released the Elements of Destruction strategy game for the Nintendo DS in the U.S. (ESRB: T)
THQ released the Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command turn-based game for the Nintendo DS in North America. (ESRB: T)