This Day in Video Game History
Imagic laid off forty of its one hundred seventy employees, citing the recent slowdown in the video game market.
Infocom released the text-based interactive fiction game Infidel for IBM-compatible computers.
Release 63 of the Infocom text-based interactive fiction game Spellbreaker, the third game in the “Enchanter Trilogy," was published for IBM-compatible computers.
3DO, which had been one of the industry’s leading game console developers, announced plans to discontinue hardware development by the year’s end in order to focus on video game development.
NovaLogic launched the Battle Space online game system that allowed gamers to compete against each other with a variety of titles.
Cablevision Systems Corporation and Sony Corporation announced a collaborative partnership to develop a digital system with which consumers could watch movies, play video games, and electronically communication with one appliance. The system was launched in New York City later in the year.
Infogrames released The Terminator: Dawn of Fate, as a prequel to the film Terminator, for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in the U.S. It told the story of the events that lead to Kyle Reese being sent through time to protect Sarah Connor. (ESRB: T)
Konami released the single-player game Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance for the Game Boy Advance in North America. (ESRB: T)
Nintendo releases the single-player "social simulator" Animal Crossing for the GameCube in North America. The game was a port of the Nintendo 64 version, which was never released outside of Japan due to its release at the end of the console’s lifespan. Despite having been developed for a previous console, the was a smash hit, especially in Japan, where it was released in the previous December. (ESRB: E)
Nintendo released the e-Reader card scanner for the Game Boy Advance portable video game system in the U.S. The device scans specially coded dot codes on paper cards to unlock items, levels, and mini-games for such titles as Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong Jr., Excitebike, Pinball, and Tennis. The cards cost five dollars each. Price: $39.99
Square EA released Kingdom Hearts for the PlayStation 2 in North America. The game is a cross-over featuring Disney’s most recognizable animated characters and the cast of Square’s Final Fantasy. (ESRB: E)
THQ released Monsters Inc. Scream Arena for the Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, GameCube, and PlayStation 2 in the U.S. (ESRB: E)
Acclaim Entertainment released the futuristic racing game XGRA: Extreme-G Racing Association for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. (ESRB: T)
Atlus released the hack and slash roleplaying game Shining Soul for the Game Boy Advance in North America. (ESRB: T)
Capcom released the single-player survival horror game Dino Crisis 3 for the Xbox in North America. It’s the last game in Dino Crisis trilogy, but it deviates in many ways from its predecessors, most notably in that the game’s opponents aren’t dinosaurs. The deviations, rather than refreshing the series, drew a great deal of criticism and left the installment the worst selling of the three. (ESRB: M)
Sierra Entertainment released the real-time strategy game Homeworld 2 for personal computers. (ESRB: T)
THQ released the single-player game The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Jet Fusion, based on the animated television series, for the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, and PlayStation 2. (ESRB: E)
Vivendi Universal Games released the Grand Theft Auto paody The Simpsons Hit & Run, based on the popular animated series, for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows, and the Xbox in North America. The game’s dialogue and story were actually written by the television series’ writers, and its characters are voiced by the series’ actors. (ESRB: T)
Nevrax released the massively multiplayer online role-playing game The Saga of Ryzom for Windows in Europe. Its name will shortened to “Ryzom” in August 2006 for marketing purposes. While it the game went largely unnoticed at the time of its release, it will receive a large amount of critical acclaim, including an award for Best Story from MMORPG.com. (ESRB: T)
Bethesda Softworks releases the single-player survival horror game Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth for the PlayStation 2 in Europe.
Konami released the first-person shooter Coded Arms for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Australia. (OFLC: M)
Midway released the ninth game in the Mortal Kombat series, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America. It received high praise from critics, especially in light of the failures of previous Mortal Kombat spin-offs. It was praised for its uncomplicated gameplay and its especially gruesome finishing moves. It went on to sell over a million units. Following its success, Midway president David F. Zucker called the game’s release the "first step toward delivering something that Mortal Kombat fans have been calling for: a new game set in the Mortal Kombat universe every year," though Midway would not deliver on the promise. (ESRB: M)
THQ released the single-player platform game Scooby-Doo! Unmasked, based on the popular animated seires, in North America. (ESRB: E)