This Day in Video Game History
CompuServe, the first computer information service, was launched. It would later be among the first internet services to offer online games.
The article “Atari: The Problem Child That Warner Can’t Get Rid Of” is published in Business Week magazine. The article examines Atari’s recent shortcomings and speculates that the once proud company requires assistance from its parent corporation, Warner, to compete in the marketplace, largely due to unpaid financial obligations. The article also details the company’s struggles to remain afloat, including the reduction of manufacturing costs across the board, reduction of the price of games by up to forty percent, and the reduction the company’s workforce from over a thousand employees to fewer that two hundred.
Release 22 of the text-based Infocom interactive fiction game The Witness for personal computers is published.
Broderbund released the first-person graphic adventure game Myst, designed by pioneers Robyn and Rand Miller, for the Macintosh and Windows in North America. It would become one of the bestselling games of all time, attracting vast audiences from among the as-of-yet majority of computer owners who were not gamers with the unprecedented quality of its pre-rendered 3D graphic environments and its casual, free-roaming gameplay. The game became so popular that many would later credit it with not only single-handedly popularizing the graphic adventure genre, but also being thee killer ap for the CD-ROM format. Historically, the game set a sales record by swiftly selling six million copies, and it held that record until 2002, when it was displaced by The Sims. (ESRB: KA)
Sega announced that it had sold five hundred fourteen thousand Dreamcast video game consoles in just the first two weeks since its release on Thursday, September 9.
Microsoft released the single-player stealth-action game Metal Gear Solid for Windows in North America. It was a commercial success. Overnight, it became one of the most rented games in history, and ultimately it sold over six million copies. Metal Gear Solid is the third game in the series, following the 1987 NES game Metal Gear, which, as the first real hit of the genre, was credited with bringing it into the mainstream. The first game to employ stealth element was the 1984 game Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. This new element in the Metal Gear series introduces almost cinematic-quality cutscenes. (ESRB: M)
Konami released the single-player survival horror game Silent Hill 2 for the PlayStation 2 in North America. (ESRB: M)
Sony Computer Entertainment of America released the single-player puzzle game Ico for the PlayStation 2 in North America. The game casts the player in the role of Ico, a young boy who must escort the princess Yorda safely out of a castle. Though only 650,000 copies of the title were sold, it received promising reviews and earned a loyal cult following. (ESRB: T)
Electronic Arts released the science fiction massively multiplayer roleplaying game (MMORPG) Earth & Beyond for Windows. It’s subscription service will officially be shut-down on September 22, 2004. (ELSPA: 11+, ESRB: T)
Monte Cristo released the single-player strategy game Micro Commandos for Windows in North America. (ESRB: E)
Universal Interactive released the single-player third-person action game The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, based on the film adaptation of the novel of the same name, for personal computers, the GameBoy Advanced, PlayStation 2, and Xbox in North America. (ESRB: T)
Bandai released the fighting game Digimon Battle Spirit 2 for the Game Boy Advance in North America. (ESRB: E)
Global Star Software released Mall Tycoon 2 for Windows in North America. (ESRB: E)
Nintendo reduced the price of the GameCube video game console to US$99 and includes the Nintendo GameCube Preview Disc in the bundle.
Nintendo released the single-player life simulation game Animal Crossing for the GameCube in Europe. (PEGI: 3+)
THQ released the real-time strategy game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, based on the popular Games Workshop tabletop game, Warhammer 40,000, for Windows in Europe. (PEGI: 16+)
Activision Value released the single-player business simulation game Mall of America Tycoon for Windows in the U.S. It was nearly identical to the earlier game, Mall Tycoon. (ESRB: E)
The Fox Broadcasting Company broadcast an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Please Homer, Don’t Hammer ‘Em…" One scene of the episode is set in an antiquated video game arcade. The arcade include the real world 1981 game Polybius and a range of satirical fictitions, including, Click Clack, Monkey Kong, Remington Steele: The Game, Rocky III vs. Clara Peller, Space-Tac-Toe, Triangle Wars, and Unipede.
Electronic Arts released the skating game Skate for the PlayStation 3 in North America. (ESRB: T)
Microsoft staged a nation-spanning launch party for its first-person shooter Halo 3, featuring events in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and Seattle at which the first copies of the game were sold at the stroke of midnight. The events were attended by the game’s development team from Bungie and a number of celebrities.
THQ released the stand alone expansion pack Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts for the real-time strategy game Company of Heroes for Windows in North America. (ESRB: M)