This Day in Video Game History
Atari dumped somewhere between ten and twenty truckloads of unsold 1982 game cartridge and hardware inventory into a Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill, most of which was six million cartridges of the legendary bomb ET: The Extraterrestrial. The looting that ensued ensured the ET game’s place in history. Though the dump was selection because it forbid trespassing, an entire truck of the games was stolen and, according to industry urban legend, taken to Mexico for piratical duplication. The dump site was repeatedly raided by local teens and area stores suddenly carried enormous stocks of Atari biggest flops. The games would linger in circulation for years to come, surfacing at conventions, flea markets, and garage sales across the nation. Many speculate now that more ET games made their way into Atari enthusiasts’ home from that landfill than from store shelves. Desperate to put a stop to the looting, Atari hired D9 Caterpillars to crush as many of the cartridges as possible, then laid down a layer of concrete over the remains. Many view the development of ET: The Extraterrestrial and its disposal as the biggest debacle in gaming history.
3DO launched the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG), Meridian 59 for Windows. It was among the very first 3D graphical MMORPGs, pre-dating Ultima Online, which is often cited as the first popular MMORPG, by a year. 3DO will discontinued the game August 31, 2000, though it would be re-released in 2002 by Near Death Studios. (ESRB: T)
Electronic Arts released the racing game Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit for Windows in the US. (ESRB: E)
Enix Corporation released the roleplaying game (RPG) Dragon Warrior I & II for the Game Boy Color in North America. (ESRB: E)
Sony Computer Entertainment America held a conference call to address it key media contacts simultaneously to announce a decrease in the estimated number of PlayStation 2 consoles that would be initially released October 26 due to a component shortage. The new estimate is half of the one million units the company originally promised.
Agetec released the third-person shooter Armored Core 2: Another Age for the PlayStation 2 in Europe.
Capcom released the single-player platform game Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts for the Game Boy Advance in Europe.
THQ released the wrestling game WWE RAW for the Xbox in the UK.
Nintendo released the music game Donkey Konga for the GameCube in North America. The game requires a small set of bongo drums used to play the game. (ESRB: E)
Capcom released the compilation of arcade games Capcom Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2 and XBox. The compilation includes: 1942, 1943: The Battle of Midway, 1943 Kai, Bionic Commando, Commando, Exed Exes, Final Fight, Forgotten Worlds, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Gun.Smoke, Legendary Wings, Mercs, Pirate Ship Higemaru, Section Z, SonSon, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II: Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Trojan, and Vulgus. (ESRB: T)
Mindware Studios released the single-player stealth game Cold War for computers. The game was similar to those of the Splinter Cell series. It’s most notable feature was the ability to use a wide range of objects to "invent" or construct new weapons. (ESRB: T, USK: 16)
Ubisoft released the first-person shooter Far Cry Instincts for the XBox and XBox 360 in North America. (ESRB: M)
Ubisoft released the single-player roleplaying game (RPG) Lunar: Dragon Song for the Nintendo DS in the U.S. It was the first RPG for the Nintendo DS, and it was noted for setting a high standard for later games of the genre released on the system. Particularly, the ability to use the microphone as a control and the novelty of dual-screen combat were widely praised by players. (ESRB: E10+)
Ubisoft released the tactical shooter Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Lockdown for the GameCube. It’s the fourth game in the popular Rainbow Six series, and it features a number of significant improvements. It’s far more action-oriented than its predecessors, featuring several gameplay departures that bring it closer to being a traditional first-person shooter from previous installments’ emphasis on tactical shooting. It’s also the first installment to feature next-generation graphic effects, including an advanced physics effects, normal mapping, and realistic lighting. (ESRB: M)
Eidos Interactive releases the single-player sandbox game Just Cause for Windows, the Playstation 2, Xbox, and Xbox 360 in North America. (ESRB: M)
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback introduces the Truth in Video Game Rating Act (S.3935), which would require the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to have access to the final version of game which it was to rate and rather than simplified video demonstrations. This proposed bill won’t be voted upon during the session in which it was introduced.
Microsoft announced the details of the release of its upcoming Xbox 360 HD-DVD player, which would be released in mid-November in mainland Europe for two hundred euros, in North America for two hundred dollars, and in the United Kingdom for one hundred thirty pounds sterling. The company also announced a partnership with Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to form Wingnut Interactive, a game development firm.
On The Colbert Report, comedian Stephen Colbert injected an ad for the fictional "World of Colbertcraft" at the end of the episode with the warning that it contained a "secret adult-only" minigame that could be unlocked with a special code, an allusion to the Hot Coffee minigame in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Atari releases the roleplaying game (RPG) Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer for Windows in Europe.
Eidos Interactive released the survival horror game Escape from Bug Island for the Wii in Europe of the US. (ESRB: M)
Sony Computer Entertainment released a demo version of God of War: Chains of Olympus, with the subtitle Special edition: Battle of Attica. The demo included a number of opponents, including the Basilisk that serves as the first boss of the actual game.