This Day in Video Game History
In San Francisco, California, Atari hosted a luncheon to introduce its key distributors to its newest game, Tempest.
At the Tilt Arcade in Las Vegas, Nevada, sixteen year-old Shawn Dybdall allegedly scored a record 12,822,460 points on Atari’s Dig Dug after playing for eight hours and sixteen minutes, according to the Twin Galaxies record-keeping site. However on July 6, 2000, controversy would ignite when Mark Longridge points out the impossibility of such a score, casting the question of who holds the Dig Dug record into doubt. He wrote, “I can say as an expert player, and as an owner of the machine, that 12 million points was 100% impossible. This was because round 256 (round 0 in 8-bit logic) was a “kill screen,” that was a screen which was impossible to clear. It’s impossible to clear because one of the pookas starts the round on top of your game, and the collision detection of the program doesn’t allow you to pump up anything right on top of you… My own personal best was 2.7 million set at Funspot in Weir’s Beach, New Hampshire, early this year. I have a 2.5 million on video tape.”
Just one day after Atari dumped millions of game cartridges at a remote New Mexico landfill, the New York Times reported that Atari had lost a stagger three hundred ten million dollars over the course of three months. Many mark the article as the end of Atari’s reign as a giant of the video game industry. In the years to come, Atari would fade from the public eye.
Nintendo released the port of the popular puzzle game Tetris for the Game Boy in Europe. It was the first title to be compatible with the Game Boy’s Game Link Cable, which allowed two Game Boys to link for multiplayer gameplay.
Midway Amusement Games released version 4.0 of the popular Mortal Kombat fighting game to U.S. arcades.
Atari and Sega announced a ninety million dollar settlement in their patent infringement lawsuit. Sega would pay fifty million dollars minus its own attorney fees in royalties to Atari in exchange for licenses to over seventy patents and another forty million for 4.7 million shares of Atari.
Eidos Interactive released the single-player real-time tactics game Commandos 2: Men of Courage for Windows in Europe. (USK: 16+)
Capcom released the single-player platform game Disney’s Aladdin, based on the animated film of the same name for the Game Boy Advance in the U.S.
Crave Entertainment released the third-person shooter Trigger Man for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The Nintendo Power magazine will dub it the “Worst Game of The Year,” largely due to its exceeding poor game AI, it’s lack of a plot, and its simplicity. The game only spanned eight levels and offered players only eight weapon choices. (ESRB: T)
Sierra Entertainment released the real-time strategy game Evil Genius for personal computers in the U.S. The game is a spoof on the spy thriller genre. (ESRB: T)
Ubisoft released the fighting game Rocky Legends, loosely base of the Rock film franchise, for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America. (ESRB: T)
Ubisoft released the racing game The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Prior to its release, the game raised a controversy when fans were left believing the the rebel flag had been removed from the titular vehicle, General Lee, to be be politically correct. However, the missing flag was only a graphical fluke of the game’s promotional screenshots that was rapidly corrected to appease fans of the television series. (ESRB: E, PEGI: 12+)
Konami released the tenth home version of Dance Dance Revolution arcade game, Dance Dance Revolution EXTREME 2, for the PlayStation 2 in North America. (ESRB: E10+)
Ubisoft released the aerial combat simulator Heroes of the Pacific for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America. (ESRB: T)
Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced its entry into the gaming computer market with coming acquisition of luxuary computer manufacturer VoodooPC.
Codemasters released the racing game Race Driver: Create and Race for the Nintendo DS in Europe. (OFLC: G)
Sega released the racing game Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars for the PlayStation Portable in Europe. (OFLC: PG)
THQ released the racing game Stuntman: Ignition for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in Europe. (PEGI: 16+)
THQ released the single-player action game Conan, based on Robert E. Howard’s fantasy franchise, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Europe. Though the game was well-received, it was roundly criticized for having borrowed many plot elements and game devices from the earlier God of War. (BBFC: 18, OFLC: MA15+)
Ubisoft released the real-time strategy game The Settlers: Rise of an Empire for personal computer in Europe. It was the sixth game in the popular Settlers franchise.