The video game industry has been going through a constant evolution ever since its inception back in the early 70’s. From the first rudimentary games produced on radar displays for museums like Tennis for Two (1958), to Spacewar (1962) which graced the computer systems found on the occasional campus during that decade to the mass production of Computer Space (1971) as the first widely available coin-op arcade machine to the Magnavox Odyssey(1972), the first time an affordable video gaming device would be made available for homes.
Behind these efforts were pioneers of a completely new & unique form of entertainment. Game developers & engineers who blazed trails into an exciting & fun new frontier in leisure. Many of the names behind the games are best recognized through the companies that they worked for, these businesses creating a work culture that fostered ideas & innovations that would become true classics. The first titans of the industry would be companies like Atari & Midway/Williams; Atari leading the way with many industry firsts (the first game in color, the first maze game, the first racing game, the first 4 & 8 player games, the first video light-gun game, etc. etc.) that others could only hope to make a quick buck by copying. Midway/Williams for their part tapped into their industry experience in creating many electro-mechanical games before the advent of the video game.
As the “Golden Age” of gaming began to take hold in the late 70s, Japanese developers would go beyond copying Pong and come up with innovations of their own. You know the names: Sega, Nintendo, Namco (now Bandai Namco), Taito, Data East, Capcom, Konami and so on.. These developers carved a name for themselves by creating quality titles that would capture the imagination of gamers all over the world. Some of these companies still exist with the likes of Nintendo continuing to dominate the world of gaming while others are still riding on the reputation made for themselves from almost 40 years ago. For those who are still around, much of their focus has been on the home gaming entertainment but not all of them have forgotten their arcade roots. Companies like Sega & Bandai Namco have entire divisions dedicated to developing & releasing video arcade games while Nintendo has been willing to license their IPs out to different companies so that the Nintendo logo can be found at the arcade once again.