Video Game Facts
Video Game Facts

48 High-Scoring Video Game Facts

By Nathan James, Associate Writer
Published August 3, 2019
  • Contrary to popular belief, the first video game was not Pong. It was preceded by Tennis for Two in 1958 and Spacewar! in 1962.[10]
  • The video game industry is worth more than the film and music industries combined.[14]
  • Engineer Ralph Baer is often held to be the "father of video games." His "Brown Box" video game system, designed in 1967, paved the way for all future consoles.[18]
  • The video game industry consistently brings in more money than Hollywood. In 2018, the global gaming market was valued at $134.9 billion, while the global box office only brought in 41.1 billion.[2]
  • Rockstar Games has created some of the most lucrative games of all time. Their 2013 title Grand Theft Auto V earned a staggering $1 billion within the first three days of its release, eventually earning a total of $6 billion.[7]
  • The character Mario first appeared in the game Donkey Kong as "Jumpman." His name was changed to Mario in Donkey Kong Junior.[10]
  • Nintendo history facts
    They've always been in the gaming business (Arcimboldo)
  • Japanese video game giant Nintendo was founded in 1889 as the "Marufuku Company." They originally made playing cards.[10]
  • The word "Nintendo" roughly translates to "leave luck to heaven."[10]
  • Nintendo video game developer Shigeru Miyamoto is responsible for many of gaming's most beloved franchises. His creations include Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Starfox, F-Zero, and Pikmin.[10]
  • Video games can be more than a hobby. A top-tier professional video gamer can pull in over $4 million annually in tournament winnings.[9]
  • Professional video gaming, or "eSports," has a longer history than you might imagine. While it's really only taken off in the past couple of years, video game competitions date back to a Spacewar! contest held at Stanford University in 1972.[3]
  • The most popular and lucrative competitive video game is DOTA 2, a multi-player online battle arena (MOBA) game. The total prize pool for professional play in 2018 was $41.26 million.[8]
  • In 2009, a Japanese man "married" Nene Anegasaki, a character in the Nintendo DS game Love Plus. Thousands of viewers tuned in to the internet-broadcasted wedding.[11]
  • The video game company Electronic Arts has been the subject of some controversy, due to the fact that a central portion of its revenue streams come from in-game loot boxes, which some governments have identified as a type of gambling.[5]
  • Tetris Facts
    The simplicity and elegance of Tetris gave the game universal, ongoing, appeal
  • For decades, the best-selling video game of all time was the Russian game Tetris. Originally designed in 1984 for PCs, Tetris has been released for a variety of gaming platforms, selling over 170 million copies in total. The smash hit Minecraft passed its record in 2019, with 176 million copies sold.[5]
  • A 2018 study found that online gamers play an average of six hours a week. Gamers in the UK played the most, and South Korean gamers averaged the least.[19]
  • Older video games tend to be much more difficult than modern titles. One probable reason for this was that many older games were played in arcades, so greater difficulty meant the customer kept shelling out quarters.[10]
  • The early 1980s were golden days for the video game company Atari. Their coin-operated arcade hits included Asteroids, Space Invaders, Centipede, and Gauntlet.[10]
  • The American obsession with video arcades reached its peak in 1981. Time magazine reported that in that year alone, Americans had spent $20 billion in quarters on arcade games. That was twice as much income as every casino in Nevada combined.[10]
  • Antonio Monteiro of Texas has the world record for the largest video game collection. His cache of 20,139 games is so large that it took 8 days for the Guinness judges to count before they could award him the record.[6]
  • The popular football video game John Madden Football has released 30 different versions of their game in their 30 years of being a franchise.[5]
  • Super Mario Bros was the first "side-scrolling video game," a term coined by Arnie Katz, editor of Electronic Games.[10]
  • Super Mario Facts
    Super Mario Bros. made the side-scrolling platform a staple of video gaming

  • The largest arcade machine ever built is over 14 feet high and 6 feet wide and can play a variety of arcade video games.[6]
  • Nintendo entered the video game scene in the early 1980s with the smash hit Donkey Kong.[10]
  • The youngest video gamer to sign a contract as a professional player is Victor de Leon III, a.k.a. "Lil Poison," who was recruited by Major League Gaming at age 7.[6]
  • Violence in video games has a long history of controversy. In 1993, Nintendo decided to play it safe and release a toned-down version of the new game Mortal Kombat, while SEGA released the uncensored version. Sega outsold Nintendo four to one, as gamers clamored for blood.[10]
  • Video Games Atari
    Simpler times
  • Following the arcade boom of the early 1980s, companies like Mattel, Atari, and Magnavox all competed in the home console market. Atari cornered the market early, but after a series of shoddy games, the company was all but bankrupt, suffering losses of $536 million.[10]
  • After the downfall of Atari, video games were resuscitated from an early death in 1985 by Nintendo's release of the Nintendo Entertainment System and its killer app Super Mario Bros.[10]
  • The youngest video gamer to achieve a perfect score on the expert setting of Dance Dance Revolution is Ryota Wada of Japan, who was 9 at the time of his achievement. It took Ryota four years of DDR practice to achieve this record.[6]
  • Lisa Courtney of the United Kingdom owns the largest collection of Pokemon memorabilia. In order to amass her collection, Courtney has traveled several times to Japan, each time sending between 8 to 12 boxes of Pokemon merchandise back home. Some of her collection is currently on display in a museum of popular culture in Hertford.[6]
  • While arcades in the United States are largely a thing of the past, many arcades have converted to a "nickelcade" format, with the cabinets retooled to accept nickels instead of quarters.[17]
  • Pac Man Facts
    Just add ghosts...
  • Pac-Man was invented by game designer Toru Iwatani, who got the idea when he picked up a slice of pizza and saw the shape of his future character in the remaining pieces.[10]
  • The Japanese game series Monster Hunter is famous for its incredible depth and infinitely repeatable play. It's not uncommon for players to sink over 1,000 hours into one of the games.[13]
  • Role-playing games, or RPGs, represent one of gaming's most enduring and popular genres. The genre got its start with text-based computer games loosely based on Dungeons and Dragons or the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien.[4]
  • Rocket League, a game in which players drive battle cars in an attempt to push a soccer ball into a goal, awarded the winner of their 2019 professional competition $1 million dollars.[5]
  • The groundbreaking video game series Dragon Quest brought role-playing games from computers to consoles. With over twenty titles, Dragon Quest remains one of the most popular and long-running video game series in the world. It is especially beloved in its native Japan.[16]
  • A sealed test copy of Super Mario Bros, one of the original biggest hits of video games, was recently sold for $100,000 to a private bidder.[5]
  • Video game arcades are still very popular in Japan. Major game developers generally own their own arcades, and arcades tend to be found in malls and near train stations.[1]
  • Video Game Arcade
    Arcades are woven into the fabric of Japanese cities

  • In gaming culture, PC gamers often claim superiority over console gamers, naming themselves the "PC Master Race" as opposed to their console-playing "peasant" kin. Their claimed superiority lies in the versatility and power of personal computers over consoles, which are simply more basic computers.[20]
  • The hugely popular game Minecraft was created by a single video game designer, Markus Persson, who sold it to Microsoft for $2.5 billion dollars. To date, the game has sold over 154 million copies.[5]
  • The mobile game Candy Crush Saga is so popular that, even six years after its release in 2012, it made $930 million dollars in 11 months in 2018.[5]
  • According to one study, Pokemon Go, a hugely popular game that requires its players to play outside in the real world using their cellphones to locate Pokemon, has possibly been the cause of 250 deaths and 150,000 traffic accidents.[5]
  • Blizzard Video Games
    Blizzard also made the monumentally popular online game World of Warcraft (Gordon Tarpley)
  • California-based video game giant Blizzard Entertainment is the creator of four of the top ten most lucrative esport games: StarCraft II, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch.[8]
  • The video game series Fallout, played in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, has such a large fan base that the fourth installment made $750 million dollars within 24 hours of its release.[5]
  • The 2017 game Fortnite is a free-to-play game that earns profits solely through in-game purchases. On any given day, Fortnite brings in around $2 million dollars from its players, who are spending their money on "cosmetic" items, such as costumes and dance moves.[5]
  • The 2011 video game Skylanders introduced a unique element to video games by requiring players to purchase a physical action figure that the player then had to place in a "portal" in order to be able to play that character in the video game itself.[5]
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is considered by many gamers and critics to be the best video game ever made. Twenty years after its release, it still tops dozens of lists and is universally recognized as a gaming benchmark.[12]
  • While many view video games as a simple pastime, some people have argued that video games represent a new art form, one that is constantly evolving before our eyes.[15]
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