Space Invaders turns 30

I wouldn’t normally write about stuff like this, but I grew up with Space Invaders and I think it changed the video gaming world as we know it today. Well, it actually was the very beginning.

Space Invaders? was designed by Tomohiro Nishikado, and released in June 1978. It was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and was later licensed for production in the United States by the Midway division of Bally. Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting games and the aim is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. In designing the game, Nishikado drew inspiration from popular media: Breakout (remember that old brick game?), The War of the Worlds (interesting), and Star Wars (who would of believed it). To complete it, he had to design custom hardware and development tools.

Though VERY simple by today’s standards, with basic two-dimensional graphics, it was one of the forerunners of modern video gaming and helped the video game industry become a global industry – it wasn’t just a game anymore. It is so popular in Japan that the game caused a temporary shortage of 100 yen coins in Japan, and by 2007 had earned Taito US$500 million in revenue.

The game has been inspirational for other video games, rereleased on numerous platforms, and led to several sequels. Space invaders part III was my favourite.

The 1980 Atari 2600 version quadrupled the system’s sales and became the first “killer app” for video game consoles. Amazing that, especially when you look at the graphics, that something so simple was (and still is) so popular.

Ahhhh the memories…..

Space Invaders

Europe’s biggest games convention has marked the event with a homage to the alien “shoot-em-up” as well as 500 exhibitors showing how far the industry has come since then.

Space Invaders has been immortalised by Guinness World Records as the number one arcade game of all time.

Game developer Taito is commemorating the game’s anniversary with a worldwide Space Invaders tournament, which will conclude on August 26th.

The Space Invaders shrine can be found here, where you can play it online also.

Or, play it here on the this site.

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  1. Pingback: Recent Links Tagged With "spaceinvaders" - JabberTags

    • Alex Love
    • September 7, 2010

    Dear Sir / Madam.

    My name is Alex Love and I go to Tawa College in New Zealand. I am presently creating a website on “What Makes a Good Video Game” and was wondering whether or not I could use your image “space-invaders” in my website. I will use it FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. If you would rather I do not use your image please contact me at:

    Yours Sincerly
    Alex Love

    • indi
    • September 8, 2010

    Sure, Alex I’m not sure where I got it from originally. Thanks for asking.

  2. I love space invaders my highest score is 59,400

  3. W00T W00T

  4. Pingback: Record-breaking game set for the silver screen « YS Tech- Technology News

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