Introduction to Arcade Video Games

With its extraordinary presence in the gaming world for several decades, the arcade variation of video games have undoubtedly received thousands of noteworthy titles under its belt. From coin-operated games like Spacewar during the 1970's to Pac-Man reappearing on mobile devices during the 2010's, arcade games are without a doubt the birthplace of modern video gaming.

At Arcade Town, we explore the incredible world of arcade games from its inception during the 1970's to how it continues to influence the modern era to this day. We also clarify what an arcade game is, provide the different types of arcade games, look at arcade games online, the impact they have in the online gambling world, and more.

History of Arcade Video Games

In 1971, a group of Stanford University students set up a coin-operated version of Spacewar, called Galaxy Game, making it one of the earliest known coin-operated video games in the world. In 1972, Ted Dabney and Nolan Bushnell formed Atari and produced the first successful ping pong video game, called Pong, essentially creating the coin-operated video arcade gaming industry.

In 1978, Taito released the Space Invaders arcade video game and it became an instant hit among players. Due to its immense popularity, it started the golden age of arcade games and allowed video game arcades to be introduced in shopping malls, restaurants, movie theatres, grocery stores, and bars. Other popular arcade games during this era included Bosconian, Defender, Battlezone, Pac-Man, and Galaxian.

During the late 80's, Yu Suzuki designed the first Super Scaler system board for arcades, allowing pseudo-3D sprite-scaling with higher frame rates. The game was called Hang-On and ran on Sega's Space Harrier software. The video game cabinet resembled a motorbike and players had to move their bodies to play the game which started the Taikan trend.

During the early 90's, the arcade industry experienced a massive resurgence thanks to the release of Capcom's Street Fighter II in 1991. The competitive fighting game revived the industry to a new level of popularity that was not seen since the release of Pac-Man. Its success opened the doors for a wave of other arcade games, mostly in the competitive fighting genre, including The King of Fighters, Killer Instinct, Virtua Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Pit-Fighter.

The mid-90's produced fifth-generation home consoles, including the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn which offered true 3D graphics, better 2D graphics, and improved sound. Personal computers were also introduced in 1995 with 3D accelerator cards, causing the arcade industry to decline.

By the late 90's, arcade video games declined even further as home consoles and network gaming through computers appeared. Through this, arcade games even lost their status for new game releases. To remain viable, other elements were introduced in arcades during the 2000's to complement the games, including merchandiser games, redemption games, and food services such as fast food and snacks. They also introduced rail shooters and dance games that were largely unavailable to home users. These games included Dance Dance Revolution, DrumMania, House of the Dead, Time Crisis, and Virtua Cop.

The Modern Age of Arcade Gaming

The 2000's introduced a brand-new era of arcade gaming thanks to internet capabilities and computer processing technology. Although arcade centres declined drastically, arcade games managed to thrive online with online storefronts on gaming consoles. The PlayStation Network, the Wii Shop Channel, and the Xbox Live Marketplace, as well as online services on PC such as Twitch, Origin, and Steam, allow players to buy PC arcade games, socialise online, and play against each other.

The internet also allowed the golden age of arcade games to make a reappearance online thanks to flash and HTML5 technology. There are literally thousands of web-based online arcade games that still feature the same graphics, sound effects, and controls used in the early days of arcade games. The arcade genre has also been categorised into several subgenres, such as adventure flash games, racing flash games, and fighting flash games to mention a few.

Mobile Arcade Games

In 2007, smartphones hit the market, and with it app stores. This created another rapid evolution of arcade gaming and provided a new way for people to play games as well as make arcade gaming mainstream. The rapid enhancements in mobile gaming in the last decade have managed to overtake console-based gaming in recent years.

The massive shift in arcade gaming on mobile devices has broadened gaming demographics and ensured it's the most important topic when it comes to social media with new game releases and tips and strategies to advance in each game.

Casino Arcade Games

Arcade games not only changed the way we play games on PC, gaming consoles, or online but also changed the way we play games for real money. Although most people associate arcade games with coin-operated machines, there is a host of incredible casino arcade games that come in all sizes and shapes and feature both inventive and new arcade games as well as classic arcade games.

Casino players can now indulge in a variety of arcade slots that feature unique storylines and captivating themes to keep players interested while playing for real money. There's also a wide range of arcade card games and arcade board games, such as Darts that allow players to win a fortune if their aim is perfect. Casino arcade games are growing in popularity with each passing day as more and more online casinos are offering these unique arcade games to ensure casino enthusiasts never get bored.