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Videogames intro part 1

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Powerpoint for G322

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Videogames intro part 1

  1. 1. VIDEOGAMES<br />A brief history<br />How we got from…<br />to<br />Here<br />here<br />GTA 4: Ballad of Gay Tony (2009)<br />Tennis for two (1958)<br />
  2. 2. 1958William A Higinbothamexhibits his‘Tennis for Two’on an oscilloscope<br />1961Steve Russell at MIT at creates Spacewar!<br />
  3. 3. 1968Ralph Baer after experimenting with moving dots patents his idea of video games – one of the first game he creates is a tennis game. He then goes to produce the Odyssey - the world’s first commercially released games machine. <br />The Odyssey was produced by electronic company Maganavox - released in 1972<br />
  4. 4. 1971Nolan Bushnell creates a cabinet version of SpaceWar!<br />Spacewar! was a relative flop as the controls were too complicated<br />
  5. 5. Bushnell continues and with just $500 sets up his own company called Atari employing Al Alcorn as a designer Alcorn designs Pong.<br />The first cabinet – just a circuit board and a telly - was created in 1973 and became a hit. <br />
  6. 6. 1975 Atari released Home Pong. This was made possible by new development in technology that allowed all the logic needed for the game to be compressed onto one chip rather than a whole circuit board.<br />Videogames is a an industry that is driven, more than any other, by advances in technology. Be it with graphics, physics, compression or connectivity.<br />Home Pong struggled to get a distributer but when Sears came in it sold 150,000 units over the Christmas period.<br />
  7. 7. 1977 Atari release the VCS 2600 or just known as the ‘Atari’<br />Rather than having just one game built-in, this machine took cartridges – plastic cases containing chips – so consumers could change the game. <br />
  8. 8. 1977 also saw the release of Space Invaders made by Japanese company Taito– which sold over 350,000 cabinets<br />It was so popular it cause a shortage of the 100 yen coin in Japan.<br />
  9. 9. The Atari 2600 only became a success when Atari secured the license from Taito – the makers of Space Invaders – to allow them to make a console version of the game.Now the Atari 2600 became the only way to play Space Invaders at home. <br />This shows the importance of MEDIA OWNERSHIP in games. If a company owns the rights of a concept/property/idea they can make money from it. Other companies have to get permission or gain license to use that concept/property/idea.<br />Space Invaders became the Killer App (Killer Application) for the VCS – the one game that made people got out and buy the console. Every successful console needs at least one killer-app.Console manufacturers can either make the game themselves or get exclusive rights from a third party company.<br />
  10. 10. Because of the success of the Atari 2600 many other companies were brought out rival machines.<br />Magnavox’s Odyssey 2<br />Mattel’s Intellivsion<br />Coleco’sColecoVision<br />In 1983 30 new companies entered the market creating games and machines.<br />This is known as PROLIFERATION – a rapid increase in the number of a product.<br />✔A positive of proliferation is that there is more choice for the consumer.<br />✖A negative is that there is so much product available that consumer struggle to understand what they want and what is best. This is what happened in the US in the 80s and the consumers stop buying videogames. <br />
  11. 11. 1982 E.T. The Extra Terrestrial<br />Atari spent $20-25million to secure the rights of the games.<br />The games designer only had five weeks to create the game.<br />Atari made 4 million cartridges<br />Only 0.5 million cartridges were sold.<br />3.5 million were returned to Atari and buried in the desert<br />Atari lost around $125 million on one game<br />In 1984 the US games industry was declared dead as investors withdrew money from companies as consumers lost interest.<br />
  12. 12. DISTRIBUTION COSTS MONEY<br />Getting a product to the consumer via retail costs money.<br />It costs money to make the physical product – in this case cartridges, game chips house in plastic casing.<br />It costs money to physically transport the product to the retailers nationally and even globally.<br />Often you might even have to pay the retailers to give you floor space to make your product visible to the consumer.<br />AN EXAMPLE OF SYNERGY<br />The interaction of two or more agents to ensure a larger effect than if they acted independently.<br />The release of the E.T. game had to be in the same year as the release of the film to benefit from the huge interest. These days games are often part of mass marketing pushes for films and TV series.<br />
  13. 13. Meanwhile in the UK…<br />The age of the home computer – affordable technology in the household.<br />ZX Spectrum<br />Sir Clive Sinclair in his C5<br />Popular with parents as they thought they were ‘educational’ <br />They could be programmed <br />Games can on tapes rather than expensive cartridges<br />Commodore 64<br />
  14. 14. This created a hobby culture around games and many gamers began to create their own games – early ‘prosumers’.<br />The Oliver Twins - teenagers from UK suburbia started making games.<br />1984 Sold Road Runner to a magazine for £50.<br />By the end of 1984 they had made Cavey that a decent hit yet the got very little money – it was the Publisher and Distributers that took most of the that.<br />The game makers are often kept apart from the consumers in terms of the structure of the industry.<br />Developers – Publishers – Retailers – Consumers<br />
  15. 15. At the same time another set of brothers – Richard and David Darling were making their own games, publishing them and distributing them<br />They designed the game<br />Made the copies onto tape<br />Printed the cover art<br />Used mail order to distribute<br />They called their company Codemasters which is still going today.<br />This is an example of a VERTICALLY INTEGRATED company: a company that handles every stage of a product's manufacture from raw materials to distribution.<br />
  16. 16. 1983 Another huge hit of the 80’s was Manic Minor. Once again it was a bedroom project which went to make millions.<br />Matthew Smith reflecting on his success…<br />
  17. 17. Home computing and ‘bedroom developer’ culture was significant in many ways:<br />Sowed the seeds for the UK gaming developer industry which has punched above its weight for years.<br />It created the gamers as pro-sumers, not justconsuming but wanting to tinker, create, alter the experience.<br />It took games out of the TV room/lounge where the Atari was and into the bedroom.<br />Home gaming was about richer deep experiences rather than the hit-quick fun of the arcades.<br />Created the image that games had a hobby culture, it wasn’t mainstream and that gamers were nerdy, solitary,obsessives as gaming took up a lot of time. <br />
  18. 18. (STEREO)TYPICAL GAMER<br />

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