This Week in Gaming History provides GameRevolution’s readers with a blast from the past, going back in time to outline all the biggest releases and news stories from this week in games. Every week, we will take a look at some things that happened this week in video game history over the past three decades.
Last week we saw anniversaries for the release of current games, like Portal 2 and God of War, along with a couple of unique titles like Legoland. This week in gaming history, we are going to see some well-known companies founded, the release of a few iconic games, and a whole lot more. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at this week in gaming history for the week of April 22-28.
This Week in Gaming History | April 22-28
April 23, 1998 | The Pokemon Company founded
The Pokemon Company is exactly what it sounds like: it manages all things Pokemon from games to apparel. Originally started by Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures, it was initially named The Pokemon Center Company and managed all of the Pokemon Center stores in Japan due to the ton of merchandising proposals after the release of Pokemon Gold and Silver in 1999. At the time, Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president and CEO of the Pokemon Company, was responsible for approving all merchandising proposals.
However, as the brand continued to grow, The Pokemon Center Company changed its name to The Pokemon Company and slowly began managing all of the different Pokemon licenses, such as marketing, trading cards, television shows, video games, and more. While Nintendo handles all of the publishing for Pokemon games in North America, The Pokemon Company has published all of the Pokemon titles in Japan since 2001. Without The Pokemon Company, there is no way that Pokemon games would be what they are today.
April 24, 2012 | The Walking Dead game series begins
Developed by the now-defunct Telltale Games, The Walking Dead game series is an episodic adventure that is in the same universe as the popular TV show and tells the story of the main protagonist, Clementine. The series is highly applauded for its storytelling and features one of the most emotional decisions in gaming history, surrounding Clementine and her surrogate father Lee. The release of The Walking Dead has been called a revival of the adventure game genre and launched Telltale Games to fame. Unfortunately, due to mismanagement, the studio suddenly closed its doors on September 21, 2018, leaving a lot of its employees just as shocked as the rest of the world.
It is also worth noting that Telltale Games released Tales from the Borderlands on April 26, 2016. This is another one of its most popular games and features side stories from the Borderlands series. It was also critically acclaimed for its storytelling, much like The Walking Dead games.
April 26, 1986 | Game Freak founded
As we saw earlier, Game Freak was one of the three investors in The Pokemon Company. However, it wasn’t always part of the Pokemon franchise and originally started out by publishing the Game Freak magazine. However, on April 26, 1986, Game Freak shifted gears and started a new company, also called Game Freak, that developed video games. Game Freak is responsible for developing the majority of the Pokemon games, including upcoming titles Pokemon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch, which will release in late 2019. The Pokemon series has had a huge impact on the gaming industry, and without Game Freak, Pokemon might not be what it is today.
April 27, 1997 | Star Fox 64 release
Star Fox 64 is a 3D side-scrolling game that was released on the Nintendo 64 on April 27, 1997. It was the only game in the series to be released on the Nintendo 64 and is considered to be a remake of the original Star Fox, which released in 1993 on the SNES. Star Fox 64 was the first game released on the Nintendo 64 to include support for the Rumble Pak, which is a removable pack that goes on the back of a controller and causes it to vibrate during select situations. In Star Fox 64, players control a ship, piloted by Fox McCloud, who is a defender of the Lylat system. Star Fox 64 was critically acclaimed for its precise controls and voice acting.
April 27, 2000 | Majora’s Mask release
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is the sixth installment to The Legend of Zelda series and was released on April 27, 2000 for the Nintendo 64. The game is set in Termina, an alternate reality of Hyrule, and focuses on Link’s journey to find Majora’s Mask, which has been stolen by the main antagonist, Skull Kid. The game features a unique three-day timer, in which Link must travel back to day one, by playing the Song of Time on the Ocarina of Time, before the timer expires. If he fails to do so, all of the player’s progress will be lost from that three day period.
This novel feature is just one of the reasons that that Majora’s Mask received critical acclaim, alongside its complex story and graphics. While divisive, Majora’s Mask is considered by some to be one of the greatest games of all time with its April 27, 2000 release.