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 gaming history over the past three decades.
Last week we saw the release of games that brought studios to fame, like The Walking Dead Series and Tales from the Borderlands, along with the anniversaries of some classic games. This week in gaming history, we are going to see the evolution of a well-known gaming publisher, the release of some great 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 29 – May 5.
This Week in Gaming History | April 29- May 5
April 29, 2005 | Webkinz
Everyone remembers these furry stuffed animals, right? Well, if not, Webkinz are stuffed animals that come with a code which allow you to take care of your new pet online via the Webkinz website. The company launched on April 29, 2005 and by 2006 had already amassed over 1 million users, reportedly bringing in $100 million. Webkinz offers a wide array of animals to choose from, starting off with simple things like dogs and cats and then eventually expanding into unicorns and other mythical creatures.
The online counterpart of Webkinz, called Webkinz World, is where players can take care of their pets, play games, and socialize. By purchasing more pets, players could earn more online currency to buy things for their pets in the game. Webkinz is still around today and has even become more kid-friendly by adding things like a Family Store with various rewards and prizes. If you’ve got some old Webkinz stored away somewhere, it might be time to dust them off and hop back into the wonderful world of Webkinz. Although, sadly, your pets might be dead.
May 2, 2005 | Bandai Namco founded
Bandai Namco Entertainment is responsible for some great games that we know and love today, like Jump Force and Soul Calibur 6, just to name a few. However, Bandai Namco Entertainment wasn’t always Bandai Namco, it used to be two separate companies: Namco Limited and Bandai Company.
Namco Limited is one of the older companies in gaming history and is considered to be a frontrunner for the industry. They are responsible for series like Pac Man, Dig Dug, and Soul Calibur. The Bandai Company, however, does not have the roots in the gaming industry and was known more for its toys. While the company does have a long lineage of making and producing games, it isn’t responsible for creating the same caliber of games that Namco Limited did. On May 2, 2005 Bandai Company acquired Namco Limited for around $1.7 billion and the companies merged together, broadening the reach of both parties.
May 3, 2002 | GameCube releases in Europe
The GameCube initially launched in Japan back in September 2001, shipping around 500,000 units. The console then launched in North America in November 2001 and shipped over 700,000 units. Finally, it made its way to Europe on May 3, 2002, shipping an undisclosed amount of consoles. The GameCube was the successor of the Nintendo 64 and was released in the midst of the console wars, and was designed to compete with the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox.
It was the first Nintendo console to use optical based discs and totaled around 21.74 million consoles sold. It was succeeded by the Wii and discontinued in 2007. The GameCube was a very unique console for Nintendo, being one of the few consoles that were based around optical based media as opposed to cartridges. It is hard to imagine how it would be remembered, had it never released to the massive amounts of gamers in Europe.
May 4, 2009 | Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Wii released
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was re-released for the Wii on May 4, 2009. Based off of the original game for the GameCube, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat featured an expanded story, redesigned levels, and gameplay modifications. Unlike the original game, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat did not release with bongos, but instead used the Wii remote and nunchuck.
The game didn’t receive quite as much love as the original but was still praised for its gameplay and graphics, although lots of critics missed the feel of playing with the bongo add ons. The original Donkey Kong Jungle Beat was pretty iconic and remembered for its unique use of bongos, so it isn’t too much of a surprise that the Wii version wasn’t loved quite as much.
May 5, 2017 | Prey released
Prey is a first-person survival shooter game developed by Arkane Studios. It released on May 5, 2017 on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game follows the main protagonist, Morgan Yu, who is exploring a space station, Talos I. The space station is researching aliens known as Typhons and Yu is forced to kill them in order to survive. Prey was mostly positively received and is considered by critics to be one of the best games of 2017. However, some did take issue with poor combat mechanics and a lacking story.