This week in gaming history provides GameRevolution’s readers with a blast from the past, going back in time to outline all the biggest 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 the evolution of a well-known gaming publisher, the release of some classic games, and much more. This week, we will celebrate the birth of a gaming giant, see a big acquisition, celebrate the anniversary of an old console, and a lot more. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at this week in gaming history for the week of May 6-12.
This Week in Gaming History | May 6-12
May 6, 2003 | Eve Online released
Eve Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that released on May 6, 2003. Based in space, players explore, trade, mine, and more in efforts to acquire the necessary materials to survive. The game is known for its huge universe and diversity of player interactions.
Eve Online allows players to interact with others in many different ways and allows of tons of player freedom, which is one reason that some people consider it to be one of the greatest games of all time. It definitely helped define both the MMO and RPG genre and helped set the precedent for what makes for a good MMORPG.
May 7, 1946 | Sony is founded
Getting its start in the midst of World War 2, Sony originally started off as an electronics shop, building Japan’s first tape recorder, the Type G. The electronics shop was started on May 7, 1946 with just eight employees and wouldn’t officially change its name to Sony until 1958.
However, Sony wouldn’t get its start in the gaming industry until it released the PlayStation in 1994, which was designed to compete against the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64. It proved to be quite successful and became the first gaming console to ship 100 million units in just under 10 years after its initial launch. The PlayStation was succeeded by the PlayStation 2 (2000), PlayStation 3 (2006), PlayStation Vita (2011), and eventually the PlayStation 4 (2013). What started as a small electronics shop in 1946 has now become one of the most successful companies in gaming history.
May 9, 2006 | Activision acquires Red Octane
If the name Red Octane causes your foot to start tapping, it is because the developer is responsible for the Guitar Hero series. With the first Guitar Hero game releasing in 2005, it didn’t take long for Red Octane to make a name for themselves in the gaming industry.
Guitar Hero is considered by many to be a “cultural phenomenon” sparking public love for music and music education. The initial release of Guitar Hero also led to many sequels and a long series of games. So, it is no surprise that on May 9, 2006 Activision decided to purchase Red Octane for $99.9 million dollars.
May 11, 1995 | Sega Saturn released in North America
The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit gaming console that was first released in Japan in 1994 and then in North America on May 11, 1995. The Sega Saturn followed the Sega Genesis but failed to live up to the same standards as its older brother. The Saturn was rather successful in Japan, but a rushed North America release caused it to go pretty much unnoticed.
It was then swallowed up by the Nintendo 64 when it came out the next year. The release of the Saturn was the beginning of the end for Sega during the height of the console wars. Sega released the Saturn with around 38% market share, but by August 1997, Sega only had 12% market share in the video game industry. Sega would try releasing the Dreamcast in 1999, but it wouldn’t be enough for a company who once was the majority market share holder in the gaming industry.
May 11, 1995 | The first ever E3
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, is considered to be the biggest event in the gaming industry every year. It is a time for developers, publishers, retailers, and more recently, fans, to get together and talk games. The event is a time for all of the big names in the gaming industry to show off their upcoming titles and gaming platforms to the world, in hopes of building hype around their brand, and of course to celebrate games.
However, E3 hasn’t always existed. Gaming companies used to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but decided that video games weren’t getting the attention that they deserved and thus on May 11, 1995, the first ever E3 was born. The first ever E3 featured the three “big dogs” at the time: Nintendo, Sega, and Sony along with 40,000 attendees. Since 1995, E3 has grown to around 70,000 attendees every year, and the “big dogs” are now Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.
E3 2019 takes place June 11-13, and will not feature a Sony keynote for the first time in E3 history.