Did you know that the history of arcade games dates all the way back to 1909? The history of arcades is full of fun facts!
The first skee ball game was invented in 1909. Originally, skee ball alleys were 36 feet long! In 1928, the size was reduced down to 14 feet to allow for more players in a smaller area.
It wasn’t until 1931 that the first coin-operated machine was created, called Baffle Ball. Over the next few years, a slew of pinball machines were designed. These machine were considered gambling and were heavily regulated. Many states actually banned them outright! In 1947, pinball machines began using flippers, turning the machines into games of skill rather than chance.
Coin-Operated Video Games
The first coin-operated video game was Galaxy Game. Installed at Stanford University, this machine cost a whopping $20,000 in 1971. That’s roughly $115,000 today!
A year later in 1972, Pong was released and quickly became the first commercially successful video game operated by coins. Pong was soon surrounded by dozens of competitors as more than 15 different companies began producing video games between 1972 and 1984.
A few notable titles during this Golden Age of video games are Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), and of course Pac-Man (1980)! Pac-Man is considered the most successful video game of all time. Its 350,000 individual cabinets racked up over $2 billion. (That’s about $3.4 billion with inflation.)