Arcade gaming as a whole is muchOlder Than They Think. A common mistake made by many gamers is to believe "arcade games" started with Space Invaders. A less common mistake made by veteran gamers is to believe "arcade games" started with Pinball and/or Baffle Ball. In reality, Arcade Games started around the second half of the 19th Century, when the first amusement parlors and midways were built on boardwalks, tempting tourists to spend their coins watching kinetoscopes and listening to phonographs. Later arcades broadened their appeal with more affordable lowbrow attractions, such as shooting galleries, strength testers, fortune tellers, peep shows, and vending machines. That's right - as sophisticated as video games have become nowadays, they had their origins in the nineteenth-century carnival (or "funfair" for you British tropers).
Think Pong is the first video game ever? Well, our friends at Wikipediathink otherwise. Depending on how you define "video game", the answer is different; the first on a digital computer was Spacewar! in 1961, but a missile simulator using analog circuitry and a cathode ray tube existed in 1947. (Yes, even the practice of using electronic games as military simulators is not only Older Than They Think, it was how they got started in the first place!)
Speaking of which, the Atari VCS (a/k/a Atari2600) was not the first home game system, that goes to the Magnavox Odyssey. Nor was it the first console to use ROM cartridges — that honor belongs to the Fairchild Channel F. (The "cartridges" used in the original Magnavox Odyssey were just a block of jumpers that connected various pins together inside the Odyssey to select a particular game; all the games the Odyssey could ever play were already contained in the main unit. The Odyssey2, which did use ROM-containing game carts, didn't come out until a couple of years after the VCS.)
The first ever coin-op video game wasn't Pong either, but Computer Space (an adaptation of the early computer game Spacewar!) which was released a year earlier (by the same company, before they changed their name to Atari). However, Pong was the first successful coin-op. Atari later revamped Computer Space and re-released it as Asteroids.
The EDSAC - and for that matter, the Ferranti NIMROD - both fall under the classification of digital computers, and both precede the PDP-1 in being the hosts of computer games. The first digital computer game was made a full ten years before Spacewar!.
Ghen War wasn't the first to use a variable mix, however. LucasArts developed the iMuse system in 1991 and featured it in Monkey Island 2; as far as just FPS's go, Dark Forces also used the system and came out a few months before Ghen War.
If Ghen War counts, then surely Geograph Seal that came out in 1994 counts as well...
It has become a trend for people to give Nintendo consoles credit for innovating and coming up with new ideas when in reality, most of those "innovations" and technologies had already been used before by other game systems:
The Nintendo 64's gamepad wasn't the first game controller to use an analog stick; that was the Atari5200's.
It wasn't a game console, but the original IBM PC had an analog joystick port in 1981.
The Virtual Boy wasn't the first portable console with 3D effects; the Tomytronic 3D was a extremely similar console that came out in 1983 and actually featured color graphics (in contrast the VB's monochromatic graphics).
The Vectrex used a light pen that allowed for touch-sensitive gaming decades before the Nintendo DS came out. The Game.Com also featured a touch screen, though in a rather crude fashion.
The Wii wasn't the first game system to incorporate motion controls, as there had been game accessories released in the 1990s and the 2000s that featured this technology. Before the '90s, there were the Pantomation and the Smartland SL 6401.
The Wii U's controller with the built-in screen and it's ability to play the console's games isn't exactly new. The Sega Nomad could play Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games and output to a TV at the same time.
The technology for the 3DS's glasses-free 3D screen was around since at least 2004. A notebook, the Sharp Actius RD3D used a glasses-free parallax barrier 3D screen, using the same exact technology the 3DS uses to achieve 3D. There was also a TV around the time too by the same company.
And guess who makes the screens in the 3DS? That's right-it's Sharp. They've had a close working relationship with Nintendo since the 1980s (as proven by the C1 NES TV, Twin Famicom, and Famicom Titler), and their portables, dating back to at least the Game Boy Advance, use Sharp LCD screens.
As far as wireless controllers, they've existed since the Atari 2600.
The Rumble Pack for the Nintendo 64 wasn't the first console gaming peripheral to enable force feedback. An unknown strap-on device called The Aura did the same thing two years earlier.
The Sega Genesis and SNES had online multiplayer, through a commercially failed device known as the XBAND. It was mostly Executive Meddling that killed it since nobody wanted to host the service. For portables, Nintendo had a cellphone-based service that remained in Japan, predating anything practical by two generations.
Before that, there was the XBAND's predecessor for the NES, the TelePlay Modem, made by the same company. Executive Meddling prevented it from ever getting released.
Even before that, the Genesis had online multiplayer in Japan as early as 1990 via the the Sega Meganet service.
Downloadable games are older than most people think. Atari had a service called GameLine where you could download full gaames to a special cartridge for the Atari 2600. After that, Sega had the Sega Channel for the Genesis, which was preceded in Japan by Sega Meganet (the latter being the first service to feature download-only games). Nintendo followed with the BS Satellaview for the SNES in Japan.
Though the Satellaview service may not be the first game download service, it was the first to offer DLC addons for retail games.
PlayCable came out in 1981, 14 years before Satellaview's launch, and allowed local cable television providers to send games to Intellivision units as subscribers downloaded them through an adapter, but none of the games' data survived for that there was no storage device for the console. It flopped because of the high costs and the adapter's limitations.
Unlimited Detail, it sounds great on paper. All you have to do is create objects out of "atoms" which are essentially points (from a point cloud). Except... this is not a new thing. The technology can be done either with voxels or perhaps more true to the point cloud, point sprites. Voxels have been around for decades. Point sprites have been around for at least 10 years, as a gaming benchmark tool had used it in one of their tests.
In fact, point sprites are used in fluid simulations, where the point sprites interact with each other like little balls. This can be done in real-time for games.
The deal with Unlimited detail is not the use of point cloud data but the algorithm that makes it so only one of them is calculated per pixel to allow for as much detail as the ram and resolution of the screen would allow. They also had crude skeletal animation in a very early version (8:50 in the video) however it is unknown how efficiently it would work in the current iteration.
Remember Humongous Entertainment's first batch of games? You know, Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise and Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon? Almost everyone played those off a CD-ROM under their Windows ports. Yes, we just said port. Almost no-one is familiar with their original DOS versions, let alone their first release on floppy disks.
When YouTube videos of the Dolphin emulator showing that it could render Wii games in 720p, it received a lot of praise with some even proclaiming it a fine example of the emulator surpassing what the console can do. Except many emulators of 3D consoles (namely of the Nintendo64 and PlayStation) can already do this very same thing. One could ague that some 2D console emulators can do this, but since the source material is fixed it doesn't look as pretty without filters.
You know thumbsticks on game pads that curve inward? It was what gave the Xbox360's controller an edge over the PlayStation3's SIXAXIS and Dual Shock 3... but it actually appeared on the Dual Analog Controller for the first PlayStationnote It was released in the US, but without rumble for whatever reason. Since Sony quickly released Dual Shock afterwards (making the Dual Analog an Obvious Beta as Dual Shock is 'standardized'), it got replaced right away
There's a very cool article about this subject here.
The gaming press likes to credit Half-Life with being the first FPS with a strong story that drives the gameplay, which is somewhat misleading. Both Marathon and System Shock placed a strong emphasis on storytelling in addition to combat years earlier, but they used a text-message-finding system to advance and expand their plots (there's an entry about it below). Meanwhile, Strife, a 1996 release built on a modified DOOM engine, has a story that unfolds in-game and even branches off in different directions depending on the player's actions and choices.
In a strange version (both examples, the older and the newer are made by the same by the company) The Jjaro and maybe the W'rkncacnter first appeared in Pathways Into Darkness, not Marathon. Though, it's likely they're in the same 'verse.
One of the most (in)famous examples: Metroid vs Halo. Metroid was released in 1986 and had a revolutionary sequel, Super Metroid (1994), long before Halo (2001) was released. The confusion stems from the first-person Metroid Prime (2002), which was in development before Halo even became first-person. The fact that Metroid Prime 2 and Halo 2 were released the same year (2004) and, likewise, Metroid Prime 3 and Halo 3 (2007), certainly didn't help things.
Too many people seem to think that Halo first came up with ring shaped worlds, even though Ringworld used it at least 30 years before.
What Halo was actually first at was combining many of these elements into one game - each game above only had, at most, one or two of the listed mechanics.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Enemies are camping in a fortress made of solid blocks. You fling projectiles at said fortress, Wreaking Havok and trying to kill all the enemies inside with as few shots as possible. Sounds like Angry Birds, doesn't it? A Flash game called Crush the Castle did it earlier, and there, they got the idea from another game called Castle Clout.
Apparently, casual games, the scourge of gaming, are a new thing with the Nintendo Wii. Even PC gamers are even saying this. Obviously they're ignoring the fact that not only have games that fit under the definition of "casual" like Snood and Bejeweled have been around for even longer than the Wii.
For that matter, games that are now considered "casual" due to their simplicity have been around before many gamers were born. Most arcade games are by most hardcore gamers' definition "casual", as are several early games.
Some people have speculated that Calling Your Attacks comes from the Street Fighter series, the first Fighting Game to give names to the character's special attacks so players talking about the game could refer to them. However, anime has been doing this since at least the early '70s (at least from Mazinger Z, if not earlier), and it has antecedents in Chinese wuxia novels throughout the twentieth century; Street Fighter came out in 1987.
Calling your attacks has been a standard of Kendo (Men! Do! and Te!) since the training method's creation.
Warcraft III was not the first strategy game to use RPG elements, as many of its fans believe. The concept first appeared in New World Computing's King's Bounty and in 1990 and featured more prominently in the same company's Heroes of Might and Magic series, starting in 1995. That's also the source for the concept of W3's heroes.
The first Fire Emblem game, another strategy game with RPG elements, was also released in 1990.
Sherry Birkin has a Healing Factor in Resident Evil 6 due to having her body adapt to the G-virus embryo that is within her. However, Sherry isn't the first protagonist in the series to have the ability to heal quickly. Another young girl has similar abilities to Sherry in Resident Evil Gaiden, a Game Boy Color game that predates Resident Evil 6 by 10 years.
Many people think Doom was the first First-Person Shooter. Doom wasn't even id Software's first FPS (that would be Hovertank 3D).
Since Doom 3, any game that lets you find various logs to help figure out the story is inevitably compared to it — although BioShock has somehow dodged this. Doom 3 is by far the most popular game to include this, but it's far from the first. In First Person Shooters alone, the device goes as far back as 1988's The Colony, and if you include games outside that genre, the list becomes truly unwieldly, although Myst is likely the most prominent.
BioShock's use of logs can most likely be attributed to its status as a Spiritual Successor to the System Shock games. System Shock was released in 1994 — not the first to use the trope, but one of the earlier examples. The developers thought that the current technology was incapable of simulating interactions with enough fidelity not to murder any immersion. Similar reasoning probably applied to most of the early examples.
Before that, Vampire Killer for the MSX was broken up into multiple small Metroidvania-style levels.
Which was released (on October 30, 1986 in Japan) only a few short months after Metroid itself (released on August 6, 1986 in Japan), meaning that Castlevaniaalmost did "Metroid-style gameplay" even before Metroid did it.
Many people who started playing World of Warcraft without playing the games before it have no idea that the franchise existed before the MMORPG. This has prompted situations like people who hear Warcraft III mentioned saying, "There's a World of WarcraftIII? I didn't even know about II!" A large section of the player base wasn't even aware of the MMORPG genre before it came out, leading them to believe it pioneered far more than it did; overall, the game is a refinement of what had been done before. On top of that, the game features piles of pop culture references, many of which the fan base mistakenly believes Blizzard invented.
This has gone far enough that, nowadays, WoW fans will often accuse other MMOs of ripping off their favourite game for using gameplay mechanics and concepts that WoW ripped off from someone else. On the other hand, those who loathe World of Warcraft and all it stands for will make the same complaint of any other MMO with no regard to such things as "release dates."
It has gotten so bad you'll see them accuse anything and everything of ripping off WoW, including Dungeons & Dragons, a game which was ripped off primarily by WoW, and WoW itself is a descendant of Roguelike games, which are descended from Rogue, which was an early attempt at making a computer game out of D&D.
Or accuse Warhammer of being a WoW rip-off, which is funny because the reverse is almost certainly true. Still Tycho of Penny Arcade says it best.
In fact, Blizzard once "announced" a new game as an April Fools joke: ''Warcraft: Heroes of Azeroth'', a strategy game and prequel to World of Warcraft. The game in question was Warcraft 3.
The World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Panderia is accused of knocking off Kung Fu Panda by having a race of Pandas with a new Monk class. However, the Pandaren have been around since before Warcraft III was released. It started as one of Blizzard's April Fool's jokes announcing a fifth playable race.
In the MMORPG Runescape, when the Tower of Life quest was released, involving a homunculus, many Fullmetal Alchemist fans assumed it was a ripoff. The Runescape homunculus bears little resemblance to the ones from FMA, and both are named for an old term for "artificial human."
Funny that Runescape should wind up next to World of Warcraft on the list, since there's a dedicated number of people convinced that Runescape's a watered down version of it. It was released several months before World of Warcraft was even announced. Wrap your heads around that for a minute.
Valkyrie Sky is the first MMO Shoot 'em Up? Now true. That title belongs to the now defunct Bugs Rider published by Game & Game nearly 2 year prior to Valkyrie Sky Beta. Though you may argue that Valkyrie Sky is the first MMO Vertical Shooter, since Bugs Rider is a horizontal one.
But even "the first MMO Vertical Shooter" may not even true if you count Lazeska: Sky Fantasy. A game that never had a chance to see the light, but it was first introduced back in 2006 while Valkyrie Sky started Beta in late 2009.
Several people have talked about how innovative the adjustable camera of Super Mario 64 on the N64 (1996) was. How using polygons instead of pixels in the arcade Hard Drivin' (1988) created a new look for games that had never been seen before. And how Metal Gear for the MSX2 (1987) was the first game that had you sneaking around. However, there was a game which had all these elements and came out before all of them, but for some reason nobody gives the 1983 arcade game I, Robot credit for them.
And of course, now whenever Wolfenstein is rebooted, people always compare it to "the original" Wolf 3 D, never wondering why it had "3D" in the name as a differentiating factor.
Pokémon did not debut in 1998 or 1999, as many American fans assumed, but in 1995 in Japan and in 1990 if Capsule Monsters counts.
For all its popularity, many people assume that Pokémon is the first Mon collection/raising game; those people forget that Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei was released in the '80s. It also wasn't the first Mons anime; Megami Tensei had an OVA in 1987.
However, as Pokemon was conceived in the late '80s/early '90s as a creature-trading game to make use of the Game Boy's link cable, and was inspired by Satoshi Tajiri's interest in bug collecting decades earlier, it's unlikely that it's a true ripoff of Megami Tensei.
Critics and fans are quick to label any sandbox that features driving and shooting a Grand Theft Auto clone. But the original GTA games were top-down, and GTA 3 closely resembled, and has a continuing rivalry with, a game called Driver released two years prior. And then there's Hunter, which was released on the Amiga by Activision in 1991.
Similarly, some people believe that the series started with Grand Theft Auto III, conveniently forgetting the number three in the title.
Infact, GTA III isn't even the first 3D sandbox game by Rockstar. The honor goes to Body Harvest.
Driving freely around cities, picking up missions at will, shooting and blowing up everything. Quarantine did all that first. You didn't get out of your car and steal others, but the rest is there.
Arguably the ability to move around at your own pace with no need to do missions in a certain order goes back to RPGs such as the first Final Fantasy (though there may be more obscure earlier examples). The ability to not die (or at least, instantly respawn without dealing with a game over screen) was made famous by The Secret of Monkey Island, whose sequel Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge has a proto-sandbox mechanic in that it allows you to go back and forth between three different islands and complete a large proportion of the game in any order you like, without dying or having to fight anyone. There are some opportunities to affect the final ending in both games, which predates games like Soul Blade where you can do a similar thing.
Every third-person shooter with a cover system is doomed to be compared to Gears of War. Gears' developers openly admitting on several occasions that they got the mechanic from an obscure PlayStation 2 game called Kill Switch, and that was preceded by Win Back, a Nintendo 64 game with a similar cover system.
All of this ignores that many such games featured "leaning" mechanics, allowing players to effectively utilize cover by only exposing a minimal portion of their avatar when returning fire. One early example was the first System Shock.
Any first person shooter is doomed to be compared to Doom, Golden Eye 1997, Counter-Strike, Halo or Call of Duty, depending on when it was made. In fact, before the term "first person shooter" was coined, every FPS games were called a "Doom clone"
A) Rock Band developer, Harmonix, were the original developers of Guitar Hero, and
B) The concept predates Guitar Hero by at least 8 years: Konami's Guitar Freaks was first released in 1998.
In fact it was the publisher, RedOctane, that first approached Harmonix with the idea, having previously been involved in developing the instrument controllers for Guitar Freaks. Even the concept of a 5-button guitar game predates Guitar Hero; RedOctane's third-party Guitar Freaks controllers have five buttons (despite GF being only a 3-button game), and these controllers were around as early as maybe 2001 or 2002.
In the X-Play review for the North American release of beatmania, after giving it a poor score, co-host Morgan Webb accused it of being one of many Guitar Hero rip-offs (despite the original beatmania coming out in 1997).
Actually, "sandbox simulation" games also predate SimCity by about 20 years. Hamurabi (1969) might be a good classic example. The Sims, on the other hand, is somewhat similar to Little Computer People (1985).
Hamurabi was a management sim, not a sandbox sim (a sandbox sim is essentially a gamewhere you place all the buildings yourself).
Remember the trailers for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) placing great emphasis on the moving wings and spoilers? The series has had that since NFS2 (1997).
Think mature-themed and mature games were introduced with the PlayStation?? Actually, they already had soft-porn games in the early '80s, done up by none other than Sierra. There might have been even more made earlier too...
The first adult computer game in Japan was 1982's Night Life, published by Koei. The next year brought the first obscene visual novels, including Enix's Joshi Ryou Panic and Falcom's Oooku Maruhi Monogatari.
There were also pornographic games on the Atari 2600 (if you can call them that), courtesy of developer Mystique. Beat 'em and Eat 'Em, Philly Flasher, Cathouse Blues, Jiggolo, Custer's Revenge, Westard Ho...and that's not even scratching the surface.
Bubble Bath Babes, anyone? What about Monster Party, which features gore? Or Bionic Commando, which has Hitler's head explode in gory detail?
In fact, the opening and the whole slew of in-game moves in DK'94 clearly showed off Mario's excellent acrobatic skills (other than his high jumps) for the first time.
Also, Charles Martinet's first game as Mario was not Super Mario 64. It was Mario's FUNdamentals, released a year earlier.
Likewise, the North American name "Toadstool" was changed to "Peach" not in Super Mario 64, but in Yoshi's Safari.
Super Mario 3D World's gameplay mechanic of picking up Piranha Plants and using them to eat their foes was first used in Mario Party 3 for a minigame and by Waluigi in the battle mode.
The beat 'em up Renegade (1986) is often called a "Double Dragon ripoff" (which came out in 1987) by less informed people, even though it was made by the same developer (Technos Japan Corp.) and predated Double Dragon by a year.
Customizing Counter-Strike servers to add the Unreal Tournament "Headshot!" "Multi kill!" "Killing spree!" etc. sound effects has become such a wide-spread practice that many CS players, unaware of the now-less-popular game, conclude that they are "CS sounds." (While Counter-Strike, in its original form, is in fact slightly older than Unreal Tournament, the use of the sound bytes in the former is the result of server mods, is not part of the game itself, and were obviously added after the release of UT.)
This carries over to another Valve franchise, too; in this case, Team Fortress 2. This time around, the writer of the mod was smart enough to realize that the Unreal Tournament sounds, in fact, did not originate from Counter-Strike, and attributed it to the game they came from... Quake.
The Create-A-Class system in Modern Warfare. While it was one of the most popular games to have such a system, it wasn't the first (Battlefield 2 and First Encounter Assault Recon, for example, both had similar class-based multiplayer components and predated CoD4 by two years).
And FEAR itself wasn't the first to effectively combine shooting and melee fighting (possibly among others, Oni came four years earlier), but again it was one of the most popular ones to do so.
Within the series, one of the things Call of Duty: Black Ops became notable for was actually giving the player character(s) a face and voice. Finest Hour on PlayStation 2 did so first, though the player characters never spoke when actually under player control. Call of Duty 2 also at least gave all of its player characters faces, and Modern Warfare 2 had one of its protagonists speaking during a cutscene.
The developers of Call of Duty: Ghosts had been hyping certain new features as "innovative", ignoring that other engines did them long before they did. For instance, "dual-render" scopes (only the scope's view is zoomed in, while your peripheral vision stays the same - Unreal Engine 2 and Source can do it) and "advanced fish AI" that moves out of the way when you swim towards them (Super Mario 64, and for that matter every other 3D game ever with fish that don't actively try to kill you, has this).
Kingdom Hearts has this theme about memories, huh? Well a similar theme was done in Persona 2 a couple years ago... and that's not even counting the amounts of short stories about similar themes that have probably existed long before Nyarlathotep tried to manipulate Jun's memories....
Speed modifiers in Dance Dance Revolution, often thought to have debuted in DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution 6th Mix, appear as far back as the Dance Dance Revolution Solo sub-series and the two licensed Dancing Stage games. The "boost" modifier (which causes notes to increase speed as they scroll up) is also a feature taken from Solo.
Similarly, the difficulty rating of 9 (on the pre-DDR X scale) is slightly Older Than They Think. Thought to have appeared first in DDR 3rd Mix, it first appeared in DDR 2nd Mix Club Version, a version of DDR with songs from the beatmania series.
The first DDR game to run at 60 frames per second is Dancing Stage feat. True Kiss Destination, which was released sometime between 2nd and 3rd Mixes. The first well-known DDR game to do so is 5th Mix.
Jake Hunter Detective Story was criticized for being a cheap cash-in on Capcom's Ace Attorney series by many professional critics, even though it's actually a localization of the latest installment of an older detective game series known as Detective Saburo Jinguji, which began on the Famicom Disk System all the way back in 1987. Part of the blame can be placed on Aksys themselves for cutting half of the game's content and their arguably unnecessary decision to Americanize the game's storyline (whereas Ace Attorney is filled with numerous pun-based names that wouldn't had translated well if they were kept in Japanese, the Jinguji series on the other hand has a decidedly more serious tone, as well as settings that are obviously based on real Japanese locations such as Shinjuku). They later re-released the game with a newer (but still Americanized) translation and all of the missing content restored, but the damage has already been done.
There are Touhou fans who dismiss other Bullet Hell shooters as ripoffs. Never mind that danmaku shooters have been around at least since Recca (1992); depending on how one defines the genre, possibly as early as Gradius (1985).
Tactics Ogre was at one point referred to as a rip-off of Final Fantasy Tactics, a game with very similar key features. This was because Tactics Ogre was released in North America on PS1 after FFT. The game is actually a PS1 remake of an SNES game, pre-dating FFT two years. Also, the similarities are due to some of the same designers working on both, so really, neither one is a "rip off" per se.
While the Capcom vs. Whatever series widely popularized the concept of 2-on-2 (and later, 3-on-3) Team Battles, The King of Fighterslaid the groundwork for such an idea back in its 1994 inception. Admittedly, there it was more of a battle royale, "last man standing" survival affair, and it wasn't until KOF 2003 that the series included tag-ins (called "shifts"). While many, fans and detractors alike, are quick to note that SNKblatantly copiedCapcom (which is mostly true, although both companies cribbed off of each other on numerous occasions), fighting game enthusiasts tend to overlook this detail.
... although even tag battles were modeled long ago, thanks to Kizuna Tag Encounter, which was also the brainchild of SNK.
The Vs. series, particularly the Marvel vs. Capcom titles, is also known for the implementation of Aerial Raves, air combos that involve launching the opponent into the air and juggling them while midair. However, 1995's Suiko Enbu (also known as Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty or Dark Legend) predates them with a similar juggling system that involves spinning knockdowns, groundbounces, and wallbounces (and this was over adecade before they became commonplace in the Vs. series). Ironically, Suiko Enbu was developed by Data East, the company infamous for being sued by Capcom over the blatant parallelism between Fighter's History and Street Fighter II.
Dimension-shifting in side scrolling shooters: Salamander (1986) came into mind of many gamers, but it's far from the first side scrolling shooter that has dimension-shifting. The idea goes back as far as the arcade game Vanguard (1981).
Young'uns these days credit Blizzard with creating the first MMORPG; others just as misguided will correct them and refer to Everquest. Ultima Online was the first game specifically referred to as an MMORPG; prior to the naming, they were called graphical Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs), the earliest examples of which date back to the 80s! The first fully graphical multiplayer RPG was AOL's Neverwinter Nights (notthat one) back in 1991, compare to Ultima Online's 1997 release. Oh, it's great fun to tell stories of games prior to World of Warcraft, where players could kill other, unconsenting players and take their possessions as loot, then be hunted as criminals and banned from towns as murderers! Imagine losing stats permanently when dying, rushing back to your corpse (after someone resurrected you) before someone looted it, compared to zipping right back and popping back up, fully equipped and at half health and mana.
And as time passes, it turns From Bad to Worse. Many games coming out after World of Warcraft were derided as "World of Warcraft-clones" for directly copying the systems and sometimes look of World of Warcraft. There were some real problems with other companies trying to capitalize on the success but failing because they didn't actually understand what made the game great. However, it's now changed that the response to calling something a "World of Warcraft-clone" is "Well, it's an MMO! What else do you expect?" Which ignores the significant variety in games and playstyles that existed before or alongside World of Warcraft that were also MMORPGs. Raids, quests, progressively more ridiculous equipment, linear storylines, etc. are now seen as the definition of MMOs, even though some of those were in completely unrecognizable forms or nonexistent altogether before World of Warcraft.World of Warcraft may have refined a lot of things that needed refining, and ultimately made the genre accessible to a wide audience, but it also left out features that were extremely popular in games before it came out that in their own time were thought of as the definition of MMOs. The MMO genre is less of a genre than a wide variety of ideas that simply require many players connected together online.
Actually the first networked-based multiplayer RPGs (with graphics or otherwise) where those on the PLATO Network during the mid-seventies, long before either the MUDs or Neverwinter Nights. If these games can be considered MMORPGs it would mean that the fourth RPG video game ever created, moria, was an MMORPG. Furthermore this would make MMORPGs the 2nd oldest sub-genere of video RPGs ever (only being beaten by the single-player dungeon crawls.) Truly Older Than They Think.
Tell me if you recognize this setting: Colonists on an alien world must fight among each other for limited resources while constantly under seige by parasitic mind worms controlled by an emerging consciousness produced by the neural interconnections of the native flora. That's right, it's Frank Herbert's Pandora book series which inspired Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri.
There's the belief that Quake is the first fully 3D (As in, drawing all aspects of 3D) FPS and Super Mario 64 being the first full 3D platformer when in fact a PlayStation launch title Jumping Flash! came before them. And it was a hybrid of sorts.
The Boss Rush phenomenon dates back to 1985, with Space Harrier. The last level was nothing but previous bosses.
The developers of The Force Unleashed spent a lot of time in pre-release interviews for the first game talking about how they'd incorporated a materials-system into their engine like it had never been done before and would revolutionize how objects in the environment react to physical force; Half-Life 2 did it four years earlier and to a much greater extent.
In a meta example, Jurassic Park: Trespasser featured realistic environment physicssix years before Half-Life 2. That said, Trespasser's physics engine was an inspiration for the one used in Half-Life 2.
Although the material system used in The Force Unleashed was a refinement of existing material systems in that when materials broke apart, they were procedurally generated and more or less realistically broke. Whereas in Half-Life 2, breaking a wooden board anywhere for example, would result in the same fracture. Like wacking the ends somehow breaks the middle.
And speaking of Darkstalkers, it may come as a shock to some fans that Morrigan's Darkness Illusion was the first move to use the button press sequence (LP, LP, F, LK, HP) that is now commonly associated with Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu. Allegedly, a handful of Japanese players back in the day even nicknamed the SGS "Goukiness Illusion" because of this.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was not the first FPS to introduce a bullet penetration system. The first one (or earliest ones) to do so (albeit, improperly) was GoldenEye 007, where anything that wasn't level geometry sans windows and doors, could be shot through with the right weapon. This ranged from a low penetration of shooting through boxes and enemies, all the way up to shooting through steel doors and "bulletproof glass".
Another jab at Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, it's certainly not the first game of its genre (being a modern warfare FPS). Nor the first popular one (arguably). Battlefield 2 was a "modern warfare" game released two years earlier, which was arguably based on the Battlefield 1942 mod, Desert Combat, released somewhere in 2003. And then we could claim the obsession with "terrorists versus counter terrorist" games spanning years earlier were in the same boat.
Predating any of these "Modern Warfare" themed shooters were NovaLogic's Delta Force and Red Storm's Rainbow Six, both released in late 1998.
Many people mistakenly think that Ghost's skull balaclava started a military fashion trend, when in fact soldiers have been wearing skull balaclavas years before the game was even developed.
The first video game to have an Easter Egg is routinely credited to Atari 2600's Adventure (1979), but in fact Easter Eggs have been found in two earlier Atari arcade games (Owen Rubin's initials in Orbit and Skydiver, both from 1978), and no fewer than three games for the obscure Fairchild Channel F console (Brad Reid-Seith hid his name in 1978's Video Whisball and Alien Invasion, while Michael Glass's name can be found in the 1976 Demo Cart).
The X-Universe series is often though of as a singleplayer clone of EVE Online by the uninformed, but the first X game came out four years before EVE. EVE's story also borrows heavily from Escape Velocity: Nova.
Snaking in Mario Kart People think it originated in Mario Kart DS, it didn't. In fact, the concept originated in two places, one being Mario Kart Double Dash (see here and one being in F-Zero GX (as seen here. Unfortunately, because neither of those games had online play, very few people noticed and it didn't really affect anyone not playing at pro level. Then the DS game came out, and everyone's preconceptions of themselves as experts was smashed to pieces...
Valve highlighted the "virtual camera" in their Source Engine tech demo, where a "screen" can show actual real-time 3D footage from some "camera" (as opposed to a movie on texture or something). Cool, but Metal Gear Solid 2 did this in 2001 where the radar map can showcase, in real-time 3D, what the enemy is doing when in the Alert or Evasion phases.
Time Killers introduced the concept of four punch and kick buttons being those of respective left and right limbs, which have been popularized by Tekken.
Many people think that the only game older than The Sims to feature "playable pregnancy" is the Harvest Moon series. They're thinking wrong. The "playable pregnancy" feature actually goes back to the 1992 Super Famicom video game Dragon Quest V. After you chose one potential wife out of the two female suitors (or three in the Nintendo DSrerelease), after time passed in-game, you would notice that her belly was swelling, meaning that your wife would soon have twins, one of whom would grow up to be the true "Legendary Hero".
Chun-Li from Street Fighter II is frequently credited as the first playable female fighting game character. She was beaten to that honor by six years by Yuki in Taito's 1985 fighter Onna Sansirou - Typhoon Gal. There are also at least four other fighting games before Street Fighter II with playable female characters: Gaea from Galactic Warriors (1985), Lan-Fang from Yie Ar Kung Fu II (1985), Linda Lash in the two-player versus mode of the NES port of Double Dragon (1988) and Tyris Flare in the duel mode of Golden Axe (1989).
Time Commando did melee weapons having drastically different damage, reach and speed 13 years before Demons Souls got praise for this sort of "depth".
When you think of real-time combat in the JRPG genre, the Tales Series will get the most credits for introducing it into the genre, particularly the original Tales of Phantasia (SNES, 1995). In reality, Japanese studios have started using real-time combat in their RPGs as early as 1984, such as Dragon Slayer (NEC PC-98, Nihon Falcom), Hydlide (NEC PC-98, Sunsoft) and Dragon Buster (Arcade, Namco).
Many people complain about D&D incorporating elements from MMORPGs into 4th edition. So many people don't realize that MMORPGs and MUDs have in fact incorporated elements from D&D into THEIR genre first, making it an odd case of a copier is being copied by the source material in order to seem more like it use to be, but game systems tend to copy each other a lot so this trope goes back a ways.
Many people who get a first glance at Iori Yagami from The King of Fighters automatically assume he's an Emo Kid due to his clothes and hairstyle. In fact, Iori debuted in 1995, years before the Internet popularized emo music and fashion. Iori's theme music isn't even rock: it's funk and jazz, primarily.
Needless to say, Emos existed (both as a musical genre and as a visual style) since the 1980s.
While one of the most recognizable quotes from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night may be "What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets!", the (mis)quote is actually an old psychological aphorism, enough so to be refuted by French author and statesmen Andre Malraux in 1955.
Another popular quote from the same game is "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." This quote is generally attributed to either Leo Tolstoy or Edmund Burke, and is probably older than either.
Lampshaded in Max Payne 2. A character Vinnie Gognitti wasn't aware that Maxwell's Demon, villain of the in-game comics Captain Baseballbatboy, had been invented quite before the comics. The ignorance had dire consequences for him.
To be fair, there was no way his answer was going to be satisfactory, considering the situation.
The Maxwell's Demon referred to by Vlad is actually a thought experiment intended to demonstrate something about the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
The iconic theme music from Tetris, "Korobeiniki", was first published in 1861.
Granted, it's not exactly uncommmon knowledge that the standard soundtrack consists of Russian folk music. It's not the first time a video game has used public domain tunes either.
The "lock delay" mechanic, thought to be an innovation of newer games in the series, has been around as early as 1988, when it was used in Sega's Japan-only arcade version of the game.
The Japanese neologism, "Ansatsuken" (assassination fist), aside from being misinterpreted as the name of Ryu and Ken's Ryoga-Ken style (or, as it's sometimes interpreted, Shotokan or just "nameless fighting style", is often thought as a term made up by Capcom. In truth, the manga and anime Fist of the North Star (which debuted in 1983) used the term years before the first Street Fighter game was released in 1987 and its been used in other fictional works in Japan as well (it might be older than Fist of the North Star, though).
Gaz sure was witty with that "Don't call me Shirley" line in Call of Duty 4. It was funnier when Airplane! did it 25 years earlier.
There are also people who think Wallcroft's "Nothing takes five minutes!" line in Modern Warfare 3 came directly from the game, rather than being one of the series' many references to Black Hawk Down.
At least some people think that the "Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again" joke originated from one of the Grand Theft Auto games. Apparently this is as old as the immigration rush in the US... back in the 1800s.
Related to the above, most people will give you the impression that Nomura first started working with Square around Final Fantasy VII, and some may tell you he was working with them with Final Fantasy VI. Ignoring that he was actually hired long before those games were even in production. Did you know he was actually working with the series as long ago as Final Fantasy IV? Sure he was only a debugger there, but did you also know he was a graphic designer in Final Fantasy V, too? And Chrono Trigger? And Super Mario RPG?
Final Fantasy VII is also recognized as Squaresoft's first game on the PlayStation. A fighting game by the name of Tobal No.1 came out in 1996, complete with a demo of FFVII.
Similarly, many people assume that Final Fantasy was Square's first game made. The company produced several games before it, such as Kings Knight and Rad Racer. (King's Knight, not the much later Einhänder, was Square's first foray into the Shoot 'em Up genre.) Final Fantasy came to be after the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and they produced Final Fantasy as their last effort in video games.
For a company that's known for making video games, many people are surprised when they learn Nintendo has been around since 1889. Naturally they weren't making video games all that time; they were originally a playing card company, and started with the game hanafuda. Nintendo still makes playing cards and card games, even continuing to make hanafuda cards. They didn't even get into making toys until Gunpei Yokoi joined the company in the 1960s.
Think of it this way. Parker Brothers is only 6 years older than Nintendo.
Most Japanese electronics giants one would consider Nintendo competitors nowadays were created only after electronics became a viable business. Sony is a relatively venerable example in this group, having been founded in 1946.
A relative newcomer then, given that Sega was founded in 1940 in Honolulu, Hawaii by three Americans to make coin operated amusements for visiting American GIs. The company didn't move to Japan until over a decade later by another American named David Rosen who was associated with the company from the early '50s to the mid '90s. Even then it wasn't a fully Japanese company until The Great Video Game Crash of 1983, before which it had the same parent company as Paramount Television. Sega's name isn't of Japanese origin either. It's an abbreviation for Service Games, the original name of the company.
Another example is Coleco, known for creating one of Atari 2600's competitors: the Colecovision. Coleco's name is an acronym of the company's earlier name: Connecticut Leather Company. The company originally marketed leather goods to shoemakers, and first ventured over into "fun" items by offering leather craft kits featuring popular characters.
In a related meta-example, many gamers consider Nintendo an oddity in that they actually sell their game systems with a profit margin, instead of selling the hardware for a loss and making revenue from software licenses. In actuality, this was a standard practice for the industry prior to the Sony PlayStation. In fact, it was Atari that switched to the "Sell the console at a loss" model; however, their refusal to grant software licenses contributed greatly to The Great Video Game Crash of 1983. (They sued to prevent third-party licensing of their hardware and lost).
The highly addictive electronic boardgame Snake did not originate on the Nokia 5110, but rather as a 1976 Arcade Game called Blockade. It does however owe its status as the most played video game in the world to its appearance on Nokia phones.
The street racing franchise Need for Speed did not actually start at Underground, contrary to what many people (and some gaming magazines and websites) believe. Underground was indeed the first ricer game in the franchise, but there were a fewNFS games that preceeded Underground: Need for Speed 1 (+ SE), 2 (+ SE), III: Hot Pursuit, High Stakes, Porsche Unleashed, Hot Pursuit 2, an early racing MMO called Need for Speed: Motor City Online, and two rebrands of the V-Rally franchise. They were all very successful, too, until the failure of Hot Pursuit 2 prompted a franchise reboot. The key difference was that you couldn't tune your car, so they are considered "uncool" today by the fans of the franchise's later games.
In some of those you could tune your car. However, you can't do so in some of the newer titles, as all you can do is cosmetic changes. That people refer to that as "tuning" doesn't make it so.
Mario is older than some people think. Many people think he debuted in Super Mario Bros. in 1985, though he had been in Mario Bros. before that in 1983, and his true first appearance was in Donkey Kong in 1981, though he was called "Jumpman" then.
Many people believe that the first version of Hudson Soft's Bomberman was on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. There were actually at least two earlier versions: a version for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1983, released both as Bomber Man (two words) and as Eric and the Floaters (the latter being the more widely known name); and a version for the Amstrad CPC464 which Hudson demonstrated (on a smart-card system which they were also demonstrating) in 1984.
Likewise, in 1983 on the Speccy, Hudson also released Cannon Ball aka Bubble Buster. Never heard of it? You more likely know it as Pang, aka Buster Bros.
IGN said many times that the Backyard Sports series started around the dawn of the PS2 (after when the editors think games died). The series actually released its first game in 1997, a few years after the release of the PS1 and long before the PS2. (In fact, it was released around the same time as IGN's favorite games.)
For many years following the release of Ocarina of Time, many people thought that Zelda was a new series.
Many of the features of Ocarina of Time thought to be original were actually carried over from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, including Kakariko Village, Lake Hylia, the Hookshot, Zelda's Lullaby, the Master Sword, Magic Music and the fact that Ganon was named Ganondorf before he became a monster.
It isn't hard to find fans who still think Final Fantasy VII is the first ever game in the series, despite the obvious number in the title. One reason why Final Fantasy VIII sold so well when it came out and quickly developed a Hatedom from the fans, was because they thought it was a sequel. Very ridiculous, since the roman numeral "VII" stands for, well, you know... seven. Little do they know that around FFVII's release, the series has been around for ten years.
There are people who think Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII is the first "effeminate villain" (and he honestly isn't even that effeminate compared to some of these examples). Obviously, you can tell who has probably never seen the art for the Emperor of Final Fantasy II. Or the troubled and manipulated final boss of Dragon Quest IV who Sephiroth appears to be an expy of, Psaro the Manslayer.
There are also people who think Sephiroth originated the iconic long white hair and long coat look. The look was first coined in 1995 by Leone Abbachio.
Similarly, there are people who think that the "angsty prettyboy hero" originated with either Cloud or Squall, when anyone who's played FFIV can tell you that this honor belongs to Cecil Harvey. (Or they should; some "classic" fans still insist that Cloud or Squall were the first despite this.)
Fire Emblem has a lot of examples mostly caused by No Export for You: Many players expressed their bewilderment that Nosferatu was changed from Dark to Light magic in Path of Radiance. What they don't realize is, Nosferatu (called Rezire in the Japanese version) was actually a light magic spell to begin with, first appearing in the 3rd game. It was, in fact, the GBA games that changed it from Light to Dark, and PoR restored it. Unfortunately, since the localizers got the GBA games first, they chose a very dark magic sounding name for it, making the transition pretty strange.
More examples from the series:
The Sacred Stones giving Pegasus Knights the option to promote to Wyvern Knights may seem like a bit of Fridge Logic, but that was how the promotion path went for them in the first game. It wasn't until the 4th that Pegasus and Wyvern riders were made separate class groups.
World in Conflict was widely praised for it's brand new original resource and recruitment system, even though the creators had previously used the exact same system for Ground Control 2.
Or the free style camera control, which dated back to the original Ground Control.
Newer gamers, or at least outsiders to the PC gaming market, seem to believe Dragon Age: Origins was BioWare's first foray into the fantasy RPG subgenre, unaware they did it a decade earlier with the Baldur's Gate saga, the Trope Codifier for all of their subsequent games, Dragon Age included, and it was in fact the game's spiritual successor.
Most people think Fallout: New Vegas was Obsidian Entertainment's first foray into the franchise, even though the previous game was Bethesda's first game in the series, and that Obsidian was partly made up of key team members from the original developers of the Fallout series, Black Isle. New Vegas took place in one of the areas of what would have been the third game in the series before Black Isle closed and Bethesda bought the franchise: Fallout: Van Buren.
There are people who think that Sonic Adventure renamed Dr. Robotnik to Dr. Eggman, making the former name the "original" one and the later a relatively recent change, which couldn't be further from truth. Not only was he always known as Eggman in Japan, but this name came before Robotnik. While Sonic 1 was released in North America first, the game and its characters were created and developed entirely in Japan, with the villain being known as "Dr. Eggman" during the development. Even early American magazines covering the game when it was still in development used that name. It wasn't until the game was finished that Sega of America decided to make changes to its plot, one of which involved changing the antagonist's name and personality. Sonic Adventure merely marked the point the games started using Robotnik's original name overseas, like Yoshi's Safari did with "Peach".
Also, many gamers believe Amy debuted in Sonic Adventure or later, while her real first appearance was in Sonic the Hedgehog CD, and before that, an obscure manga. One cause of this confusion might have been that Sega of America decided to call her "Princess Sally" (the name of a different and unrelated character who was created for one of the cartoons and doesn't even exist in the games' continuity) in the American manual of her debut game as a marketing tactic to promote the American Sonic cartoons and comics of the time.
Many people also think that Sonic Adventure was the first Sonic game taking place on Earth, with previous games taking place on Mobius instead. The Japanese manual of Sonic 1 says otherwise, as it specifically calls Sonic's world "Earth", and never mentions Mobius. Like the Robotnik name, Mobius was an American invention by the localization team, and it simply got scrapped when Sega of America switched to keeping the games' original Japanese stories.
More casual Sonic fans might think that Team Chaotix debuted in Sonic Heroes, when in fact they first appeared about 8 years prior in the relatively obscure Knuckles Chaotix. Knuckles Chaotix also had a sort of prototype to the team up theme of Sonic Heroes, though the true origin of that obviously lies with Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Many people think Golden Eye is the game that popularized console FPSs (as well as the first "good" console FPS). In truth, there were several successful console FPSs before it, such as Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (released on the N64 less than six months before Goldeneye), which also garnered a lot of critical acclaim and strong sales upon release. There are also people who deny FPSs were popular on consoles until the Xbox and PlayStation 2.
The NES action game Street Fighter 2010 is often accused of piggybacking on the popularity of Street Fighter II since it barely had anything to do with the rest of the franchise. In reality 2010 was released on August 1990, at least six months before the arcade release of World Warrior (which saw worldwide distribution in March 1991).
The Soul series began with Soul Edge (renamed Soul Blade for home release) and was followed by a sequel called Soulcalibur. Each installment in the series was originally meant to be named after a different sword, but for marketing reasons, they were all "sequels" to Soulcalibur instead. Although Soul Blade was very popular, the demographic had largely moved on by the time of Soulcalibur II, so many fans who started with that thought that Soulcaliburwas the first game.
Even if it was said that this was the first liscensed game to feature dialogue, that technically would not be true, since minifigs were able to sing in LEGO Rock Band.
The Attack Reflector as a Shoot 'em Up gimmick is often associated with Giga Wing (2000). However, Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth (1998) uses a reflector too, and before that, we have Reflection (1997), a little-known doujin shmup that also uses a reflector. Reflection would later be remade into RefleX.
The famous TRON "Light Cycles" game, which has been remade too many times to count, predates the movie by a number of years: its basic gameplay can be found in two four-player Arcade Games of 1977, Atari's Dominos and Midway Games' Checkmate (which was also a built-in game on the Astrocade), and these in turn were clones of Gremlin Industries' 1976 game Blockade.
The concept of building something using the tools that a game give you, especially in a Wide Open Sandbox setting. Many people love to tout Minecraft as inventing this, rather than the Gmod, Second Life, or Furcadia, all three of which were old news before Minecraft was even in alpha.
From the Super Mario games, many people believed that Princess Peach's name debuted in Super Mario 64. It goes farther back than that; similar to the "Eggman in Japan, Robotnik in America" name swaps for the Sonic franchise, Princess Peach was her original name in Japan since the Super Mario Bros. while Toadstool was her localized name outside of Japan.
Yoshi's Safari (1993) had the princess named Peach for Western audiences 3 years before Super Mario 64 (1996) was released.