The Video Game Industry

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Given the strength and diversity of the video game industry today, it is hard to believe that it almost failed completely in the United States. Thankfully, Japan and three of its major entertainment companies, Nintendo, SEGA, and Sony revived it. When it looked as if all hope was lost, Nintendo and SEGA entered the market and rescued the American video game industry. Their innovation and creativity transformed the industry and the impact is still felt today. Sony later entered the market and expanded it from a kid’s obsession to an adult’s hobby. Sony, Nintendo and SEGA sustained the market until American companies felt confindant to enter the market once again.
The modern video game originated in the United States during the 1960s. At the
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Well over a dozen other companies, mostly toy companies, followed suit and the home video game industry took off. This boom lasted until the mid 1980s at which point the American video game industry collapsed and many industry leaders got out of the business. Many feel that market oversaturation and poor game development caused the collapse. The burial of thousands of game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill by Atari, as it emptied out its warehouses, remains one of the most well known incidents that happened during the collapse. It seemed that Americans no longer cared for video games. After the collapse most American home video game systems, consisted of pre programmed units, loaded with popular arcade games or small hand held units with the graphical capabilities of a calculator. Today’s video game industry, a nearly sixteen billion dollar industry, owes much to Japan and the Japanese companies that saved it.
Although the Japanese video game industry seemed a mirror image of the U.S. market, it did not share the same fate. The Japanese video game industry came into its own in the early 1970s, roughly a year after the American industry. Several companies including SEGA quickly created clones of Atari’s Pong, rehashed other games, and began research on new ideas. By 1974 Japanese companies had begun to export their creations to the United
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Japanese companies drew heavily on their highly successful comic book and animation industries. Unlike in the U.S. these industries had an enormous following amongst the Japanese population, young and old. Japanese animators regularly turned comic books, Manga, into hugely successful cartoon series and animated movies called Anime. These two industries perfectly complemented the video game industry, giving Japan an incredible advantage in game development. While the U.S. also had these industries they had peaked separately years, and in the case of comics decades, before the dawn of video games. The comic book industry peaked in the 1940s and rapidly declined as televised cartoons began to take over. While cooperation between the industries did occur, it was neither as successful nor as prevalent as in Japan. This lack of talent hindered U.S. game

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