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Developed by Tomohiro Nishikado, Space Invaders was released by Taito in 1978. It was inspired by Breakout, The War of the Worlds, and Star Wars. Video games such as these were the forerunners of modern video gaming, helping make the industry go from a novelty to a global phenomenon.
As soon as Space Invaders was released in 1978, it became a hit immediately. When the game was originally planned, the aliens were going to be human soldiers. Because Taito didn’t want to send the message that shooting humans was okay, they changed it to aliens.
Space Invaders gained popularity shortly after being released. In 1980, it was licensed for use in the United States. It was released for coin-operated arcades, the Atari 2600, and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Over the course of its lifetime, the game has generated more than 500 million dollars of revenue.
For those who don’t know what the game is like, it’s a 2D shooter where a human must protect the earth from aliens. Each stage contains 48 aliens evenly arranged in six columns. The aliens advance slowly toward the earth as they move back and forth in a set pattern across the screen. The human player must shoot all of the aliens before they reach the earth. As aliens also fire randomly, the human player must be careful not to be shot. The human player advances to the next stage if he or she destroys all 48 aliens, where a new set of 48 aliens awaits them. A further aspect is the shields provided to the human player. As the shields are damaged, they are able to let shots pass through them. In the game, there are three shields that the human player can hide behind in order to avoid being shot by the aliens.