29 Facts About Space Invaders


Space Invaders is a 1978 shoot 'em up arcade game developed by Tomohiro Nishikado.

FactSnippet No. 609,139

Space Invaders was the first fixed shooter and set the template for the shoot 'em up genre.

FactSnippet No. 609,140

Space Invaders is considered one of the most influential video games of all time.

FactSnippet No. 609,141

Space Invaders is a fixed shooter in which the player moves a laser cannon horizontally across the bottom of the screen and fires at aliens overhead.

FactSnippet No. 609,142

Space Invaders was developed by Japanese designer Tomohiro Nishikado, who spent a year designing the game and developing the necessary hardware to produce it.

FactSnippet No. 609,143

The game's inspiration is reported to have come from varying sources, including an adaptation of the electro-mechanical arcade game Space Invaders Monsters released by Taito in 1972, and a dream about Japanese school children who are waiting for Santa Claus when they are attacked by invading aliens.

FactSnippet No. 609,144

Space Invaders replaced the timer, typical of arcade games at the time, with descending aliens who effectively served a similar function, where the closer they came, the less time the player had left.

FactSnippet No. 609,145

Microcomputers in Japan were not powerful enough at the time to perform the complex tasks involved in designing and programming Space Invaders, Nishikado had to design his own custom hardware and development tools for the game.

FactSnippet No. 609,146

Space Invaders created the arcade board using the latest microprocessors from the United States.

FactSnippet No. 609,147

Space Invaders adopted the multi-chip barrel shifter circuit first developed by Midway for Gun Fight, which had been a key part of that game's smoother animation.

FactSnippet No. 609,148

Space Invaders's colleagues praised it, applauding his achievement while queuing up to play, whereas his bosses predicted low sales as games often ended more quickly than other timer-based arcade games at the time.

FactSnippet No. 609,149

Space Invaders machines had grossed more than four billion US quarters by 1979.

FactSnippet No. 609,150

Space Invaders popularized a more interactive style of gameplay, with the enemies responding to the player-controlled cannon's movement, and was the first video game to popularize the concept of achieving a high score, being the first to save the player's score.

FactSnippet No. 609,151

An urban legend states that Space Invaders' popularity led to a shortage of 100-yen coins in Japan.

FactSnippet No. 609,152

Space Invaders was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in 2016.

FactSnippet No. 609,153

Space Invaders cabinets have become collector's items, with the cocktail and cabaret versions being the rarest.

FactSnippet No. 609,154

Space Invaders is important as an historical artefact, no less than the silent films of the early twentieth century or early printed books.

FactSnippet No. 609,155

Space Invaders moved the gaming industry from sports games grounded in real-world situations, towards fantastical action games.

FactSnippet No. 609,156

Space Invaders helped action games become the dominant genre in arcades and on consoles.

FactSnippet No. 609,157

Technology journalist Jason Whittaker credited Space Invaders with ending the video game crash of 1977, caused by Pong clones flooding the market, and beginning the golden age of video arcade games.

FactSnippet No. 609,158

Space Invaders has been remade on numerous platforms and spawned many sequels.

FactSnippet No. 609,159

For example, Space Invaders Extreme, released on the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable, integrated musical elements into the standard gameplay.

FactSnippet No. 609,160

Space Invaders Anniversary was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 and included nine Space Invader variants.

FactSnippet No. 609,161

The Space Invaders Tournament, held by Atari in 1980 and won by Rebecca Heineman, was the first electronic sports event, and attracted more than 10, 000 participants, establishing video gaming as a mainstream hobby.

FactSnippet No. 609,162

Space Invaders was the first game to attract political controversy when a 1981 Private Member's Bill known as the "Control of Space Invaders Bill", drafted by British Labour Member of Parliament (MP) George Foulkes, attempted to allow local councils to restrict the game and those like it by licensing for its "addictive properties" and for causing "deviancy".

FactSnippet No. 609,163

The pioneering Japanese synthpop group Yellow Magic Orchestra reproduced Space Invaders sounds in its 1978 self-titled album and hit single "Computer Game", the latter selling over 400, 000 copies in the United States.

FactSnippet No. 609,164

Space Invaders appears in the films Cherry 2000, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and Pixels (2015) while its Deluxe game made an appearance in Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982).

FactSnippet No. 609,165

That same year, Space Invaders was included in the London Science Museum's Game On exhibition, meant to showcase the various aspects of video game history, development, and culture.

FactSnippet No. 609,166

In 2018, Highways England launched a campaign titled "Don't be a Space Invaders Invader, Stay Safe, Stay Back" to raise awareness on the dangers of tailgating.

FactSnippet No. 609,167