TOP 10 most popular and profitable arcade machines in history (Topic)

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TOP 10 most popular and profitable arcade machines in history


Once upon a time, games began in the arcade era. Consider the Mesolithic from the world of interactive entertainment. But even in the early days, video games were a huge money-making product. The difference between now and then, however, is that the income from one arcade machine was calculated in one quarter. For several years, USGamer has been counting on and adding to the list of the best arcade machines of all time. We've translated it to its latest revision to showcase the most profitable arcade games in history. Places are based on the amount of profit earned.

10 - Donkey Kong

One of the earliest platformers and the first game created by legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto. The 1981 Nintendo classic became a hit with gamers thanks to its innovative gameplay.

Often referred to as the first Mario game, but not entirely true. When the game was launched in Japan, the hero was a carpenter named Jumpman, who was on a mission to rescue his girlfriend Lady from the clutches of the escaped gorilla Donkey Kong. However, for the release in America, Nintendo US employees have chosen other names for the heroes. The Lady became known as Pauline, and Jumpman became Mario, who also quit carpentry and became a plumber. This move was obviously a success, as it helped him become one of the most famous characters in games.


When Donkey Kong was first launched, it was considered by some to be a very strange game, which is understandable when you consider that space shooters and mazes were the more common types of games during that era. However, this new concept soon caught on and the game became a huge hit.

Total revenue by 1982 : $ 280,000,000

Today it is: 686,262,000 USD

9 - Mortal Kombat

Designed by Ed Boone and John Tobias, the legendary Mortal Kombat is second only to the even more legendary Street Fighter series in money earned.


Featuring digitized sprites rather than hand-drawn animations, the main feature of Mortal Kombat is its fatalities - bloody finishing off a character. Needless to say, this was not the case with the political establishment, and the game spurred the creation of the ESRB in response to calls for video games to be controlled by the government.

Revenue by 2020: $ 570,000,000

Today it is: 748 462 000 USD

8 - Mortal Kombat II

The second Mortal Kombat game came a year after the first and featured major graphical improvements and five new characters. The gameplay has also been significantly updated, with improved combos, features, new fatalities.

By the time the second arcade game was released, Mortal Kombat was starting to morph into a franchise with comics, spin-offs, film, and of course, home console versions.


By 2011, it had set 10 Guinness World Records, including "Most Successful Fighting Game Series", "Largest Video Game Ad Campaign in the Fighting Game Genre" (Mortal Kombat 3), "Highest Grossing Fighting Movie Based" (Mortal Kombat 1996 ) etc.

Revenue by 2002: $ 600,000,000

Today it is: $ 787 607 559 USA

7 - Asteroids

Asteroids from Atari are a 1979 vector art classic. Inspired by the first full-fledged video game Space War, the Asteroids were built using the hardware of the earlier vector game Lunar Lander.

The end result was a game that was much more complex than a static format like Space Invaders, which tended to be limited in movement and gameplay based on defense. In asteroids, the player had to face threats from all sides, as well as rocket attacks on spaceships.


Despite the resemblance to Space War, Atari's stunning game was seen largely as a new concept.

Income by 1991: $ 800,000,000

Today it is: $ 1,346,548,823

6 - Defender

With an intimidating number of buttons and enemy ships whose behavior patterns were extremely complex at the time, Defender was one of the most memorable space shooters of the early 80s.

This was the work of Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar, who were formerly the designers of the pinball machine at Williams. They've spent months designing a new video game inspired by their favorite aspects of Space Invaders and Asteroids. The end product was their revelation. With great gameplay, many different types of aliens, and the threat of a planetary explosion, Defender provided players with a high-energy, relentless, colorful experience that made other contemporaries of the era look passing.


The high level of difficulty helped her devour hundreds of millions of coins, as the players wanted to take up the challenge. The game has become one of the icons of the Golden Age of arcades.

Income by 1993: $ 1,000,000,000

Today it is: $ 1,588,463,873

5 - NBA Jam

Released in 1993 as the arcades had a second wind, the NBA Jam follows in the footsteps of 1989's Arch Rivals. However, where Arch Rivals never really achieved success, the NBA Jam was a huge success, in large part due to its official license to represent real teams and digital images of famous players.

The gameplay was not very realistic, there were few rules, which resulted in a fast and furious pace of the game.


Funnily enough, in 2008, designer Mark Thurmell confirmed that many NBA Jam players thought the game had a slight imbalance against the Chicago Bulls. If you've played for the Detroit Pistons, the Chicago Bulls often missed last-minute shots.

Income by 1994: $ 1,100,000,000

Today it is: 1 704 501 968 USD

4 - Ms. Pac-Man

Pac-Man's original nonviolent gameplay had already proven attractive to women, so Midway Manufacturing decided to make a Pac-Man game specifically for girls. The result was Ms. Pac-Man, essentially Pac-Man, but with a pink bow.


In addition to four new maze designs, ghosts have been programmed to move randomly. This was a deliberate move to prevent players from learning and using templates to complete each level like they did in the original game. Because of this, the game was significantly more complex than its predecessor. However, this did not stop players from eventually completing it and realizing that, like Pac-Man, level 256 of the game is impossible to complete.

Revenue by 1987: $ 1,200,000,000

Today: US $ 2,494,552,816

3 - Street Fighter II Champion Edition

Capcom's sequel to its 1987 arcade hit was one of the gaming milestones of the 90s. While the original Street Fighter introduced many of the series' fundamental design elements, Street Fighter II took them a quantum leap forward, creating a reference design for fighting games that it has remained true to this day. Thanks to its ultra-competitive gameplay, the machine became a hit, selling around 60,000 units worldwide. His incredible profits helped keep all arcade halls afloat, which felt their earnings downturn in the mid-80s.


With Street Fighter II generating substantial revenues, it didn't take long for Capcom to release an updated version. In April 1992, the Champion Edition hit arcades with rebalanced gameplay, four playable grandmasters, and the ability for players to participate in mirror matches for the first time. Despite being very similar in cosmetic terms to Street Fighter II, CE sold 140,000 units.

Several reports cite Street Fighter II earning $ 1.5 billion by 1993, which in turn was a misconception. The reality is that at the moment there is no exact source of income for the arcade. Arcade owners often mentioned Street Fighter II in their earnings reports rather than citing a specific version, and many arcade games were updated throughout the year.

Also, by the early 90s, arcades were in decline and earnings records were often unpublished. At that point, it was much more about changing hardware than about their real cash returns. Thus, the figures given here are approximate and based on the fact that 200,000 arcade machines have been sold in both SF II and CE. These figures are also approximate. Due to the relative ease of making illegal versions of Capcom CP System boards, there were also many pirated copies of the arcade game, which likely hit revenues significantly.

Revenue by 1995: $ 2,312,000,000

Today it is: $ 3,582,553,228

2 - Space Invaders

Space Invaders, one of the classic video games of all time, ushered in the so-called "Golden Age of the Arcade", a period of history spanning the late 70s and mid-80s that saw unprecedented advances in game design and technology. p>

The arcade was launched in Japan in June 1978 and quickly became a cultural phenomenon. By the end of the year, 100,000 arcades had been installed across the country. Such was its immense popularity: the huge number of people who played it created a temporary shortage of some denominations of coins.


Space Invaders quickly became a major export arcade and soon began to rejuvenate arcade halls around the world, where automata had been in decline since the 1950s. Millions of players lined up time and time again to test their strength against the invasion of the hordes. Income earned in the states in the first year was greater than that of the highest-grossing film of the time, Star Wars. Not bad for an industry just five years old.

Revenue by 1982: $ 2,702,000,000

Today it is: 6 612 228 000 dollars

1 - Pac-Man

Since Space Invaders has come and gone, the biggest quarter-eater is pretty obvious. Well, unless you grew up with arcade games.

The game's first major mascot, and arguably the most recognizable and oldest character, Pac-Man burst onto the scene in 1980 and became a sensation. In an era when almost all games were space shooters, Pac-Man's nonviolent maze gameplay represented something new. In addition, it was aimed at both boys and girls. This versatility has helped attract an unprecedented number of arcade players around the world who have thrown billions of quarters into slots.


This popularity has made Pac-Man an icon. Since then, Pac-Man has become a star in over 30 other games, but most players always associate him with this iconic arcade.

Revenue by 1990: $ 3.5 billion

Today it is: 7,681,491,635 USD

The Topic of Article: TOP 10 most popular and profitable arcade machines in history.
Author: Jake Pinkman