1996 in video gaming

1996 in video gaming

Notable releases

*January 29 — "Duke Nukem 3D", successor to the simple side-scrolling originals, and a genre-redefining title for first person shooters. (PC)
*March — Capcom releases "Resident Evil" for the PlayStation in Japan and the United States. It is believed to have invented the term "survival horror" and it popularized the genre.
*March 9 — "Super Mario RPG", Square's last produced game for the SNES, released in Japan
*May 13 — "" released in North America
*May 31 — id releases "Quake", advancing 3D graphics technology on the PC and starting a franchise that has sold more than 4 million games.
*June 23 — Nintendo releases "Super Mario 64", the first 3D Mario platformer, in Japan as the flagship for their new Nintendo 64 system.
*August 25 — Namco releases "Tekken 2" for the Sony PlayStation. The game sold over 3,000,000 copies worldwide.
*August 31 — Bethesda Softworks releases "", a notable evolution of the sandbox RPG started with "The Elder Scrolls: Arena". (PC)
*August 31 — Sega releases "NiGHTS into Dreams..." for the Sega Saturn. The advertising campaign for the game features the rebirth of the Sega Scream.
*September 3 — Sony releases "Crash Bandicoot" video game. Crash Bandicoot is used as the mascot for their PlayStation console.
*September 27 — 3DO publicly launches "Meridian 59", widely regarded as the first MMORPG.
*October 15 — Bungie releases Marathon Infinity, the final installment of the Marathon Trilogy.
*October 31 — , the second major title in the "Command & Conquer" fanchise, and the most popular one yet. (PC)
*October 31 — "Master of Orion II", the sequel to the revolutionary original. (PC)
*November 15 — "Tomb Raider" is released for the PC, Sony PlayStation, and the Sega Saturn. It spawns a series of sequels as well as a series of movies.
*November 30 — "Diablo" is released. It is the first chapter in Blizzard Entertainment's enormously popular series. (PC)
*December 3 — "" is released for N64 and PC. It is part of a large cross-media project by LucasArts.

*"", the critically acclaimed sequel to Origin's innovative "Crusader: No Remorse". (PC)
*"Final Doom", the final release of the original Doom series. Contains 2 large and original storylines. (PC)
*"Fragile Allegiance", the spiritual sequel to "K240" is released.
*"", a successful sequel to the well-received "MechWarrior 2". (PC)
*"Donkey Kong Country 3", the third and last installment to the popular Donkey Kong Country franchise is released.
*"", a controversial sequel to the controversial original. (PC)
*"Sega Super GT" is released in arcades, considered a graphical marvel just like its predecessor (Daytona USA), the game runs on the Sega Model 3 hardware and renders 1 million polygons per second.
*"", sequel to the innovative original, and the final interactive movie-based Star Wars game. (PC)
*The first console emulators appear.

Hardware

* Bandai's Tamagotchi virtual pet handheld
* Nintendo:
** Nintendo 64 64-bit home console
** Game Boy Pocket (GBP) handheld console (30% smaller version of the previous Game Boy handheld console)
* SEGA's Net Link modem for the Sega Saturn home console
* SNK's Neo Geo CDZ (Japan only)
* Namco's "Alpine Racer" arcade game, including a new type of user interface

Business

* February — Blizzard Entertainment acquires a development group known as Condor, renaming it Blizzard North
* February 13 — Atari Corporation announces a plan to merge with JTS Corp.
* April — Eidos acquires Centregold plc, which holds Core Design (creator of the Lara Croft character) and U.S. Gold
* May 1 — GameSpot and GameFAQs are launched
* June — Firaxis Games is formed By Jeff Briggs with Sid Meier and Brian Reynolds
* July — GT Interactive purchases Humongous Entertainment
* November 13 — Tom Clancy and Virtus Corp. found Red Storm Entertainment, headed by Doug Littlejohns
* Infogrames Entertainment SA acquires Ocean Software Ltd.
* Midway Games, Inc. (subsidiary of WMS Industries, formerly known as Williams Electronics) acquires Atari Games Corp. from Warner Communications Inc. (AOL Time Warner in 2000)
* Technos Japan Corporation, originator of the "Nekketsu Kouha Kunio Kun" series and "Double Dragon" series, goes out of business (assets acquired by Atlus Corporation)
* Black Isle Studios forms as a division by Interplay; doesn't use Black Isle name until 1998
* Game Park Inc. founded in South Korea
* The company formed by Microprose and Spectrum Holobyte in 1993 starts branding using only the Microprose name
* Overworks, Ltd. formed
* Zed Two Limited formed
* Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Computer & Entertainment, Inc.
* The 3DO Company purchases New World Computing

Awards

* Spiel des Jahres: El Grande - Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich, Hans im Glück


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