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impossible to master and when the novelty wore off, the game faded". Prior to the golden age, pinball machines were more popular than video games.At around this time, the home video game industry (second-generation video game consoles and early home computer games) emerged as "an outgrowth of the widespread success of video arcades" at the time. The pinball industry reached a peak of 200,000 machine sales and .3 billion revenue in 1979, which had declined to 33,000 machines and 4 million in 1982.and the year that saw vector display technology, first seen in arcades in 1977 with Space Wars, rise to prominence via Atari's Asteroids.However, 1983 was the period that began "a fairly steady decline" in the coin-operated video game business and when many arcades started disappearing.Sean Newton, 3D arcade model builder and author of the book Bits, Sticks, and Buttons states that the defining transitional point which finally ended the first era of arcade gaming (known as the "Black and White Age") and subsequently ushered in the Golden Age was with the North American release of Midway's Space Invaders.The game brought forth with it the power of the microprocessor, as well as a cult phenomenon impact which had only been felt up to that point by Atari's Pong.A few of these vector games became great hits, such as 1979's Asteroids, 1980's Battlezone and Tempest and 1983's Star Wars from Atari.
The central processing unit in these games allowed for more complexity than earlier discrete circuitry games such as Atari's Pong (1972).The number of video game arcades in North America, for example, more than doubled between 19; Video game arcades at the time became as common as convenience stores, while arcade games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders would appear in most locations across the United States, including even funeral homes.The market was very competitive; the average life span of an arcade game was four to six months.With the enormous success of the early games, dozens of developers jumped into the development and manufacturing of video arcade games.Some simply copied the "invading alien hordes" idea of Space Invaders and turned out successful imitators like Namco's Galaxian, Galaga, and Gaplus, though they took the shoot 'em up genre further with new gameplay mechanics, more complex enemy patterns, and richer graphics. Rapidly evolving hardware allowed new kinds of games which allowed for different styles of gameplay.