Aside from having such an incredible impact on the film industry, 2001: A Space Odyssey also inspired a tremendous variety of games. Nowadays, space themes are prevalent in all areas of the gaming industry, such as arcade, slots and consoles, and the genre may not have become such a rip-roaring success without Kubrick’s film.
The gaming industry has always taken the lead from films. When arcade games were first developed in the 1970s, creators based them on the popular culture of the time. With Kubrick’s film released at the end of the 1960s, the ideas within it were still hugely popular in the 1970s. During this time, there were a few notable space-themed games released on arcade machines.
The most popular arcade games of the era were Space Invaders and Asteroids, two iconic titles that massively helped boost the gaming industry in its early days. The former was developed by Tomohiro Nishikado and sold by Taito in 1978 and the latter was made by Atari the following year. At this time, space themes were rampant in the cinema. Star Wars: A New Hope hit screens in 1977, and Ridley Scott’s Alien dropped in 1979.
Mobile and PC Games
These early arcade games kick-started the gaming industry, which then spilled out onto other platforms, including PC, console, and later, mobile. There have been various classics over the years on these devices, with Star Trek Online being an example of a standout title. The game from Cryptic Studios was based on the Star Trek series, which first aired in 1966. When the show first dropped, though, ratings were low because audiences weren’t primed for space themes. This changed after the release of Kubrick’s picture, and when Star Trek returned in the 1970s, it became a massive hit.
On mobile, there are innumerable choices for players in search of space themes. The genre is particularly prevalent on slots pages in the online casino industry, which is one of the most flourishing sectors online thanks to its synergy with smartphones. For instance, there are titles like SpaceXY, Space Jammers, and Space Gem, as seen at Playamo Australia. These titles allure a vast number of players thanks to their sci-fi themes and innovative gameplay. With space being ever-present in a modern sector like this, it’s clear how important the genre still is.
Console games related to space have seen some huge advancements in recent times. While it’s fair to say that the concepts within them have advanced way beyond the ideas introduced in 2001: A Space Odyssey, they may not have existed without the 1968 film.
An example of how far the gaming industry has come is No Man’s Sky from Hello Games. The 2016 title has a procedurally generated deterministic open world universe that enables players to visit an almost infinite number of planets. Then there’s the new release, Returnal from Housemarque, which takes players on a survival mission to a faraway planet.
Many fans of space films and games these days may not have even seen Kubrick’s movie, but the popularity of the genre can be traced back to the 1968 offering. If that film hadn’t been such a ground-breaking success, we may not have all these amazing space offerings today.