Space Invaders. History, fun facts

Vitaliy Mokosiy
3 min readOct 1, 2020


Digging into the history of games, I continue finding fascinating facts about impactful people and events. To spread the word about games, I compiled them into not a long read for you.

Original Space Invaders game

Space Invaders was released as an arcade machine game in 1978. It was the first game that conquered both Japan and US markets twice:

  • firstly, via arcade machines
  • secondly, via revolutionary cartridges in Atari consoles

In Japan, the game turned into such a widespread phenomenon that it emerged the invader houses. Invader house — amusement center where cocktail-table Space Invaders machines were used for play.

Invader house in action
Cocktail table to play Space Invaders

The first computer game championship

Dota 2, CS:GO, Fortnite, League of Legends, FIFA, Heartstone and other games wouldn’t form the eSports we know now if not for Space Invaders.

Atari organized The National Space Invaders Championship in 1980.

TV + Atari + Space Invaders = Sweet triple

Bill Heineman is not a mere the first eSports tournament winner. He became a legendary game designer who took part in creating various well-known titles, namely, Wasteland, The Bard’s Tale, Myth 3, Dragon Wars, Command & Conquer, Medal of Honor, etc.

In 2003, Bill got a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and transitioned to a woman changing name to Rebecca Ann.

Tomohiro Nishikado — The Creator

Tomohiro is a designer who remained unknown despite the terrific success of Space Invaders. He devised and created the game on his own but was not good at playing it. The funniest thing for me is that Tomohiro never managed to complete the first screen of Space Invader :-)

Nevertheless, his game sparked further growth of video games inspiring many of the next-gen game designers and entrepreneurs.

Since then, game makers can’t stop but port Space Invaders to gaming consoles. So if you are particularly nostalgic about it, I recommend play a set of Space Invaders varying from the original game to extreme editions.

Vitaliy Mokosiy



Vitaliy Mokosiy

CTO in Atola Technology. Gamification enthusiast. Agile proponent