The North American video game industry crash of 1983 was a turning point in video game development history as a result of the dissolution of a number of video games console manufacturers and some American video games development and publishing companies. Computer software developers, the personal computer, microcomputers and the Japanese companies (Nintendo, SEGA, Bandai/Namco, etc) were relatively unaffected.
While the exact cause may never be known precisely, there are a number of factors commonly blamed for it. These are:
- The launch of personal computers (Apple Macintosh, IBM PC..) and micro-computers (Commodore 64...)
- The launch of two Atari games: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on the Atari 2600, based (very loosely) on the movie, and the conversion of Pac-Man on the same machine.
- The rise of third-party developers like Activision and the uncontrolled development of hundreds of game titles, many of them considered mediocre at best.
American companies lost millions of dollars, and some companies like Coleco and Magnavox left the video game market entirely, never to return. Additionally, some consoles like the ColecoVision, Intellivision, Vectrex and the Magnavox Oddysey 2 dropped out of the market.